Explore essays and memoir
Best Book of 2008: The Alphabet
Rae Armantrout on why Ron Silliman's The Alphabet is the best book of 2008.
Best Book of 1901: The Octopus
Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.
Best Story of 1965: ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’
Aimee Bender on why Flannery O’Connor's ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is the best story of 1965.
Best Book of 2003: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke
Daisy Hildyard on why Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hooke is the best book of 2003.
Best Book of 2015: After The Dance
Dimitry Elias Léger on why Jan Gaye's After the Dance is the best book of 2015.
Best Book of 1981: Lanark
Lorna Gibb on why Alasdair Gray's Lanark is the best book of 1981.
Best Book of 2017: Shadowbahn
Jonathan Lethem on why Steve Erickson's Shadowbahn is the best book of a year to come.
Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon
Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.
Best Book of 2006: The Re-Emergence of Global Finance
Oliver Bullough on why Gary Burn's The Re-Emergence of Global Finance is the best book of 2006.
Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo
Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.
Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.
Bad Luck, Britain
‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’
‘Restored nature would be a phantom of its former self. The experience would be akin to visiting a wildlife park.’
Introduction: What Have We Done
‘There is an apocalyptic feeling in the air. I write the day after the news that the IS have blown up parts of the ancient site of Palmyra.’
‘The effort to know a place deeply is, ultimately, an expression of the human desire to belong, to fit somewhere.’
‘I liked the way she travelled: with her iPod in one pocket, her traditional Yup’ik woman’s knife, or ulu, in the other.’
An (almost) perfect day
‘I think of the self-portrait as a mirror of all the violence that befalls us.’
‘What they are excavating is the birth of a civilisation.’
Greg Jackson | First Sentence
‘I am being, I believe, about as forthright as I am being coy.’
‘There was a time in my life when I lived in hotels. Around this time, the time I did not spend in hotels was time I did not live.’
‘To the delight of the little kids, who had seen a good deal of killing in their lives, a middle-aged man blew soap bubbles.’
Refugees and Europe: The Swedish Exception
‘What would it take to turn the downward spiral of anti-refugee policies around?’
On the Refugee Crisis
‘I imagine that each of my migrant forebears needed a bit of help on each arrival, a bit of human decency’
Empathy and the New Refugee Crisis
‘What does it take to remind people that you are human?’
On the Refugee Crisis
‘Europe, my love. You have such a long history; and oftentimes such a short memory.’
Fatima Bhutto on the Refugee Crisis
‘In a connected world, how can anyone close their doors?’
First Sentence: Molly Brodak
‘A name is a single small token of selfhood issued at birth, upon which all the rest of one’s person must be built.’