Explore essays and memoir
To the Castle and Back
‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’
Addressing Mental Health Through Reading Well
‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti
‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’
The Munduruku People Against Brazil
‘The Middle Tapajós Munduruku are not alone. Indigenous and traditional communities throughout the Tapajós River basin are facing increased degradation of their environment and the cultural sustenance practices that form the foundation of their lifeways.’
since feeling is first
‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
Cormac James | Notes on Craft
‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’
‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’
The Royal African Society takes a look back at the history of the Africa Writes festival, their annual celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.
Ways of Looking
‘He is like a mantling hawk, his heft and body spreading over his prey as he tears off pieces of her with his eyes.’ Lulah Ellender on the male gaze.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.
Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her
‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘Last year father attacked me as a “wet radish”. This caused me to give up writing diary entries.’
The Last Shopkeepers of London
‘It became a kind of mission to find contemporaries of theirs that weren’t closing down, establishments that have continued to flourish, or at least endure.’
Root and Branch
‘I am my father’s daughter, a former prisoner of war and “suspicious person” who spent ten years in the Gulag.’ Translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon.
Karl Kraus and Veza
‘It was natural that the rumors about both these people should reach me at the same time; they came from the same source, from which everything new for me came at that time.’
Jacques Testard | The Editor’s Chair
‘It is clear when reading Svetlana Alexievich that she has a deep empathy for the characters whose stories she tells.’
Carys Davies | Notes on Craft
‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’
The Leech Barometer
‘To be consumed by leeches is to be vital, to be animate, though it is also to be reminded you are something else’s prey, and therefore porous and mortal.’
‘We hope that the copilot knows the terrain well. That his mask of youth conceals the face of a seasoned veteran of war. That he knows the minefields because he helped plant them.’
In the Valley of Coachella
Novelist Susan Straight and photographer Douglas McCulloh on the presidential streets of the ‘real’ Coachella
Who Killed Tolstoy?
‘I walked along the birch-lined alleys of Yasnaya Polyana, looking for clues. Snakes were swimming in the pond, making a rippling pattern. Everything here was a museum.’
Pay for Your Words
Peter Pomerantsev downloads his Facebook data. ‘We seem to be caught in a trap: the more we use a word, the more we will be charged for it.’
Danny Denton | Notes on Craft
‘My tuppence on craft is this: as a writer, you must give your reader space to experience the world of your story (whatever form it takes)’
A Mischief of Rats
‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.
The Great Israeli novel of War and Doubt
Granta editor Anne Meadows writes about Khirbet Khizeh, the great Israeli novel of war and doubt.
The one/many problem
‘Other creatures literally stop me breathing. There are so many of them, and only one of me.’ Daisy Hildyard writes about her research into the animal kingdom.