A Mischief of Rats
‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.
A Not-So-Pretty History of Pet Care
‘One day after the next I would figure out what was needed, learn from my mistakes, pay attention to what worked.’
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her - not even her biographers. April Ayers Lawson on Woolf's abuse, and her own.
‘I again told him I wasn’t ready to have sex, and his only response was to lean in and kiss me. The hallway in which we walked seemed to be shrinking, closing in on us.’ – April Ayers Lawson on intimacy after sexual abuse.
All Hail the Holy Bone
‘It is part angel, part lepidopteran, part Rorschach inkblot.’
‘All those appetizing vessels exposed and available, O how delightfully vulnerable they are, it brings a tear to the eye.’
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi | Five Things Right Now
‘The only recurring emotion I remember experiencing was a kind of manic delight at procrastinating.’
Best Book of 2013: Tom Drury’s Pacific
‘There is a remarkable flow to the novel, like that aimless but essential drunken chatter after your third pint.’ John Patrick McHugh on why Tom Drury’s Pacific is the best book of 2013.
Biscotti Boys / On Men Who Wear Living as Loosely as Their Suits
‘salmaan the second son & his mama’s seventh seal by way of underwater & underemployment’
Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts
Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.
Brother in Ice
‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’
‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’
‘It’s dangerous like a very powerful doorbell. / Or a portrait covered with a blanket.’
Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.
En Route to The Promised Land
Ken Light revisits the photos he took of immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the US in the 1980s.
Equal Recognition | Discoveries
In an article for the LA Review of Books, Deborah Smith discusses the politics of literary translation and the backlash she received after winning the Man Booker International Prize.
‘even more it was a wish for boundless spaces, a wish for the inexpressibly wide and broad, for the unharnessing of human life’ – New poetry by Sharmistha Mohanty.
Fathers and Sons
‘For a while it wasn’t clear how good he would become, and then it was. He went up the rankings, stopped, and started going down.’
Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov
‘A piece of boxwood, gripped in a vise, / waits on the workbench for his knife.’ Poetry by Lev Ozerov, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, and introduced by Robert Chandler.
Nuala O’Connor’s short story about Nora Barnacle, and her first meetings with James Joyce.
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
Can infidelity make up for infidelity? New fiction from John Patrick McHugh.
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’
‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’
Karl Ove Knausgaard | The Proust Questionnaire
'What is your most unappealing habit? Maybe all the brain-like chewing gums I leave behind everywhere I work.'
Large Black Rooster
‘Early one morning in the month of June, someone ran over a huge black rooster on County Road W in Wisconsin hill country.’
Lisa Moore | Notes on Craft
‘I wanted to explore what a “likeness” is, and how the act of capturing a person through a portrait might compare to writing a character.’
Masculinity Is Leaving The Male Body
‘If we’re gonna imagine this beautiful queer paradise what form does a man take?’ – Seabright D. Mortimer on constructing masculine identity in genderqueer spaces.
Téa Obreht on a chance encounter with a moose in Wyoming, for Granta 142: Animalia
No Machine Could Do It
‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’