Explore essays and memoir
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.
A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War
Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.
‘My curiosity about lesbianism was an accomplice of my feminism: a path that allowed me to be sexual and free.’
‘I longed to know what she was thinking, what she did all day when she wasn’t performing rituals.’
‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’
Mona Simpson | First Sentence
‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’
‘When he stepped into the cage he was doing battle with a disease. The disease was the feeling of powerlessness that takes hold of even the most powerful.’
‘I walk out of the theatre in a daze. I’ve glimpsed something. But a glimpse, as it turns out, is not enough.’
Be Careful with that Fan
‘I was stuck in Texas for a month. The days passed like slow-motion films.
‘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.’
‘It was like trying to go back to before the earthquake, to before knowledge.’
‘It took me seven years of marriage to figure out that my wife is a hardcore Pearl Jam fan.’
‘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.’