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One Day I Will Write About This Place

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘We are, it seems, in the middle of nowhere.’

Arithmetic on the Frontier

Declan Walsh

‘These days the tempest of Taliban violence ripping across the frontier has shaken Peshawar to its core.’

Frank’s Place

Richard Williams

‘Marilyn Monroe spent a couple of nights at the Cal-Neva. Sinatra knew she was in a bad way.’

Letter from Wyoming

Brad Watson

‘Before I moved to Wyoming in 2005, I was – like a lot of people outside this region, it turns out – not quite sure just where it was.’

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Woman’s Body: An Owner’s Manual

Evie Wyld

‘In the year before my first period, my mother gives me a book called Woman’s Body, An Owner’s Manual.’

Ventimiglia

Joanna Walsh

‘Love is constant revolution, pure disruption, it can never be stilled.’

Persian Love

Alan Warner

‘It is 6:22 of what beauty and life's joy there is to extract’

Notes from New York

James Wolcott

‘Now and then it can appear that an entire magazine is opening up the silks, searching for a soft place to land.’

The Aesthetics of Resistance

Peter Weiss

‘His whole life, he had declared while still at work on this painting, was nothing less than a continual struggle against the backwardness of thought and the killing of art.’

Self-Consciousness: Memoirs by John Updike

Edmund White

‘The freedom conferred by masks. Children and current wives cannot blame you for what your characters do and say.’

Stevenage

Gary Younge

‘In 1988 my mother took the bus to Stevenage town centre to do the weekly shop, came home and died in her sleep.’

Joburg

Ivan Vladislavić

‘When a house has been alarmed, it becomes explosive.’

Wrestling with Translation

Jeffrey Yang

‘As I embarked on my adventure I immediately started to feel that old hatred for simplified Chinese characters.’

The Case Against Babies

Joy Williams

‘Babies, babies, babies. There’s a plague of babies.’

Searching for Pavese

Alejandro Zambra

‘Something’s gone awry with this article. My intention was to remember, in his birthplace, a writer I admire, and it’s clear that my admiration has waned.’

In Gikuyu, for Gikuyu, of Gikuyu

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘My first name, Binyavanga, has always been a sort of barometer of public mood.’

Barrenland

A Yi

‘I no longer feared that she would entrap me; my heart would not soften.’

Liberation Day

Christa Wolf

‘The world stubbornly refused to end and we were not prepared to cope with a world that refused to end.’

In the Shadow of the Hospital

Tim Winton

‘All that yearning spilling down amid the treetops and roof ridges, a shadow I’d never properly considered before.’

Veterans of a Foreign War

Elliott Woods

‘If they’re willing to do this for their country then I should be willing to make the same sacrifices.’

Mrs de Pelet

Evie Wyld

‘I see her with her hands cupped in front of her shouting ‘The “O”, ladies, The Vaginal O’ as we read Shakespeare.’

Waterway

Geoffrey Wolff

‘Six months unwinding, bristling with pitfalls and Sirens and drug dealers and drug agents and anxiety and shoals and snags and reefs and the worst gear-busting winter winds ever recorded in the southern Bahamas.’

A question of identity

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’

Naples is Closed

Barry Unsworth

‘Naples had always been high on the list of places I wanted to visit‘.

L.A. Diary: Notes from a Mexikorean Country

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘I was reassured to see that my hotel does not resemble the one in The Shining.’

Petty Thief

A Yi

‘Stop what you’re doing, I’ve caught the guy! He says he knows kung fu.’

The House of Provisions

Lois Williams

‘A world of soft things stacked deeply.’

Here Come the Tanks

Patrick Wright

‘In these civilian circumstances, unhampered by any opposition from aircraft, landmines, artillery or other tanks, the tank seems unstoppable.’

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

‘Could we somehow have avoided feeding the killer at our own breast?’

New York

James Wolcott

‘Shiny and bright and compact, 'Heartburn’ whirrs along, not so much a novel as an appliance - an appliance whose inner workings are on the fritz.’

My First European

Edmund White

‘I belong to the last generation of Americans obsessed with Europe and intimidated by it.’

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

Holy Solitude

Kong Yalei

‘I always think, either as a reader or as a writer, one person – anyone – can struggle against this filthy world by entering into a world of literature.’

What It’s Like

Anya Yurchyshyn

‘I’d been telling myself I would get there and get through it. I’d been telling myself I was doing the right thing, that no one could escape doing this thing and that was why the thing was right, not wrong.’

King’s Girls

Lindsay Watson

‘The effeteness of a small number of King's students was fascinating to me at first, then repellent, and before long completely uninteresting. They dressed in peculiar clothes, talked in silly voices and appeared to me to be living caricatures of the human race. At times I longed for some familiar ordinariness and found it with boys from other colleges who introduced me to football and pool and pubs.’