‘I’m not sure I even thought of him as a person, really. He was more just this – phenomenon.’
The Mezzanine, or: The Most Important Book About Nothing You’ll Ever Read
‘It’s like taking an escalator trip into someone else’s mind for an hour, finding nothing of actual substance up there, and realising, as you retreat mournfully back into your own skull, that there’s nothing there, either.’
Death Takes the Lagoon
Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.
‘Non-native species have been blamed for being invasive the way that immigrants have been blamed for causing crime.’
The Valley and the Stream
‘Why does serotonin make you happy? How does it affect mood? What is mood? What is depression? How does any of this stuff work?’
Your Delicate Body
‘And it wasn’t that day, or the day after, but sometime after that, you cried in your kitchen.’
‘She’d blinked at me kindly and said it must be sad when your country no longer exists, then returned to pulverising her asparagus.’
Notes on Craft
‘While writing we recover memories, recover moods, and we start to interpret them.’
Notes on Craft
‘The reader doesn’t need to have answers, but they do need to have theories.’
Night as It Falls
‘There wasn’t much money. His father had been blunt: the classes were fine, the rest wasn’t.’
‘In a sense, we had been waiting for the Ripper to visit for months, even years.’
Laundry Bills and Manifestos
‘The great pleasure of archive work lies in searching for these secrets known and unknown.’
Having and Being Had
‘What does it say about capitalism that we have money and want to spend it but we can’t find anything worth buying?’
‘The moment in childhood when one realizes that one is Black is profoundly disorienting.’
An interview with the winner of the 2020 Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award.
‘grief is an animal. we all know that. but which animal / exactly? what kingdom, what family, is it ever a fish?’
‘This makes more sense to me as a bodily practice: that desire to push one’s physical limits well beyond their natural bounds.’
Best Book of 1891: The Birds of Manitoba
‘During the pandemic, birds (along with many insects and wild plants) have landed in my life and poems again.’
Best Book of 1978: Who Do You Think You Are?
‘I have read them so often that sometimes I cannot remember what is mine and what is hers’
Best Book of 1992: The English Patient
‘I had been in England, a semi-foreign country, for a few months, and when I was asked where I was from, I had no easy answer.’
Best Book of 2019: Better Never Than Late
‘This book is about how to navigate the thorny valley of dead dreams. Some will survive the ordeal; others will tip over the edge, irredeemable.’
Best Book of 1886: The Masterpiece
‘Zola’s characters are, in every sense of the term, art monsters.’
Best Book of 1959: Mrs Bridge
‘When the book was published, my own parents were children in India, then a newly independent nation.’
Best Book of 1946: The Years of Anger
Robert Chandler on why The Years of Anger by Randall Swingler is the best book of 1946.
Best Book of 1480: MS Egerton 1821
‘The original owners of many devotional books kissed, licked, rubbed, scratched at, and cried upon their pages.’ Elvia Wilk on the best book of 1480.
Best Book of 1998: Symbiotic Planet
‘Symbiogenesis is horizontal and anarchic, a frenzy of illicit fusions and mergers – energies coming together for mutual benefit.’
Daisy Lafarge on the best book of 1998.