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My Chess Teacher

Ricardo Lísias

‘The environment, however, wasn’t a hostile one. Though it was filled with the strangest guys in town, they were only there to play.’

Terror

Kimiko Hahn

‘The lemon shark / who returns to the same mangrove-lined shallows / every year to give birth.’

Five Things Right Now: John Darnielle

John Darnielle

John Darnielle, author of the debut novel Wolf in White Van, shares five links of what he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

S.J. Naudé and Ivan Vladislavić In Conversation

S.J. Naudé & Ivan Vladislavić

‘In rapidly transforming societies, writers may lose the space they’ve built their imaginative lives around.’

Orion’s Belt

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘Well, if the Bible, Greek tragedies and Star Wars have taught me something it’s that anything of great importance will eventually come in threes.’

Biographical Detail

Ángel González Muñiz

‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.

When Did I Become a Writer?

Mia Couto

‘I am often asked when I became a writer, and I have taken to not rushing my answer.’

The Abyss

Rebekah Frumkin

‘I came home this past fall to the Chicago suburb where I’d lived with my parents from age nine until I left for college in 2008, and I moved back into my childhood bedroom.’

Red Space: Promoting a Socialist Destiny

Justin Jampol

Space posters were ‘visually stunning representations of the promises of the Soviet state’.

The Chronicle of the Wrinkled-Face Sheikh

Salman Natour

‘No other inanimate object retains emotion as strongly as keys do. Fingerprints are engraved on them as if the laws of wear and tear do not apply.’

Nawzat Shamdin | Interview

Nawzat Shamdin & Larry Siems

‘I remain what I have always been, a human being first, and then an Iraqi. And then I am a writer.’

Data Recovery

Diego Collado

‘The viewer has to pour their own unconscious into interpreting these images, make them their own, allow themselves to be encouraged by the existence of a void.’

Introduction: Fate

Sigrid Rausing

The last time I wrote about fate was in an article for the Guardian on...

Domain

Louise Erdrich

‘Seven corporations control the afterlife now, and many people spend their lives amassing the money to upload into the best.’

Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’

Key Stroke

Will Self

Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.

How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’

Self-Made Man

Mark Gevisser

Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.

Apparition

Mark Doty

‘an orange plastic basket of compost / down from the top of the garden – sweet dark, / fibrous rot, promising’

Some Heat

Miranda July

‘No one knows why ripping up a name makes a person call – science can’t explain it. Erasing the name also works.’

Miracles

Francisco Goldman

The violence the retablos depict, the calamities of fate, weather, accidents or of illness, move us because they distil so powerfully what we already know all too well.

The Ferryman Is Dead

Saša Stanišić

Here, more die than are born. There’s a refrigerator at the bottom of the lake. The ferryman is dead. No one is coming to take his place.

A Hebrew Sibyl

Cynthia Ozick

‘And so began what I was to become. To all these things – the admonitions and the testimonies, the rites and the annunciations – I had easily acquiesced.’

A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War

Anjan Sundaram

Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.

Blasphemy

Fatima Bhutto

The tourists are gone. They’ve fled to Islamabad, along with the landlords and the hoteliers and the battalions of police that used to defend them, and certainty has left with them.

The Atlantic Wall

Ianthe Ruthven

This chain of Nazi fortifications stretching from the Norwegian Arctic to France’s western frontier with Spain is one of Europe’s least acknowledged monuments.

Where the World War Began

Joseph Roth

The World War began in Sarajevo, on a balmy summer afternoon in 1914. It was...

The Alphabet of Birds

S.J. Naudé

‘She is standing there, her body like a lamp, waiting for the glass to break.’

Salad Days

Barbara Ras

‘nothing in those early evenings free / of care could have prepared you’

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.’

Books and Roses

Helen Oyeyemi

‘A golden chain was fastened around her neck, and on that chain was a key.’

Hare in Love

Sam Coll

A wry, fanciful fable about how love can transform both nature and fate.

Tourist

Andrea Stuart

‘My curiosity about lesbianism was an accomplice of my feminism: a path that allowed me to be sexual and free.’

Living Goddess

Isabella Tree

‘I longed to know what she was thinking, what she did all day when she wasn’t performing rituals.’

The Making of a Writer

Kent Haruf

‘I learned to live completely inwardly in those years.’

Five Things Right Now: Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky, author of the poetry collection, Rome, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.