Milan Kundera was born in Brno in 1929, the son of a famous concert pianist. He joined the Czech Communist party in 1947, was expelled in 1950, reinstated in 1956 and expelled once more in 1970. He was a professor at the Prague National Film School until 1969 when he lost his post in the ‘normaliz…
Top Reads 2021
‘It’s no good joining an existing cult, you have to start one yourself.’
A short story by Japanese author Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, who also brought us Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings.
Have You Met Husband?
‘The oysters were her idea, a way of catching me off guard. I accidentally said yes.’
A story by Amy Silverberg.
‘I often had head lice as a child.’
Memoir by A.K. Blakemore, author of The Manningtree Witches.
A Bleed of Blue
‘I was trying simultaneously to numb the grief I felt and to burrow into that grief, so I could stand in it.’
On love, its absence and Joni Mitchell’s Blue album.
‘I want the poem to destroy time. / What are the ceremonies of forgetting?’
Nick Laird’s elegy for his father, Alastair Laird, who died of Covid-19.
Ian McEwan has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement, made into a film, received the W.H. Smith Literary Award (2002), the National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 1983. His novel Machines Like Me was published by Vintage in 2019 and followed by the novella The Cockroach.More about the author →