Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of a memoir, Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd. He lives in Paris with his wife and daughter.

Reaching Out

The best way to escape our current political predicament is to keep talking

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Up in the Air

The majesty of New York City still mystifies

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 23, 2019

You Must Be Joking

A comic book, a movie, politics, and race

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Language Unbound

How the words we use influence how we think

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 02, 2019

On the Turning Away

Our tendency to ignore human suffering

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 25, 2019

License to Chill

Life slows down when you can’t drive

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Existential Split

On feeling the pull of home

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Too Much of a Good Thing

Relief at the end of summer vacation

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Priceless Moments

How having children focuses a writer’s mind

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Life on a Razor’s Edge

The hidden joys of shaving

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Vicarious Pleasure

The joy of seeing a friend succeed

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Fiction of Race

When will we recognize it as such?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Rhetorical Rules of Engagement

Shunning those who disagree with us won’t help anyone

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Seaside Sojourns

Fleeing the heat of the French capital

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 24, 2019

In Praise of Shame

Without it, we are lost

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Step Aside

Do we really want to live in a society where credentials don’t matter?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Beating the Heat

Brittany is France’s best refuge from soaring temperatures

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Selective Lip Service

Attending an elite college is not an entitlement

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Best and Worst of Times

A weekend trip exposes France’s contradictions

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mornings of Stillness and Wonder

How my son is helping me to rediscover the City of Lights

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The Battle of All Against All

What would a truly equal society look like?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Better Than the Real Thing

The strange pleasure of sports highlights

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Life in Black and White

A new volume commemorates the work of a brilliant photographer of the 1960s

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Scootering Around Town

The automobile’s appeal is in decline thanks to the proliferation of alternatives

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Disconnection in a Connected Age

On the mixed blessing of technological advancement

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Skin Deep

You can’t fight like with like

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Loss to Paris and the World

The fire at Notre Dame should remind us to see the world’s wonders while we can

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Life Off-track

A talented historian’s tragic end

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Family Matters

Closing my distance from a distant relation

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Of Poverty and Plenty

California’s homelessness crisis is a moral stain

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Taking the Blame

Should all white Australians be implicated in the actions of one?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Permanently Shelved

Why collect more books that you can ever read?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 13, 2019

No Place Like …

Finding happiness in small spaces

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Bitter Truth

A culture exemplified by an over-sweet cuppa joe

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Double Lives

What is truth in an un-heroic age?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 20, 2019

White Out?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Climate vs. Comfort

How much would you sacrifice to do your part?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Make Social Media Great Again

… Or at least tolerable

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Art of Finding Time

(And finding time for art)

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Great Distraction

Why we talk about anything but climate change

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dignity and the Individual

Abandon your grievances and strive for the heroic

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 09, 2019

An Office of One’s Own

The unlikely liberation of commuting to a desk

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Taking It to the Streets

Darkness descends on the City of Light

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hip-hop in the Alps

A transcendent mountaintop moment

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Protected by Privilege?

An exercise in illogic

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bill of Health

The shock of entering the American health-care system

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Guessing Games

What you can tell about people—and what you can’t

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Naked and Unafraid

A place where women, and men too, are comfortable in their skin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Ein Prosit!

Sometimes wine is the best medicine

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inane and Insane

Is our world crazier than ever?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A New Breed of Patriot

Sometimes love of country means defying her laws

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Don’t Tread on Me

When we’re all victims, we’re all enemies

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Strangely Familiar

Some places live in the imagination long before we visit them

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A Sad Story

Sometimes good faith and hard work are not rewarded

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Checkmate

In chess, as in life, there are no guarantees

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Building Brawn

The brain isn’t the only muscle you should train

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

City of Wonder

Venice reminds us that life is full of hope and possibility

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Me First

On a peculiar aspect of French culture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 29, 2018

#SelfExile

On waiting for the political tide to change

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Carpe Diem

In regret of lost time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Versed in Outrage

A poet’s capitulation highlights the challenges facing artists and intellectuals

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 08, 2018

History Is Not Everything

There is more to life than what has come before

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Strangers on a Train

A new perspective born of unexpected kindness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Goal!

The cathartic spectacle of sport

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Time Well Spent

The life-affirming pleasure of childcare

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Workers of France, Unite!

The personal misery of public strikes

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Kanye and Ta-Nehisi

“This is my life, homie, you decide yours”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Make Them Work

A different sort of moral obligation

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Is 40 the New 30?

On the extended march toward full adulthood

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Slowing Down

Thoughts on the imperiled life of leisure

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 06, 2018

#AllTheSame?

The danger of categorical thinking

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fathers and Sons

Shaping up for the big event

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tabula Rasa

Thoughts on the birth of my son

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Opting Out

On the decision to “retire” from being black

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Joys of Outdoor Drinking and Public Nudity

Berliners enjoy small freedoms that most Americans do not

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Abolition of Boredom

Idle moments are few in the digital age—and that’s okay

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Service With a Scowl

In France, the customer isn’t always right

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Just for Kicks

The peculiar French aversion to shoeshines

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 04, 2018

In Praise of Working From Hotels

Even freelancers deserve some creature comforts

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Less Is More

The life-affirming pleasure of culling your shelves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Keep Your Enemies Close

And they just might become your friends

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“Sit down, be humble”

The inspiring example of one of rap’s modest and thoughtful heroes

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 07, 2018

On a Walkabout

The art of going nowhere in particular

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Solar Escape

How Spain helped cure my winter blues

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Too Much of a Good Thing

Americans spend most of their waking hours staring at screens

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Being Black

Considering the veil of race

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Banishing our Biases

The happy possibilities of letting them go

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Let There Be Light

Europe in the record-breaking darkness of winter

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Willfully Unaware

An existentialist on the mysteries of sexual desire

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Entry-Level Presidency

After Trump, we need a leader who is not only popular but qualified

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Resilience

A resolution

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The Virtue of Mastery

Dedication, perseverance, and a rapper’s stellar performance

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Combs, Clippers, and Comraderie

Barbershops offer much more than a trim and a shave

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sensibility and Sense

A petition to remove a painting from the Met misunderstands the nature of art

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Watch the Throne

The royal engagement offers new hope

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Among the Sundowners

Inspiration and aspiration on Martha’s Vineyard

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Light in the Dark

A visit to Weimar yields an unlikely reason for hope

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Categorical Kindness

The hidden racism of polite condescension

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Ghouls, Goblins, and Capitalism

The scariest thing about Halloween is the adults who insist on celebrating it

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Forget Your Troubles

Taking a break from it all in a small California town

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Beyond Statistics

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Borders, Real and Artificial

On Mattias Enard’s novel Street of Thieves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carpe Diem

Don’t assume there will always be more time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Truth About Privilege

White, rich, tall, handsome ...

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Sense of Horrors Avoided

On progress and criticism

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 20, 2017

El Toro de Majorca

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A New City, a New Project

Moving to Berlin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Losing Yourself in Italy

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Toxic Shock

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Do You Owe a Stranger?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Security Theater

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Summer Retreat

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A Kind of Homecoming

Transcending the “other” in art

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Holiday Season

Coming to terms with a month of nothing

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Order

What we tolerate in our youth

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pétanque

The sport of summertime

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Batting Away the Helping Hand

Care and contradiction in the heart of Trump country

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Elegance in Action

It’s what you do, not what you have

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Window Gazing

Transcendence on the train

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Park Life

An oasis in the city

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Other Baldwin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Price of Assimilation

Reverence vs. resemblance

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Can’t Go Home Again

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Voice From the Swamp

A surprising source of Trump support

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Peak Democracy

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Alien to Ourselves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Berlin’s Version of “Progress”

No Uber, no smartphones, no stress

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We’re All Different in the Same Way

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Addendum

You can’t have a conversation, if one side isn’t allowed a voice

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Gringo

On strange feelings and constructions of identity

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Peek Under the Thin Veneer of Civility

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beating the Odds

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Family Ties

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cold Shower

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Why Go Home?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Out of Pocket

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All Trump, All the Time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Age of “Ressentiment”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 01, 2017

“From Russia with Apathy and Indifference”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Man in Full

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 18, 2017

All That Jazz

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle-Class Mea Culpa

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 04, 2017

On Making the Best of It

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Unwelcome Home

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Neighborhood Haunts, Part 2

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Neighborhood Haunts, Part 1

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Equal Time for Racists

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It Was All Good Just a Week Ago

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“First on This Planet”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Seat Backs and Tray Tables

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 02, 2016

They Reminisce Over You

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Real Nanny State

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Exceptional City

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A House in the Country

If the dream had come true, I might have lost my mind

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Who Are We, Really?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On the Firing Line

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Unmonumental Monument

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Two Kinds of People

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hell Is Lines and Other People

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

North-South

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Global Monoculture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Franprix

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Unsafe Spaces

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Bigger Splash

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Casino

Taking a gamble on a book

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Offline

A stroll through an empty Louvre

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Greetings from Paris

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Traffic Stop

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Going Native

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Keith Obadike’s Blackness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#RIP Madness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Living Like White People

The disorientation of growing up privileged and black

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Monday, September 07, 2015

Roberto Bolaño’s “Last Evenings on Earth”

The unbearable sadness of fathers and sons

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Monday, September 21, 2015

James Baldwin's America

Truths both hard and timeless

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Harlem Notes

A writer goes uptown

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 02, 2011