My husband and I were in Tivoli, and we went to the gardens at Villa d’Este. He’d been to Italy before, but it was my first trip. There were rails in front of the fountains because the water was so polluted, they wanted to keep you from being splashed.
Our most popular reads of 2018
Who Killed Tolstoy?
Elif Batuman travels to the International Tolstoy Conference in Russia to determine, once and for all, if Leo Tolstoy was murdered.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her – not even her biographers.
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
Nell Boeschenstein on the fraught discourse surrounding post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Jillian Weise explains what being a cyborg really means.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.
Five Things Right Now: Ann Beattie
Ann Beattie shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
‘The word money popped up like a bit of the ocean’s detritus riding in on a wave, but her lips formed the words ‘Merry Christmas’.’
The Indian Uprising
‘Then winter ended and spring came, and I thought, even if I don’t believe there’s a poem in anything any more, maybe I’ll write a story.’