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Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road

Russell Hoban

‘Music is a puissant recaller of time past; music is memory's sister and for its very life relies on memory to hold in our minds the passage of sounds through time.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

‘What was it like to work in such a place?’

Made in China

Isabel Hilton

‘Visiting a factory was one thing; working in one quite another.’

The Highway of Brotherhood and Unity

Michael Ignatieff

‘Back in 1989, we thought the new world opened up by the breaching of the Berlin Wall would be ruled by philosopher kings, dissident heroes and shipyard electricians.’

Seven Days in Syria

Janine di Giovanni

‘I had come to Syria because I wanted to see a country before it tumbled down the rabbit hole of war’

Do Fish Feel Pain?

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Our mistake in this debate is to think that these issues can be resolved by science and ethics and the passing of nice clear laws’.

The General

Isabel Hilton

‘The kitchen telephone would ring and it would be Gustavo Stroessner, the General's son, bellowing in that strange accent down a fuzzy line from Brazil, like an unruly fictional character nagging for a larger part in the plot.’

Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist

Jenni Fagan

Best of Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan selects five songs that she loves to write to.

The Error World

Simon Garfield

‘She said that the stamp gave her palpitations.’

Dogfight Over Karachi

Khademul Islam

‘I slowly went down the stairs, feeling my being unspooling.’

Footplacers, London Transport, Owls, Wincer-Boise

Russell Hoban

‘All those footsteps have been gathered up into the footplacer, all those goings are gone.’

The House by the Gallows

Intizar Hussain

‘Along with religion, an unthinking nationalism had become the other god of Pakistan.’

Doing the Paperwork: Life in the aftermath of a violent death

David Goldblatt

‘If the pressure of their life didn’t kill her it made the fight too hard.’

Losses

Günter Grass

‘In the summer, my wife and I visited the small Danish island of Møn.’

India! The Golden Jubilee: Introduction

Ian Jack

‘I first went to India twenty years ago as a reporter.’

Lost Cat

Mary Gaitskill

‘I wish I had thought back: “Don’t worry. Stay where you are. I will find you.” Instead I thought “I’m scared too. I don’t know where you are.”’

Bang!

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘My daydreams were full of explosions.’

Xiaolu Guo | My Writing Playlist

Xiaolu Guo

‘The challenge of flowing in one continuous outpouring of language in a novel is my killer.’

Best of Young British Novelists 2003: Introduction

Ian Jack

‘What had been an exercise to publicize the literary novel, at a time when there were few spotlights on this particular branch of culture, might now have a new role as an independent consumer's guide to novelists who deserved to be read in an era where 'a thrilling debut by a young writer of enormous talent' is the standard blurb, and where there are now so many spotlights directed by marketing money and the size of the writer's advance.’

Nicaragua

Christopher Hitchens

‘Nicaragua has always impelled its writers into politics, or exile, or both.’

My Grandmother, the Censor

Masha Gessen

‘Where do crimes begin and end, and who, decades later, can be held responsible?’

Road to Cambodia

James Fenton

‘The buildings were full of surprises. In one, surrounded by winking lights, the last abbot was lying in his coffin. He had died a year before, and it would be another two years before he was cremated.’

The Imam And The Indian

Amitav Ghosh

‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’

Dividing the Kingdom

Pico Iyer

‘I get on the train to hear the funereal call of my boyhood: ‘Reading, Didcot Parkway, Oxford.’’

The Fall of Saigon

James Fenton

‘I wanted to see Vietnam for myself. I wanted to see a war, and I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’

The Fall of Vukovar

Jean Hatzfeld

'Jean Hatzfeld returned to the former Yugoslavia and was severely wounded by gunfire in June 1992'.

Tibetan Dinner

Amitav Ghosh

‘The last time I'd eaten a mo-mo was as an undergraduate, in Delhi.’

The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

‘In Rwanda today so much is unspoken or only whispered.’

The Last Vet

Aminatta Forna

‘Jalloh likes to keep accurate records of such things. After all, nobody else does.’

Brandy

Philip Hensher

‘So there is music and music. It is not easy, after all.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

Ian Jack’s introduction to Granta 87: Jubilee.

Asking for it

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Having my hair cut one morning in February 1999, I fell foul of one of those barber-shop discussions which are a feature of life here in Italy’.

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

‘The last issue of Granta celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and retraced a little of its pre-1979 history as a magazine for and by the students of Cambridge University.’

White into Black

Martha Gellhorn

‘It is hard to believe that, in 1952, there were only two places on earth where blacks could not be insulted or mistreated simply because of their colour: Haiti and Liberia.’

A Fight in Bethnal Green

Jeremy Harding

‘There was no sizing up, no graceful footwork, none of the rhetoric of the game: this was unmitigated invective.’

If God Existed, He’d Be a Solid Midfielder

Aleksandar Hemon

‘I came to this fine country from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the winter of 1992, a couple of months before the war started.’