‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’
Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.
The Ferryman Is Dead
Here, more die than are born. There’s a refrigerator at the bottom of the lake. The ferryman is dead. No one is coming to take his place.
A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War
Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.
The Atlantic Wall
This chain of Nazi fortifications stretching from the Norwegian Arctic to France’s western frontier with Spain is one of Europe’s least acknowledged monuments.
‘My curiosity about lesbianism was an accomplice of my feminism: a path that allowed me to be sexual and free.’
‘I longed to know what she was thinking, what she did all day when she wasn’t performing rituals.’
The Argentine Episcopate
‘I started working for the Bishop of San Julián in 1939, not long after the death of my husband.’
‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’
‘Desire was a slapping, bone-chilling wind the likes of which did not exist this close to the equator.’
Five Things Right Now: Darcey Steinke
Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Mona Simpson | First Sentence
‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’
Five Things Right Now: Sarah Thornton
Sarah Thornton, author of 33 Artists, 3 Acts, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
‘I had a new persona I’d been planning to introduce the first day of school: a girl wise beyond her years who was not at all nerdy or spastic or prone to crying jags.’
‘When he stepped into the cage he was doing battle with a disease. The disease was the feeling of powerlessness that takes hold of even the most powerful.’
‘I walk out of the theatre in a daze. I’ve glimpsed something. But a glimpse, as it turns out, is not enough.’
‘Red sadness never appears sad . . . it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside down penny concealed beneath a tea cosy.’
Be Careful with that Fan
‘I was stuck in Texas for a month. The days passed like slow-motion films.
‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’
Einstein on the Beach
‘So many thugs in any century how crush them all? / All passports stamped for the underworld’
Akhil Sharma | Five Things Right Now
Akhil Sharma, a Granta Best Young American Novelist and author of new novel Family Life, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about.
Filling Up With Sugar
‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’
‘It was like trying to go back to before the earthquake, to before knowledge.’
‘Bakamonotako felt she didn’t need all eight of her appendages. Four would do.’
In the Light of What We Know
‘My wife and I were both the children of Pakistanis, immigrants, Muslims, and we had faith that our union was of things greater than ourselves.’
‘It took me seven years of marriage to figure out that my wife is a hardcore Pearl Jam fan.’
‘Peter Mitchell died on a frontier, not so much between black and white, or between the landed and the landless, as between the past and the future.’