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Explore Essays and memoir

Notes from an Island

Tove Jansson & Tuulikki Pieitilä

‘When we woke up, the whole ocean was full of broken ice.’

An excerpt from Notes from an Island, with artwork by Tuulikki Pietilä and memoir by Tove Jansson, translated by Thomas Teal.

The Overspill

Elaine L. Wang

Elaine L. Wang remembers friendship, flag-raising ceremonies and class elections at elementary school in Beijing.

Larger than an Orange

Lucy Burns

An excerpt from Larger than an Orange, a book by Lucy Burns about abortion.

Notes on Craft

Lauren Elkin

On journal keepers, from Sei Shōnagon to Susan Sontag.

Talismans of Blood and Memory

Philip Kurian

On the worldwide campaign to return sacred objects to the ancestral communities from which they were taken.

Chase Scene

Dodie Bellamy

Dodie Bellamy remembers her partner, the poet Kevin Killian.

The Sum of Life’s Troubles Makes a Whole Damn Dish

Nuraliah Norasid

‘I have become the muscle of the operation, folding butter and egg yolks into the flour and kneading all two kilograms of dough’.

Nuraliah Norasid on women’s work.

Notes on Craft

Juliet Jacques

Juliet Jacques on writing her trans and non-binary characters into being.

Pourquoi avec son Père?

Jeet Thayil

‘To read Baudelaire, he said, is to gather up the world and bring it inside.’

Jeet Thayil on remembering Baudelaire in Paris and Cochin.

Ill Feelings

Alice Hattrick

‘Unravelling refers to a textile that was once complete’.

A Burning Bird

O Thiam Chin

On intimacy and national service.


Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces our summer issue.

A Series of Rooms Occupied by Ghislaine Maxwell

Chris Dennis

‘What is the metaphor of the room? Of the house. Of the neighborhood.’

Chris Dennis on incarceration.