Explore essays and memoir
A Thousand Splendid Stuns
‘More important than anything else that fateful year was the life-defining transcendence of Peter Gabriel.’
A Woman’s Worth
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan on the evolution of feminist judgments in India.
‘A woman asked the steward behind the registration desk if our flight to Moscow was domestic or international. “We are still working on that,” the man answered.’
After Zero Hour
‘It seemed there was a little piece of Iraqi earth inside me that refused to let me go.’
An (almost) perfect day
‘I think of the self-portrait as a mirror of all the violence that befalls us.’
Anjali Joseph | First Sentence
‘I kept returning to the Beckett stories, a favourite since I came upon them in my late teens.’
Bad Luck, Britain
‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’
‘There are fragments of a criminal alongside fragments of a dad, and nothing overlaps, nothing eclipses the other, they’re just there, next to each other. No narrative fits.’
‘Restored nature would be a phantom of its former self. The experience would be akin to visiting a wildlife park.’
Best Book of 1901: The Octopus
Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.
Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo
Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.
Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.
Best Book of 1981: Lanark
Lorna Gibb on why Alasdair Gray's Lanark is the best book of 1981.
Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon
Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.
Best Book of 2003: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke
Daisy Hildyard on why Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hooke is the best book of 2003.
Best Book of 2006: The Re-Emergence of Global Finance
Oliver Bullough on why Gary Burn's The Re-Emergence of Global Finance is the best book of 2006.
Best Book of 2008: The Alphabet
Rae Armantrout on why Ron Silliman's The Alphabet is the best book of 2008.
Best Book of 2015: After The Dance
Dimitry Elias Léger on why Jan Gaye's After the Dance is the best book of 2015.
Best Book of 2017: Shadowbahn
Jonathan Lethem on why Steve Erickson's Shadowbahn is the best book of a year to come.
Best Story of 1965: ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’
Aimee Bender on why Flannery O’Connor's ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is the best story of 1965.
‘There are clubs like the Breach Candy Club all over the Indian subcontinent: relics of the Raj, institutions that were set up as bolt-holes for the British, where they could retreat to row or swim or play cricket or race horses.’
‘To the delight of the little kids, who had seen a good deal of killing in their lives, a middle-aged man blew soap bubbles.’
Cairo: September 2014
‘Over the past few months, the government has been ad-libbing the time.’
‘My father has his own language for everything. When I finished my MFA, I was a NINJA: No Income, No Job, No Assets.’
Empathy and the New Refugee Crisis
‘What does it take to remind people that you are human?’
‘After one hundred years, this is what I have: a daguerreotype of her in bridal finery; a few stories told and retold in plantations, kitchens, hospitals, airport lounges.’
Fatima Bhutto on the Refugee Crisis
‘In a connected world, how can anyone close their doors?’
Fatima Bhutto | My Other Thing
‘If you happen to be friends with one of the world’s most fearsome food critics, don’t cook for him.’
First Sentence: Molly Brodak
‘A name is a single small token of selfhood issued at birth, upon which all the rest of one’s person must be built.’
Gandhi the Londoner
‘On 29 September 1888, an Indian teenager with a mild case of ringworm and a fine head of hair sailed into the Thames Estuary.’ Sam Miller on Ghandi's time in London.
‘That single moment’s intensity hasn’t been matched in my life before or since. A woman who I didn’t know has chosen to accept me, in body and mind.’