‘The note stated that it was by Borges, and I believed that, or at least I wanted to believe it.’
‘Is that what family is for? Helping you to understand what formed you?’
‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’
Nicole Flattery on why Penelope Mortimer’s The Pumpkin Eater is the best book of 1962.
New fiction from Rebekah Frumkin, featuring psychiatrists brandishing DSM–5, delusions, transference and the menacing voice of Alex Trebek.
‘It lay like a sodden comma, curled up against its mother, and no one realised it was dead.’
‘Which deaths are tragic and which are not? Who decides what is big and what is little?’
‘After all my travels, I can see now what I couldn’t when I started. In the suffering pollution brings, there is also the glimmer of a different future, its outlines visible through the haze.’
Beth Gardiner on why volume one of Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson series is the best book of 1982.
‘Fervent social awareness and civic passion have deserted today’s Europe.’ Translated from the French by Alison Anderson.
‘This had happened once before, / when my life first split / into comfort and pain.’
‘Europe has proved to be at its best when it embraced unity in diversity.’
‘This old circuit, which had been partly dormant, connected to an earlier memory. It was warm and fizzy and sharp. Then he stepped away, and the current was broken.’
‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’
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