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Outside the Whale

Salman Rushdie

‘For a man as truthful, direct, intelligent, passionate and sane as Orwell, ‘politics’ had come to represent the antithesis of his own world-view.’

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

Tommy

Donald Ray Pollock

‘I began working at the Mead Paper Company in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the summer of 1973.’

Jim Magee’s Hill

Pamela Petro

‘No one who’s seen The Hill has been able to describe it to me without visceral discomfort. Actually, no one’s been able to describe it at all.’

How to be Gay and Indian

Manil Suri

‘This was supposed to be my great in-your-face coming-out campaign, which I’d fretted over for months beforehand. Had India suddenly lost its conservativeness, turned enlightened, even hip?’

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

Election Night in Nicaragua

Sergio Ramirez

‘There was no room in our dreams for another war.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

‘The thing about a circular walk is that you end up where you started.’

Scarp | New Voices

Nick Papadimitriou

‘His imagination lingers in the woods and fields like a slowly drifting plant community and then dissolves into ditches lined with black waterlogged leaves – a residue of previous summers – and the ghosts of dead insects.’

Cold Storage

Oliver Sacks

‘Uncle Toby was alive, but suspended, apparently, in some strange icy stupor.’

A Guide to the City of Beirut

Fawwaz Traboulsi

‘In Beirut, a well reveals layer upon layer, generation after generation, of ruins.’

West

Caryl Phillips

‘Curling herself into a tight fist against the cold, Martha huddled in the doorway and wondered if tonight she might see snow.‘

Kashmir’s Forever War

Basharat Peer

‘Yes, the gun was from Pakistan, but the stones are our own. That is our only weapon against the occupation.’

The Road to Abyei

John Ryle

‘Bor is a long way from Khartoum – more than 700 miles. There were other hostile groups on the way and precious little food.’

Medtner

Philip Pullman

‘It feels like being a child in a room where adults are having a deep and passionate conversation about important things’

Cinema’s Invisible Art

Jeremy Sheldon

‘Audiences don’t know somebody sits down and writes a picture.’

Other Women

Francine Prose

‘Feminism is as basic to my sense of self as the fact that I have brown eyes.’

When Skateboards Will Be Free

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘My mother and father believe that the United States is destined one day to be engulfed in a socialist revolution.’

Nuclear Arms And The Fate Of The Earth

Jonathan Schell

‘We have lived in the shadow of nuclear arms for more than thirty-six years, so it does not seem too soon for us to familiarize ourselves with them - to acquaint ourselves with such matters as the ‘thermal pulse’, the ‘blast wave’, and the ‘three stages of radiation sickness.’’

Going Abroad

W.G. Sebald

‘In Vienna I visited none of the sights and spoke not a word to a soul’.

Eating the Eggs of Love

Salman Rushdie

‘Forested mesas flanked the road to Matagalpa; ahead, the multiform mountains, conical, twisted, sinuous, closed the horizon.’

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

‘Everyone I met in West Kalimantan had tales of Dayak magic’.

Letters to My Father, Now Dead

Teresa Pàmies

‘I was glad to see General Pavel at your funeral, Father.’

Key Stroke

Will Self

Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.

The Josser

Nell Stroud

‘When I was ten we moved to the country, to a village called Minety.’

The Defeated

Jonny Steinberg

‘Peter Mitchell died on a frontier, not so much between black and white, or between the landed and the landless, as between the past and the future.’

The River Potudan

Andrei Platonov

‘Grass had grown back on the trodden-down dirt tracks of the civil war, because the war had stopped.’

The Seventh Event

Richard Powers

‘Think of mitosis as trillions of slightly near-sighted, plagiarizing students’

The Mercies

Ann Patchett

‘Once you knew what God wanted from your life, you would have to be ten different kinds of fool to look the other way.’

Dervishes

Rory Stewart

‘For a Dervish, religion is all about some direct mystical experience of God’.

After Lockerbie

George Rosie

‘I’ve seen many images from the Lockerbie calamity since but none has stayed with me like the picture of Shannon’s pretty, smiling face.’

A Prisoner of the Holy War

Wendell Steavenson

‘Thayr held out. He would not betray his country, he would not betray his leader.’

God and Me

Lucretia Stewart

‘It’s almost impossible to describe how it feels to believe in God. There really aren’t words elevated enough to explain it.’

An English Exile

Jeremy Seabrook

‘I was never a revolutionary, not really a Marxist.’

Garibaldi

Jeffrey Rotter

‘He chopped his way down North La Salle, pared the night air as he strolled along West Eugenie, peeled and julienned until at last he’d reached the dogleg at Sedgwick and Menomonee.’