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Lauren Aimee Curtis | Notes on Craft

Lauren Aimee Curtis

‘I think that if we knew, really understood, the reasons why certain stories take hold of us, we would have no need for fiction at all.’ Lauren Aimee Curtis shares her notes on the craft of writing.

Four Poems

Crispin Best

‘i feel good like a person / holding flowers on a train / feels dumb’

Little nothings: Nabokov’s road notes

Elsa Court

Elsa Court on why Vladimir Nabokov immersed himself in the all-American world of roadside service stations.

Julia Armfield | First Sentence

Julia Armfield

‘A first line is a threat, I think.’ Julia Armfield on the first sentence of her story ‘Longshore Drift’.

Sirens

Jorge Consiglio

‘A knock-off Conrad. He’d drive us to school in his car.’

Three Poems

Anthony Anaxagorou

‘we are born / to a siren and the wail of each other’

Two Poems

Heather Christle

‘I am asking in case it happens, / because anything can and even does.’

Quantum Displacement

Nuar Alsadir

‘I don’t want / to be a figure others lean their names into’

Longshore Drift

Julia Armfield

‘She has never been very keen on the thought of herself as other people see her.’

Field Notes on a Marriage

Te-Ping Chen

‘I tell myself it doesn’t do to fixate too much on the dead: apart from everything else, they can’t answer you.’

Good Progress

Jem Calder

‘I released the picture of my mother’s breast, which resized itself to auto-fit my smartphone’s display.’

Two Poems

Rae Armantrout

‘A glowing purse / that unlatches / with a snap’

Insurrecto

Gina Apostol

‘She does not go home for her mother's funeral because the prospect of return gives her insomnia. She splurges on a coat from Miu Miu instead.’

Two Poems

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

‘You divide space you think time occupies, not motion itself.’

Go, Local Sports Team, Go!

Nicola Barker

‘This is his Toxic Super-Ego at work. Surely?’

The Wind That Lays Waste

Selva Almada

‘Leni’s last image of her mother is from the rear window of the car.’

Fixation

Patty Yumi Cottrell

‘It began with the ant farm in second grade.’

Dolores

Lauren Aimee Curtis

‘There she is: Dolores. Newly named. Sitting at the kitchen table inside the convent, conscious of how bad she must smell.’

The Girls and the Dogs

Kevin Barry

‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’

The Way to the Sea

Caroline Crampton

‘Alone in the silent dark, she traversed the mouth of the estuary in mile-long sweeps, making a little more progress up the river each time she turned. Wind and tide were pushing her away, back towards the sea.’

Hulk

Robert Coover

Robert Coover envisions a Trumpian Hulk for a modern America.

Daddy Issues

Katherine Angel

‘We need to keep the modern, civilised father on the hook.’

Mother and Son:
Life and Fate

Robert Chandler

‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’

Cousins

Angela Carter

‘It sounded like the birth of tragedy.’

A Coup

Bruce Chatwin

‘You do not understand. In this country one understands nothing.’

Menudo

Raymond Carver

‘Vicky says I’m crazy. She said worse things too last night. But who could blame her?’

Glitches

John Gregory Dunne

‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’

At Yankee Stadium

Don DeLillo

‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time.’

The Zoo in Basel

John Berger

‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’

Editorial

Bill Buford

Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.

Editing Vidia

Diana Athill

‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’

The Dreadful Mucamas

Lydia Davis

‘We do not believe they are sincerely trying to please us.’

On Taking Time

Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook on the art of slow writing.

In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.

Our Agent At Dawn

Nina Ellis

‘After I kill him I’ll go to Graceland.’