The facts of life. He learns them at Bournemouth, in the following order. (1) The body is a fragile thing. His brother, not yet four, trips over a beach ball and snaps his leg. He is in hospital for three months, while the fractured limb heals. (2) Life can be short. A pair of fledgling blue tits ho…
A Soap Opera From Hell
‘It comes as no surprise when an ophthalmist informs him that the tears he does produce–the consequence of various allergies–are deficient, poor-quality facsimiles of the real thing.’
Longreads for the Lockdown
Doctors, solitude and the stones within us – for fiction about isolation, it has to be Haruki Murakami. Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin.
Plague Diary: March
‘Things have changed without seeking permission.’ A plague diary of this March, by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn.
‘Our view of the morning’s entertainment was restricted by the width of the door frame.’ Bruce Chatwin writes about his imprisonment during a coup in Benin.
The Leech Barometer
‘A leech bodes this: you will, sooner or later, overflow yourself. ’ Rebecca Giggs on leeches and the borders of the human body.
The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror
‘Her eyes fluttered open and I felt like I was at the edge of the mouth of a cave, with every intention of jumping in.’ For pure escapism, lose yourself in the nineteenth-century Paris of Carmen Maria Machado.