Explore Essays and memoir
Notes on Craft
‘I’ve loved experiencing the page as a map, as something to be wandered across.’
Lee Lai on the function of page and panel in comics.
Self-Replicating Textual Worms
‘Sometimes, it is better to not know what is behind the veil, decode the sign.’
Lucy Mercer on motherhood, emblems and obscurity.
Top Reads 2022 | Essays
Our ten most popular non-fiction posts from the year with writing by Katherine Rundell, Fatima Bhutto, Lindsey Hilsum and Jason Allen-Paisant.
Notes on Craft: Does this Count?
‘Is the act of complicating a perfectly nice daydream a craft?’
Ben Pester on the craft of imagination.
The House on El Estero
‘The girl vomited with rage as Jorge recited the prayer. She struggled and squirmed, kicked and spat.’
A story by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes.
On Marguerite Duras
‘Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young.’
Kate Zambreno on Marguerite Duras.
What Feathers Know
‘I see a gull in a car park and they can see the place where it metabolised water into feathers, food into energy, oxygen into blood.’ Stephen Rutt on what isotopes can tell us about birds.
‘What precisely is the sibling relationship, and how does it shape our lives?’
The editor introduces the autumn issue.
‘Up on the light box on the wall are the scans of Gary’s brain, bone white standing out against smoked grey.’
John Niven remembers the last days of his brother, Gary.
‘In essence she acted as though I were the kid her mother had left her to raise.’
Lauren John Joseph on the blurred contours of motherhood.
‘Brother, to be your sister is to confront the possibility of having been other than I am.’
Vanessa Onwuemezi on the meaning of sisterhood.
‘We were so small, palm-sized, that our parents went to a doll shop in Jerusalem to find clothes that would fit us.’
Omer Friedlander writes about his twin.
‘I asked her why she hadn’t told me I had a sister before, and she said she’d thought it was for my father to tell, since she was his child.’
Karolina Ramqvist on finding her estranged siblings, translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.