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A Mother’s Dilemma

Victor Lodato

‘I can hear the girl scratching a pencil inside a notebook. I don’t like it. I’ve asked her not to write about me.’

A Night in the Engadine

John Kaag

John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

At the Edge of Night

Friedo Lampe

An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.

Confessions of a White Vampire

Jeremy Narby

‘Many of the people I was living with considered me a white vampire, who killed to extract human fat.’ Jeremy Narby on the Amazonian myth of the white vampire.

Ghostlands

Jennifer Kabat

Jennifer Kabat on the Anti-Rent War, one of the earliest moments of rural populism in the US, and something few know about outside the Catskill Mountains.

Harmflesh

Margie Orford

‘This burning girl that I am with skin stretched white hot across unfair flesh. Harmflesh.’

If You Start Breathing

Thea Lim

‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’

Imperium

Ryszard Kapuściński

Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.

Objects in Mirror

Maxim Osipov

‘He runs through the events of the day in his mind. Fairly frightening, really: the sudden request for his file, the question about the government. And the silence.’

On Meeting Mrs Obama

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’

Picking Up Nathan from the Airport

Benjamin Markovits

‘When shit like this happens, people don’t walk out on fifteen-year marriages.’

Portion of Jam

Mazen Maarouf

‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’

The Guests

Hisham Matar

‘Strangely, it was Joseph Conrad who introduced me to Edward Said and not the other way around.’

The Politics of Feeling

Nick Laird

‘Everything already is fraying at the edges if not completely gone.’

Two Keiths and the Wrong Piano

Hanif Kureishi

‘My response to the music had reminded me that concealed inside myself was a more excitable and open self raring to get out.’

Vintage 1954

Antoine Laurain

An extract from Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain, translated from the French by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken.