Explore Essays and memoir
The Comrades and I
Mona Abouissa on her experiences with Egyptian communists, and the role they played in Egypt before 1952, when they were excised from official history.
Russia on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
‘The Russian people suffer from a victim complex: they believe that nothing depends on them, and by them nothing can be changed.’
Political resistance, poetry, self-revelation all spring from that provocative, impish drive to burst free from external constraints.
Between Great Fires
‘This is the perennial anxiety – that at any moment, day or night, you might be snatched and shackled and tried and sent back.’
Out of the Cradle
‘What had formerly been a sedative, a tranquilizing soporific, had morphed into a facilitator of reflection, contemplation, deliberation, even inspiration.’
Elif Batuman | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘The power imbalance built into travel writing is just a heightened version of an imbalance that’s there in all writing.’
Tara Bergin | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘If you laugh and tell me I am only speaking metaphorically, I will reply: what other way do you expect me to speak?’
The Back Way and the Way Back
Despite emerging from two decades of misrule under Yahya Jammeh, many Gambians still aspire to go ‘the back way’ into Europe.
‘Did she process my gentle hand in the same way as the objectifying touch of the men before me? Did she know the difference?’
Same-same but different | Discoveries
This week’s Discoveries features translation in all its many articulations.
Writing While Worried
‘Just as it can spur me on, worry is adept at stifling and silencing.’
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.
Andrew Brown on Swedish society and the Trollhättan school attack.