Best Book of 1901: The Octopus
Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.
Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo
Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.
Bad Luck, Britain
‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’
Introduction: What Have We Done
‘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.’
‘It created not just a climate of fear, but also a landscape of secrets.’
The Middle Ages: Approaching the Question of a Terminal Date
‘What is left? What is he to wrap himself in, now that everything has floated off into space?’
‘didn’t antlers grow from his head / whenever my mother’s back was turned?’
‘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
‘What would it take to turn the downward spiral of anti-refugee policies around?’
Five Things Right Now: 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
‘So the dolphins talks, talks, over thirty distinguishable sounds.’
‘Possession takes many forms, and at the heart of it is death and dereliction, invasion and submission.’