Amy Bloom | Five Things Right Now
Amy Bloom shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Acts of Infidelity
‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.
Oh, the Obvious
‘A wizened spring, the sickly prickly pear and organ pipe cacti were so riddled with holes they might have been targets.’
The Duchess of Albany
‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’
Days of Awe
‘He is the War Correspondent, she is the Transgressive Novelist. They have been flown in for the summit on Genocide(S).’
‘Last year father attacked me as a “wet radish”. This caused me to give up writing diary entries.’
‘I like to think the ones who are worst at coloring will remember me the longest.’
Lake Like a Mirror
‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.
‘a man caught my eye as I was about to cross the road / and asked to shake my hand. You have a kind face, he said.’
The Last Shopkeepers of London
‘It became a kind of mission to find contemporaries of theirs that weren’t closing down, establishments that have continued to flourish, or at least endure.’
‘It’s dangerous like a very powerful doorbell. / Or a portrait covered with a blanket.’
‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’
Root and Branch
‘I am my father’s daughter, a former prisoner of war and “suspicious person” who spent ten years in the Gulag.’ Translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon.
Mall Camp, Seasons 1 & 2
‘Each turn he took, there’d be another face. Each concourse held a voice, importuning, beckoning.’
Karl Kraus and Veza
‘It was natural that the rumors about both these people should reach me at the same time; they came from the same source, from which everything new for me came at that time.’
‘In my crumbling country every day, / people spend their lives standing in lines / to buy designer sneakers.’
Jacques Testard | The Editor’s Chair
‘It is clear when reading Svetlana Alexievich that she has a deep empathy for the characters whose stories she tells.’
‘The rabbits are gentle and timid – in fact, they behave as rabbits normally do – but nonetheless their size is troubling.’
Carys Davies | Notes on Craft
‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’
Painter to the King
‘There are many facets to being a king; and yet all edges must appear burnished to a perfect smooth orb, shining at the centre of his empire.’ An extract from Painter to the King by Amy Sackville.
The Leech Barometer
‘To be consumed by leeches is to be vital, to be animate, though it is also to be reminded you are something else’s prey, and therefore porous and mortal.’
‘I’m going to die out here he thought, I’m going to die trying to save this beast in front of my boy.’
Brother in Ice
‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’
‘We hope that the copilot knows the terrain well. That his mask of youth conceals the face of a seasoned veteran of war. That he knows the minefields because he helped plant them.’
‘Imagine all the prodigal / People, hoping only to / Escape every human mistake.’
An extract from Kudos, the final novel in Rachel Cusk’s trilogy, following Outline and Transit.
‘She is luscious / and plump like marshmallow; part edible baby, / part nosy neighbour.’
In the Valley of Coachella
Novelist Susan Straight and photographer Douglas McCulloh on the presidential streets of the ‘real’ Coachella
Who Killed Tolstoy?
‘I walked along the birch-lined alleys of Yasnaya Polyana, looking for clues. Snakes were swimming in the pond, making a rippling pattern. Everything here was a museum.’