Alicja Gescinska | On Europe
‘Europe has proved to be at its best when it embraced unity in diversity.’
‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’
‘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.’
New fiction from Rebekah Frumkin, featuring psychiatrists brandishing DSM–5, delusions, transference and the menacing voice of Alex Trebek.
Glimpses of a totally different system
‘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.’
How I Became an SJW
‘I had become a pacifist in the time it took to run between the bedroom and the bathroom of a London flat.’
Laurent Gaudé | On Europe
‘Fervent social awareness and civic passion have deserted today’s Europe.’ Translated from the French by Alison Anderson.
‘Which deaths are tragic and which are not? Who decides what is big and what is little?’
‘The bro has a pair of plump dogs over which he deploys nauseating quantities of ketchup.’
‘The sister has a headful of fine hair down to the small of her back. The golden colour of maize silk, her weave is not stiff and waxy like Chipo’s, but moves in the breeze.’
for Shy Brides
‘The husband, when we are introduced, will already be the husband.’
Martin Goodman | Notes on Craft
Martin Goodman on why it took him twenty years to write his latest novel, J SS Bach.
Michael Hofmann | On Europe
‘For all its flimsiness, the cage takes itself terribly seriously, restricting access, glorying in the name of Fatherland.’
My Biggest Insecurity About the Garden
‘Pathos is suffering. But is it suffering to realize a dream, however puny?’ New fiction by Caoilinn Hughes.
Romesh Gunesekera | On Europe
‘Identity, it seemed, was not so self-determined after all.’
Harley Hern’s ‘Screaming’ is the Pacific regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Srećko Horvat | On Europe
‘We are the ones who are responsible for not repeating the mistakes of the past.’
‘The Berlin Wall ran a couple of kilometres from here and there was no getting over it.’ An extract from Anna Funder’s Stasiland, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.
Ten Thousand Feet
‘I go up and watch the avenue through the window. Noise and more noise. An avenue of insects, stray bullets and snipers sprawled on the rooftops.’
The Biggest House on Earth
‘What is happiness? Nothing other than pausing at the bottom of the stairs to admire the portrait of a beautiful queen from some distant, foreign land.’
The Fall of Saigon
‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’
The Imam and the Indian
‘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.’
The Poem in the Pocket
‘The note stated that it was by Borges, and I believed that, or at least I wanted to believe it.’
The Summer After the War
‘As it was, my grandfather began helping me to paint without my having to ask him.’
The View from this End
‘It lay like a sodden comma, curled up against its mother, and no one realised it was dead.’
Those Who Felt Differently
‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’
‘This had happened once before, / when my life first split / into comfort and pain.’
We Do Not Know Each Other
‘Is that what family is for? Helping you to understand what formed you?’