Explore essays and memoir
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
‘You repeat this over and over. You pinch your nipples harder. Then harder and harder still. You twist them. You dare them to say Mercy. You stare into your own eyes that are watching you from the mirror.’
A Summer of Japanese Literature
From manga to crime fiction, contemporary literature to Nobel-Prize-winning classics, here are ten works of Japanese literature worth spending your summer on
Best Book of 1996: The Lost Lunar Baedeker
‘Mina Loy has been a preferred voice in my head, echoing with a signature delirious chant as a kind of primordial poetry mother.’
Breasts: A History
‘My breasts are shrinking. As my fat redistributes it settles in my belly and leaves my chest.’
Carys Davies | Notes on Craft
‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’
Danny Denton | Notes on Craft
‘My tuppence on craft is this: as a writer, you must give your reader space to experience the world of your story (whatever form it takes)’
‘More than once the new dog was aggressive, a stab of fire, but I did not tell the grown-ups. I feared they would take him away.’
‘Didn’t we remember lyrics fine before we had the internet in our pockets?’ Danny Denton on the lost art of sing-songing.
I Bite My Friends
‘The Easter Parade is winding down, when I spot Him. Her. Them. The Apparition.’
I Will Never See the World Again
‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.
It’s Only Skin
‘I knew what it was to be an object of desire, and to be submissive.’ Lily Dunn on being a painter's model as a girl.
Karl Kraus and Veza
‘It was natural that the rumors about both these people should reach me at the same time; they came from the same source, from which everything new for me came at that time.’
Kent Will Tear Us Apart
All the Devils Are Here was cursed with the status of a cult classic. It’s a book that people who’ve read it, especially writers, can never forget.
Lucia Berlin Writes Home
Nina Ellis on the life and writing of Lucia Berlin. ‘If Berlin's collections were houses, their hallways would change direction without warning, and their rooms would be bright and dark at the same time.’
Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft
‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.
Of Donuts I Have Loved
‘Krispy Kremes melt at the touch, are tender and loving, are used by my family to perform a wholeness we do not always feel’
‘There is something about the presence of coyotes that makes any place feel wilder than it is.’
'I never worried about my flat catching fire before Poppy came along.' Caroline Criado-Perez on her pet Poppy.
since feeling is first
‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’
Telling My Story
‘I wonder if they could all smell the queer on me, the queer in me, the burgeoning sexuality that I had no words for at the time.’
The Agony and Ecstasy of Escape
Will Boast on how Bernini's Apollo and Daphne helped him write his latest novel
The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti
‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Daša Drndić
‘Language is always logic, no matter which language it is.’
The Falconer and the Hawks
‘A fine balance of precision and coiled unsparing instinct, all contained within a gossamer skein of feather, skin, muscle and bone.’
The Farmer’s Son
‘I’m twenty-nine and I’ve never delivered a calf myself. But that’s all about to change’
‘I didn’t start my journal with the idea of recording my progress toward the ultimate truth.’
Ways of Looking
‘He is like a mantling hawk, his heft and body spreading over his prey as he tears off pieces of her with his eyes.’ Lulah Ellender on the male gaze.
What Do Women Want?
‘What we’re arguing about turns out to be how to speak to each other at all.’
Who Killed Tolstoy?
‘I walked along the birch-lined alleys of Yasnaya Polyana, looking for clues. Snakes were swimming in the pond, making a rippling pattern. Everything here was a museum.’