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Best Book of 1901: The Octopus

Rob Magnuson Smith

Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.

Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo

Louise Stern

Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.

Bad Luck, Britain

Fredrik Sjöberg

‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’

Introduction: What Have We Done

Sigrid Rausing

‘There is an apocalyptic feeling in the air. I write the day after the news that the IS have blown up parts of the ancient site of Palmyra.’

The Legacy

Fred Pearce

‘It created not just a climate of fear, but also a landscape of secrets.’

The Middle Ages: Approaching the Question of a Terminal Date

David Szalay

‘What is left? What is he to wrap himself in, now that everything has floated off into space?’

We Were Holy Once

Amber Sparks

‘We see things most folks can’t.’

Two Poems

Caitlin Scarano

‘didn’t antlers grow from his head / whenever my mother’s back was turned?’

Budapest 2015

Wojciech Tochman

‘To the delight of the little kids, who had seen a good deal of killing in their lives, a middle-aged man blew soap bubbles.’

Refugees and Europe: The Swedish Exception

Göran Rosenberg

‘What would it take to turn the downward spiral of anti-refugee policies around?’

Five Things Right Now: Max Porter

Max Porter

Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about.

If You Were a Bluebird

Juliana Spahr

‘So the dolphins talks, talks, over thirty distinguishable sounds.’

Introduction: Possession

Sigrid Rausing

‘Possession takes many forms, and at the heart of it is death and dereliction, invasion and submission.’

The Buddhist

Alan Rossi

‘Loneliness is the extra, the part that’s unnecessary.’