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Explore Essays and memoir

On Vulnerability

Katherine Angel

‘Is anyone an authority on themselves, whether on their sexuality or anything else?’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘Perhaps in isolation a new form of communication is emerging, expressing what readers and writers have always told one another, via books and letters and on the literary stage: I hear you. You are not alone.’

The Stinky Ocean

Ian Jack

‘It was a peculiar, alopecic landscape of hummocks and gullies, with patches of grass growing on what looked like white earth, and rarely a soul to be seen.’

When the Cholera Came

Lindsey Hilsum

‘It was hard not to wonder if the disease was a kind of divine retribution – collective punishment for a collective crime.’

Victim and Accused

Vidyan Ravinthiran

‘I’m curious about the refusal to countenance a connection between disparate experiences – a route by which empathy could travel.’

Abbandonati

Rory Gleeson

‘One day, 200 people’s X-rays showed they needed intensive care in order to survive.’

Al-Birr Islamic Trust Morgue, Greenwich Islamic Centre, April 2020

Gus Palmer & Poppy Sebag-Montefiore

‘Palmer’s portraits of Kafil Ahmed sit alongside those of other people risking their lives to take care of others.’

The Mezzanine, or: The Most Important Book About Nothing You’ll Ever Read

Joel Golby

‘It’s like taking an escalator trip into someone else’s mind for an hour, finding nothing of actual substance up there, and realising, as you retreat mournfully back into your own skull, that there’s nothing there, either.’

Death Takes the Lagoon

Ariel Saramandi

Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.

The Valley and the Stream

Danyl McLauchlan

‘Why does serotonin make you happy? How does it affect mood? What is mood? What is depression? How does any of this stuff work?’

Notes on Craft

Ho Sok Fong

‘While writing we recover memories, recover moods, and we start to interpret them.’

Notes on Craft

Natascha Bruce

‘The reader doesn’t need to have answers, but they do need to have theories.’

Bleak Midwinter

Catherine Taylor

‘In a sense, we had been waiting for the Ripper to visit for months, even years.’

Notes on Craft

Rebecca Watson

I was possessed, for a year, by a woman whose name I do not know.