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Self-Made Man

Mark Gevisser

Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.

Clara

Janice Galloway

‘She shifts, half in shadow. Whatever else, she's certainly a child. No one is with her.’

Empire

Richard Ford

‘Outside on the cold air, flames moved and divided and swarmed the sky. And Sims felt alone in a wide empire, removed and afloat, calmed, as if life was far away now, as if blackness was all around.’

Rock Springs

Richard Ford

‘But as I read on a napkin once, between the idea and the act a whole kingdom lies. And I had a hard time with my acts, which were oftentimes offender's acts.’

Scavengers

Adam Johnson

‘I was dying to buy something, anything that would help my wife and children understand the profound surrealism and warped reality I’d experienced on my research trip to North Korea.’

Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road

Russell Hoban

‘Music is a puissant recaller of time past; music is memory's sister and for its very life relies on memory to hold in our minds the passage of sounds through time.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

‘What was it like to work in such a place?’

Dance Cadaverous

Uzodinma Iweala

‘It just seemed like the right thing to want, the right thing to do.’

How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’

Made in China

Isabel Hilton

‘Visiting a factory was one thing; working in one quite another.’

Look-Alikes

Nadine Gordimer

‘It was scarcely worth noticing at first; an out-of-work lying under one of the rare indigenous shrubs cultivated by the Botany Department on the campus.’

The Highway of Brotherhood and Unity

Michael Ignatieff

‘Back in 1989, we thought the new world opened up by the breaching of the Berlin Wall would be ruled by philosopher kings, dissident heroes and shipyard electricians.’

Do Fish Feel Pain?

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Our mistake in this debate is to think that these issues can be resolved by science and ethics and the passing of nice clear laws’.

Seven Days in Syria

Janine di Giovanni

‘I had come to Syria because I wanted to see a country before it tumbled down the rabbit hole of war’

The Third Dumpster

Gish Jen

‘Finally, though, it couldn’t be helped; their parents came for a visit. They looked around stupefied.’

Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist

Jenni Fagan

Best of Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan selects five songs that she loves to write to.

The General

Isabel Hilton

‘The kitchen telephone would ring and it would be Gustavo Stroessner, the General's son, bellowing in that strange accent down a fuzzy line from Brazil, like an unruly fictional character nagging for a larger part in the plot.’

The Third Mate

Adam Johnson

‘Please translate that this man is about to get shot.’

The Bees that Disappeared

Keiichiro Hirano

‘It was during this period that I got to know K, one of the local mailmen.’

Footplacers, London Transport, Owls, Wincer-Boise

Russell Hoban

‘All those footsteps have been gathered up into the footplacer, all those goings are gone.’

Doing the Paperwork: Life in the aftermath of a violent death

David Goldblatt

‘If the pressure of their life didn’t kill her it made the fight too hard.’

Highlights

Alan Hollinghurst

‘Surely we’re not going to Rome for discos.’

Some are Born to Sweet Delight

Nadine Gordimer

‘She stopped where she was; sourness was in her mouth and nose, oozing towards the foreign stranger, she mustn’t go a step nearer.’

Losses

Günter Grass

‘In the summer, my wife and I visited the small Danish island of Møn.’

The Father

Kirsty Gunn

‘They never had people who could be fathers here before.’

The First Winter of my Married Life

William Gass

‘Our ears were soon as sensitive as a skinless arm, and we spoke in whispers, registered the furtive drip of remote taps.’

The Error World

Simon Garfield

‘She said that the stamp gave her palpitations.’

Mark Haddon | Podcast

Mark Haddon

‘Sean finds a log to use as a shooting gallery and sends Daniel off in search of targets.’

The House by the Gallows

Intizar Hussain

‘Along with religion, an unthinking nationalism had become the other god of Pakistan.’

Dogfight Over Karachi

Khademul Islam

‘I slowly went down the stairs, feeling my being unspooling.’

What Were You Dreaming?

Nadine Gordimer

‘And I'm careful what I say, I tell them about the blacks, how too many people spoil it for us, they robbing and killing, you can't blame white people.’

India! The Golden Jubilee: Introduction

Ian Jack

‘I first went to India twenty years ago as a reporter.’

A Conversation with Orhan Pamuk

Maureen Freely

‘How do you hold your own in such a climate?’

How He Came to be Nowhere

Jonathan Franzen

‘Andy said no, he wasn't arrogant about his victory.’

Subject+Object

Seamus Heaney

‘Birch is the tree of desire, ashimmer with sexual possibility even when it arrives swathed in botanical Latin.’

Klever Kaff

Ian Jack

‘She was an extraordinary person, and an ordinary one.’