Explore essays and memoir
Round-Up 2017 | Editor’s Picks
We've put together a round-up of our favourite pieces from 2017 – stories, essays, readings, poetry and extracts from some of the best novels of 2017.
When We Fight, We Have Our Children With Us
‘We are all politically involved whether we like it or not, and children are already on the frontlines.’
Anosh Irani | Notes on Craft
‘The interiority that we keep speaking of in fiction is built on pain’
Mountains Don’t Know Borders
‘In the Balkans, the present is often perched precariously on top of the past.’
Doubling and Redoubling | Discoveries
Photographs, e-fiction and daylight saving time. Our favourite pieces published elsewhere this week.
Letter to Razan Zaitouneh
PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer – we stand in solidarity with writers who have suffered persecution exercising their freedom of expression.
Ten Books that Changed the World
Martin Puchner on ten books that have changed the course of world history.
Mary O’Donoghue | Notes on Craft
In this new series, we give authors a space to discuss the way they write – from technique and style to inspirations that inform their craft.
‘They joked about how tough they’d be by the time they got home.’
Writing While Worried
‘Just as it can spur me on, worry is adept at stifling and silencing.’
The Book Tree
‘I dreamed of dictionaries. I crammed myself with liquorice, honeymoons, caramels.’
What is it that hurts?
‘Our visibility and our affirmation as a people is established through our language.’
The Canada Pictures
‘In the year leading up to this I started collecting objects that, in some way, evoked a sense of Canadianness in me.’
‘Language is a risk that a nation takes. If a language survives, its people do too.’ Translated from the French by David Homel.
Écrire Avec Facultés Affaiblies
Comme il a grandi, j’ai pensé, puis j’ai passé la débarbouillette sous l’eau tiède du lavabo de la salle de bain.
L’Arbre aux livres
En ce temps si proche, Dieu était partout et personne ne pouvait l’assassiner.
Plus tard, ils me diront comme tu étais un grand homme. Un savant. Un érudit de la chasse.
Political resistance, poetry, self-revelation all spring from that provocative, impish drive to burst free from external constraints.
The File: Lost Then Found
‘Even for those of us who feel we have integrated our history, there can be fragments, like shrapnel, that push to the surface without warning.’
Language In Exile
One summer’s day, for the first time, Mitzi broached the past. Past in the present, so present, with everything it had deposited in this room that suddenly seemed so vast. Everything that the grim tide deposits on the shores of a life.
Grinning Inanity | Discoveries
This week – deconstructing Percy Pig, the middle-class gummy bear, and celebrating Philip Pullman, who has finally written another book.
Among the Citizen Soldiers
Karan Mahajan visits Lexington, Virginia – a centre of the Confederary – in the wake of the far-right rally in Charlottesville.
‘Did she process my gentle hand in the same way as the objectifying touch of the men before me? Did she know the difference?’
Brian Dillon on the Prozac craze of the 90s, and his experience taking the infamous antidepressant.
The Nobel Laureate Club | Discoveries
This week we bring together some of the best writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – a collection of stories and essays by Nobel laureates.
Kazuo Ishiguro Wins the Nobel Prize
The Nobel Committee announced the award by saying that Ishiguro, ‘in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.’
Getting Away With It
A case of Russian espionage from Tim Phillips' book The Secret Twenties: British Intelligence, the Russians, and the Jazz Age.
The Survivals of Lafcadio Hearn
‘Did Hearn feel comfortable in Japan because being a foreigner overshadowed his physical difference?’
Out of the Cell
‘I was inside a silence that was not an absence of noise so much as the living presence of everything I habitually walked – or sleep-walked – past.’