The leg with the bum knee drags as he walks. The caretaker runs ahead to shut off the water valves, start up the pump. His only remaining staff are the ageing caretaker and a fat housekeeper who doesn’t let a day go by without airing out the rooms, to let some life pass through, as she says.
Top Reads 2020
Qualities of Earth
‘The slutty ingenuity of vegetables when it comes to desire and reproductive methods is a marvel.’
Rebecca May Johnson negotiates allotment culture.
The Second Career of Michael Riegels
‘Globalisation is incomplete: money can go anywhere, but laws cannot.’
Oliver Bullough on one of Britain’s most contested outposts: the British Virgin Islands.
Learning to Sing
‘You discover during your very first lessons that the problem of singing better involves overcoming many other problems you had not ever imagined.’
A new story from Lydia Davis.
‘She began to count; it was easier this way, counting, because she would not have to remember how she felt.’
An excerpt from Ukamaka Olisakwe’s Ogadinma.
‘Like any desert, I learn myself by what’s desired of me—
and I am demoned by those desires.’
From Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz.
Translated by Katrina Dodson
Katrina Dodson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at University of California, Berkeley, where she is writing a dissertation on Elizabeth Bishop, Clarice Lispector and questions of geographical imagination. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's and Two Lines.More about the translator →