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Explore Essays and memoir

A Portrait of My Mother

Michael Collins (Photographer)

Photographer Michael Collins on his mother’s life following a series of strokes.

Typical Global and Typical Local Food

Héctor Abad

‘However, there are countries with an almost secret culinary culture, unknown to the immense majority of the world.’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

‘Ever since this happened to me, I haven’t really believed in free will.’

A Rationalist in the Jungle

Héctor Abad

‘A pale-faced, near-sighted urbanite like me is nothing less than handicapped in the heart of the jungle.’

Road to Chitral

Azhar Abidi

‘I wonder sometimes when this cycle of violence began. When was year zero?’

But Why Write? The Writer-To-Be

Walter Abish

‘How to explain this resolve to write, this firm unwavering intent to become a writer on the part of someone who may not even really care for books?’

The Comrades and I

Mona Abouissa

Mona Abouissa on her experiences with Egyptian communists, and the role they played in Egypt before 1952, when they were excised from official history.

Fork in the Road

Leila Aboulela

‘I left Sudan in 1987 – I was 23 years old and the idea of writing was the furthest thing from my mind.’

In Freud’s Shadow

André Aciman

‘We all have ways of placing markers on our lives.’

Benjamin Pell Versus the Rest of the World

Tim Adams

‘You hear Benjamin Pell long before you see him.’

In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.

Writing Like Degas Paints

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’s nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence Is My Mother Tongue.

Operation

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘I like to think now that he knew how much I liked him, from the beginning, and that we were both equal participants in the ritual.’