Lauren Aimee Curtis | Notes on Craft
‘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.
Little nothings: Nabokov’s road notes
Elsa Court on why Vladimir Nabokov immersed himself in the all-American world of roadside service stations.
Julia Armfield | First Sentence
‘A first line is a threat, I think.’ Julia Armfield on the first sentence of her story ‘Longshore Drift’.
‘She has never been very keen on the thought of herself as other people see her.’
Field Notes on a Marriage
‘I tell myself it doesn’t do to fixate too much on the dead: apart from everything else, they can’t answer you.’
‘I released the picture of my mother’s breast, which resized itself to auto-fit my smartphone’s display.’
‘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.’
The Wind That Lays Waste
‘Leni’s last image of her mother is from the rear window of the car.’
‘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
‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’
The Way to the Sea
‘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.’
A Memory Palace for Brothers Who Flew Just Close Enough to the Sun & Created the Storm
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey remembers Binyavanga Wainaina.
Mother and Son:
Life and Fate
‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’
‘Vicky says I’m crazy. She said worse things too last night. But who could blame her?’
‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’
At Yankee Stadium
‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time.’
The Zoo in Basel
‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’
Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.
‘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.’
In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia
Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.