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Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist

Jenni Fagan

Best of Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan selects five songs that she loves to write to.

False Accounting

Nuruddin Farah

‘That's what money does to one: makes one suspicious.’

Kettle Holes

Melissa Febos

‘They knelt at my feet. They crawled naked across gleaming wooden floors.’

Teaching After Trump

Melissa Febos

‘In a country whose government we do not trust, who do we need more than writers and teachers? And what is more powerful than an inspired youth?’

Best Book of 1993: Written on the Body

Melissa Febos

‘Influences imprint themselves on our consciousness as light does a photograph, or trauma the psyche’

On Buying a Clavichord

James Fenton

‘Your clavichord breathes as sweetly as your heart.’

Kwangju and After

James Fenton

‘Some people said they were not ‘with’ the students. They were not in favour of the use of arms. But they were of one voice in saying that the students were their sons, and that if the army came in the students would be put to death. That was why they kept saying: “Tell the truth about us.”’

The Truce

James Fenton

‘Sotero Llamas was proud of the price on his head.’

The Snap Revolution (Part One: The Snap Election)

James Fenton

‘It was the Cuba of the future. It was going the way of Iran. It was another Nicaragua, another Cambodia, another Vietnam.’

The Snap Revolution (Part Two: The Narrow Road to the Solid North)

James Fenton

‘Most of his life has been spent under Marcos's rule, and his habit of thought was to doubt the story as presented in, say, the newspaper, and to try to guess the story behind the story.’

The Snap Revolution (Part Three: The Snap Revolution)

James Fenton

‘Late that night Marcos came on the television again, and whereas in the previous press conference he had maintained a gelid calm, now he was angry and almost out of control.’

The Fall of Saigon

James Fenton

‘I wanted to see Vietnam for myself. I wanted to see a war, and I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’

Cambodia and Someth May

James Fenton

‘When I first saw the draft of the piece which follows, I realized that the book he was writing had reached an essential stage of articulacy.’

Road to Cambodia

James Fenton

‘The buildings were full of surprises. In one, surrounded by winking lights, the last abbot was lying in his coffin. He had died a year before, and it would be another two years before he was cremated.’

Let There Be Light!

David Feuer

A secular psychiatrist encounters the deeply religious in Brooklyn with unorthodox results.

When We Fight, We Have Our Children With Us

Madeline ffitch

‘We are all politically involved whether we like it or not, and children are already on the frontlines.’

The Snow Geese

William Fiennes

‘Are these great journeys examples of learned or inherited behaviour?’

First Story

William Fiennes

‘We talked a lot about voice – the idea that everyone has a voice, their own voice, and this is something to be valued and celebrated.’

Burying the Bones

Orlando Figes

’There are times when every nation needs to think a little less about its history.‘

The Silent Majority of Cape Town

William Finnegan

‘Next to Mandela sat Allan Boesak, the ANC candidate for premier of the Western Cape province. Great is thy faithfulness, indeed, I thought.’

After Gandhi

Trevor Fishlock

‘His room is as he left it, furnished with a carpet, a spinning wheel, a low white table, a mattress and cushion.’

Beirut Diary

Robert Fisk

‘The nun beside me on the helicopter this morning had a tight, self-righteous face.’

The Oddity of Height

Fergus Fleming

‘The culprit was height.’

Uncle Ed

Keith Fleming

‘Back in 1976 when I was sixteen, my uncle, the novelist Edmund White, rescued me from the messy aftermath of my parents' divorce and brought me to live with him in New York’.

To Thine Own Self Be True

David Flusfeder

‘If Shakespeare’s characters stand for anything, it’s for a slipperiness of identity.’ David Flusfeder on a dog named Shakespeare.

Vinyl Road Trip

David Flusfeder

After an unexpected email, David Flusfeder heads to Detroit to discover his father’s history and the world of vinyl manufacturing.

The Last Shopkeepers of London

David Flusfeder

‘It became a kind of mission to find contemporaries of theirs that weren’t closing down, establishments that have continued to flourish, or at least endure.’

The Tree Farm

Cal Flyn

‘I was going north to find a tree farm, in a land where there are no trees.’

Winterkill

Cal Flyn

‘Wildlife foundations find themselves calling for the deaths of tens of thousands of wild animals.’

Idi’s Banquet

Giles Foden

‘I did almost nothing on my first day as Idi Amin's doctor.’

Bad Faith

Ken Follett

‘Every sect needs jargon. We did not have churches, we had halls; services were called meetings; the congregation was the assembly; elders were overseers’

Tshinanu

Naomi Fontaine

‘Language is a risk that a nation takes. If a language survives, its people do too.’ Translated from the French by David Homel.

Tshinanu

Naomi Fontaine

Plus tard, ils me diront comme tu étais un grand homme. Un savant. Un érudit de la chasse.

El Salvador: An Aide-Mémoire

Carolyn Forché

‘Between 1978 and 1981 I travelled between the United States and Salvador, writing reports on the war waiting to happen, drawing blueprints from memory, naming the dead.’

Where Does Writing Come From?

Richard Ford

‘Occasionally if pushed or annoyed I'll come right out and say it: I make these little buggers up, that's what. So sue me’.