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Explore Essays and memoir

The Museum of Whales You Will Never See

A. Kendra Greene

‘The Icelandic Phallological Museum is smaller than you’d think. The domestic collection of 212 specimens fits in one room.’ 

This Compost: Erotics of Rot

Elvia Wilk

‘Mushrooms sprout from the bathtub grout; disintegrating apples overflow from the trash can. Insects circle. The decomposition is lively and sensorially overwhelming.’

Mother-Wit

Jeffery Renard Allen

‘It would be many years before I understood that around my mother’s sober acceptance of the status quo was a whole culture she had developed for our subsistence and well-being.’

Seeing Things

Emily LaBarge

‘The City of the city is jagged and spiky, tangled, twisted – burned down, paved over, rebuilt, unruly with wealth and poverty side by side, as they have always been.’

Feeling Bullish: On My Great-Uncle, Gay Matador and Friend of Hemingway

Rebekah Frumkin

‘In his suit, with his pigtail and his montera, he was pure potential: he could be masculine vanquisher or gold-embroidered fairy. He was both, actually, at all times, and nobody who came to see him fight thought any less of him for it.’

The Poetry Vaccine

Peter Pomerantsev

‘The quarantine and the closure of borders was giving my father Cold War flashbacks. And while Covid-19 was reducing life and death to statistics, father was using literature to affirm individuality.’

Whatever Happened to Queer Happiness?

Kevin Brazil

‘You never can wholly control the things you cling to. But you can figure out what has made you the surface you are.’

An Education

Ariel Saramandi

‘Once, early on, before he learned such things were never said, my brother approached a white boy in his class with my mother’s maiden name and said they must be cousins. The violence in my family’s home started a year or so later.’

Notes on Craft

Caoilinn Hughes

‘I like to feel contradicted and conflicted by characters.’

The Flowers Look More Beautiful Now Than Ever

Mieko Kawakami

‘It’s hard to imagine a country where a lockdown would function perfectly, but in the case of Japan, which lacks basic individualism, the current situation has bred insidious hatred and division.’

The Covid-19 pandemic

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall on animal welfare, the long history of zoonotic diseases and what we must learn from Covid-19.

Commuting Through Coronavirus

Kikuko Tsumura

‘My friend and her colleagues are being told not to get infected. Infections among employees will affect the company’s reputation, and would be an inconvenience to clients.’

Notes on Craft

Naoise Dolan

‘If something is usually done in novels, but I can’t actively justify doing it, then I don’t do it.’

The Kobold

Daisy Hildyard

In a plain material sense the condition of being alive is that of living inside this contradiction – being membrane-bound.