Explore essays and memoir
Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.
‘I was dying to buy something, anything that would help my wife and children understand the profound surrealism and warped reality I’d experienced on my research trip to North Korea.’
Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road
‘Music is a puissant recaller of time past; music is memory's sister and for its very life relies on memory to hold in our minds the passage of sounds through time.’
The Cage of You
‘They treated their bodies like some exotic animal they’d found fast asleep, beings they needed to wake to truly know.’
The Highway of Brotherhood and Unity
‘Back in 1989, we thought the new world opened up by the breaching of the Berlin Wall would be ruled by philosopher kings, dissident heroes and shipyard electricians.’
‘The kitchen telephone would ring and it would be Gustavo Stroessner, the General's son, bellowing in that strange accent down a fuzzy line from Brazil, like an unruly fictional character nagging for a larger part in the plot.’
Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist
Best of Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan selects five songs that she loves to write to.
Do Fish Feel Pain?
‘Our mistake in this debate is to think that these issues can be resolved by science and ethics and the passing of nice clear laws’.
Seven Days in Syria
‘I had come to Syria because I wanted to see a country before it tumbled down the rabbit hole of war’
Doing the Paperwork: Life in the aftermath of a violent death
‘If the pressure of their life didn’t kill her it made the fight too hard.’
India! The Golden Jubilee: Introduction
‘I first went to India twenty years ago as a reporter.’
Footplacers, London Transport, Owls, Wincer-Boise
‘All those footsteps have been gathered up into the footplacer, all those goings are gone.’
The House by the Gallows
‘Along with religion, an unthinking nationalism had become the other god of Pakistan.’
The Last Vet
‘Jalloh likes to keep accurate records of such things. After all, nobody else does.’
The Fall of Vukovar
'Jean Hatzfeld returned to the former Yugoslavia and was severely wounded by gunfire in June 1992'.
‘The last issue of Granta celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and retraced a little of its pre-1979 history as a magazine for and by the students of Cambridge University.’
A Dynasty of Album Cover Art
‘The music is as powerful as it gets and beneath his knife-edge, cutting sarcasm, Fela’s voice rages.’
I Like Being a Woman (And I Hate Hysterical Women)
‘One day my father called me over to explain to me about the little seed, patting my head as if he were offering me his condolences.’
The Tin Drum In Retrospect
‘With the baggage of stored-up material, vague plans and precise ambitions - I wanted to write my novel and Anna was looking for more rigorous ballet training - we left Berlin early in 1956 and, penniless but undaunted, went to Paris.’
Physics and Bonkology
‘Sex Education, like winning the pools, was something that did not happen to us.’
A Fight in Bethnal Green
‘There was no sizing up, no graceful footwork, none of the rhetoric of the game: this was unmitigated invective.’
Two Farms: One Black, One White
‘They were both in their early forties. We drank tea on the veranda, watching the dogs play as the water sprinkler greened the lawn. This was the Africa of the white man's dream, where nature can be subdued inside the compound, but where the bush extends in its thrilling wildness just beyond the fence.’
Those Who Felt Differently
‘The bedside radio came on. A solemn voice, a plain sentence or two, the tune of 'God Save the Queen' played at its most mournful pitch’.
The Two Gardens
‘There are two gardens in my memory. The first was hidden behind the rows of shabby council houses where I grew up.’
Women and Power in Cuba
‘For a feminist like me who considers that the combination of dazzle with drudgery is one of the most insidious ways in which women in our society are subject to stress, the multiplication of contradictory demands upon the Cuban women is a cause for concern.’
House Style: Editing Brazil
‘We’re freaks . . . Why are we still talking about typos?’