Explore essays and memoir
Jianan Qian | First Sentence
‘For every witness, history unfolded at some other time, and in some other place.’ Jianan Qian on the first sentence of her story, ‘To the Dogs’.
The Emperor of Ice Cream
‘Death is terrifying and impossibly big, but life is even bigger – vulgar, relentless, ruthless.’
Lemons in Winter
‘I wonder why I am always the last to let go. I wonder if there is any amount that will ever be enough.’
Read an excerpt from Raja Shehadeh’s Going Home, a reflection on ageing, failure, the occupation, and the changing face of Ramallah.
Night on Fire
‘I know what’s going to happen and I know that it’s going to be bizarre.’
Distributed Denial of Service
‘Once you learn to seal the shell, to make it watertight, you can let anything roil around in there.’
How I Write My Books
Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.
Pajtim Statovci | Notes on Craft
‘My childhood was pierced not only by the violence in Kosovo but also by the violence my immigrant family was confronted with in Finland.’
‘I naively believed as a child that I would always have a father present, and the truth seems to be that I always will.’
‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.‘
The Power of a Name
‘When English is the dominant everything, you can’t help wanting to fight for the little speck of the rest of your self.’
The Nine Circles
‘The body wants to escape suffering at all costs. The body wants to live.’
‘Touch had its own language, and the rules were the opposite of the ones I knew at home.’
Feeling Southern: A Patagonian Story
‘I was harbouring a southern feeling, a deep connection with the South of this real world, where I was born and will probably die.’
‘Indigenous chefs will tell you that their dishes are Indigenous, not Canadian. With the plate, these chefs demonstrate that the food is the land, and that the land is still theirs.’ Zoe Tennant on Indigenous cuisines.
When We Returned to Pakistan
Bina Shah on growing up in Pakistan. ‘Culture shock was what they called it in those days, but to me it felt like a kidnapping.’