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Mary O’Donoghue | Notes on Craft

Mary O’Donoghue

In this new series, we give authors a space to discuss the way they write – from technique and style to inspirations that inform their craft.

Lagomorph

Alexander MacLeod

‘It is important to establish, before this begins, that I never thought of myself as an animal person.’

The Initials

Alex Leslie

‘There was no inquiry and no report either because we all have new names now.’

verbal pathways

Daphne Marlatt

‘it’s rain / forest wet the same but different air’

The Fjord of Eternity

Lisa Moore

‘Insurance fraud of the sort Trisha investigated involved perps who were dentists with erectile malfunction, men who were scarfing anti-depressants and hit a wall.’

Turbines

Claire Luchette

‘You can decide, whenever you like, that what you feel is no kind of love.’

Among the Citizen Soldiers

Karan Mahajan

Karan Mahajan visits Lexington, Virginia – a centre of the Confederary – in the wake of the far-right rally in Charlottesville.

Two Poems

Anne Michaels

‘I told you how the bison woke / the earth / I knew you were listening’

Blameless

Claudio Magris

‘People think they’re destroying, but it’s hard work, nearly impossible; building is easy, illusory but easy.’

If Mother’s Happy

Kathleen McCaul Moura

‘Towards the end of my pregnancy, like many women, my emotions were taut, stretched thin like the skin round my middle.’

The Fashion of Kathy Acker

Chris Kraus

An extract from Chris Kraus’s new biography, After Kathy Acker.

Comfort Woman

Erika Krouse

Erika Krouse on her work as a private investigator. ‘An escort service was providing prostitutes for football recruits, directly solicited by the university.’

Hallelujah! A Brief History of Bombing People

Ben Mauk

Ben Mauk on the West’s longstanding love of missiles, drones, bombs and nukes.

Nicole Krauss In Conversation

Nicole Krauss

‘The ancient stories we tell, as beautiful as they may be, also serve to shape our conventions about who we think we are or should be’

Possessed | State of Mind

Jules Montague

‘I am neither fully awake nor entirely asleep. In fact, I wonder if I am even alive.’

Catherine Lacey | Five Things Right Now

Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

The Alarming Palsy of James Orr

Tom Lee

‘As it was, this gave the impression of two different faces, two different people, welded savagely together.’

Books Do Furnish a Room

Penelope Lively

‘The shelves say something about the person who has stocked them; they say much.’

Threshold | State of Mind

Barry Lopez

‘What we’re about to see is greater than the thing you’re running from.’

Past Perfect

Jason Larkin

‘Museums are not solely concerned with objects and our collective past, but also with ideas; notions of what the world is, or should be.’

White | State of Mind

Han Kang

‘I was told that she was a girl, with a face as white as a crescent-moon rice cake.’ New writing from Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith.

From the Left Bank of the Flu

Misumi Kubo

‘The big road looked to me like a river, the cars rushing by as if carried along on its current.’

My Heart Hemmed In

Marie NDiaye

‘I stagger from the shock. I feel the corners of my mouth turning down. My jaw begins to tremble. Yes, yes, yes, I say to myself, get ahold of yourself.’

Talking Italish

Antonio Melechi

‘For my mother and father, the past and present had both become foreign countries.’

Blue Self-Portrait

Noémi Lefebvre

‘One piece of luck: I didn’t explain to the pianist how to play the piano.’ Translated from the French by Sophie Lewis.

Daniel Magariel | Five Things Right Now

Daniel Magariel

Daniel Magariel shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

The Death of Margaret Roe

Nat Newman

The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Pacific. ‘Every person has their own secrets, but Margaret Roe had Havilah Brown’s.’

Calorific

John Kinsella

‘They are superbly and viscerally unreal / and I feel their living drive’

Consolata

Nuala O’Connor

‘Daddy always said our apples were blessed because the order lived beside us. He liked to gift crates of Egremont Russets, the sweetest of all his fruit, to the sisters.’

Roma

Deborah Levy

‘Her husband who is going to betray her is standing inside the city of Roma.’ Dreams of infidelity from Deborah Levy.

Remembering Westgate

Sana Krasikov

‘I wonder if the only way to grasp what is terrifying and unimaginable for those of us who haven’t experienced it is to feel around the contours of inescapability, the boundary of its negative space.’

The Answers

Catherine Lacey

‘And each time I hit the tarmac I had this terrible feeling that the trip I’d just taken had never even happened, that I’d spent hundreds for a memory I could barely recall.’

Bright Circle

Ben Lerner

‘Things he dreamt began to show up in the bushes, the plastic figurine from a parachute firework, the small dull rusted circular saw blade he thought of as a throwing star, and he pocketed those things.’

The Anthology

Karan Mahajan

‘Long before terrorism became fashionable in the West and commonplace in the East, there was a bombing at the Sovereign Center in Delhi.’

Lipari

Anthony Marra

‘Frank Laganà stood on the cliff suited in black, as straight as an exclamation point, poised to leap to his death once again.’

This Is Our Descent

Dinaw Mengestu

‘When it came to our son, her defensive instincts were well-developed and all the more necessary because it was hard from the outside to see why we were so protective.’