The Foreign Correspondent
‘The absence of Indian foreign correspondents was, and is, unexceptional.’
‘When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters.’ 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for Africa.
The Emotional Life of Plants
An exciton consists / of the escaped negative / (electron) / and the positive hole / it left behind.
Best Book of 2008: The Alphabet
Rae Armantrout on why Ron Silliman's The Alphabet is the best book of 2008.
The Gentlest Village
‘You are learning – learning a great deal. It is too much for you, so your body bows out. Then you wake up and you can continue.’
A Numbered Graph That Shows How Each Part of the Body Would Fit Into A Chair
‘It’s a simple truth that one can occupy two / places at one time while sitting in a chair—the same way a / poseable doll can be divided from her dress.’
‘The word money popped up like a bit of the ocean’s detritus riding in on a wave, but her lips formed the words ‘Merry Christmas’.’
‘The second year, I noticed before anyone else that the Coelophysis was trying to escape.’
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.
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.’
This is New
‘None of this would have happened if I’d just taken a deep breath, suppressed my emotions and said to the young woman, “Leave. Now.”‘
In 2007 Katherine Boo travelled to Annawadi – a slum built on Mumbai Airport land – to document the lives of the families living there.
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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
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.
Five Things Right Now: Urvashi Butalia
Urvashi Butalia is the co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist press. She shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
The Florida Motel
‘Suddenly she understood what she was doing here. She was among strangers, the place where Bill had chosen to spend his life.’
Krapp Hour (Act 2)
‘this is my theory of her awake all night worrying about little wild animals active in the dark’
Robertus Heimric, Welcome Back
‘He was the one survivor who remembered nothing.’
Younger Daughter’s declaration that ‘Othello sucks’ prompts a conflicted response from Father.
‘What am I doing in London? And what’ll I do once I’m back in India?' Amit Chaudhuri on identity, youth and nostalgia.
Honk Honk to Udvada
‘Oh Uncle, it’s such a historical day,’ said Zahra. ‘The eight hundredth anniversary of our arrival in India after we faced so much persecution in Iran, and we’re going to such a big bash, and all you can think about is emus. What will Dr Billimoria think of our family?’
‘What they are excavating is the birth of a civilisation.’
Five Things Right Now: Caroline Criado-Perez
Caroline Criado-Perez, journalist, activist and author of Do It Like A Woman, shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about.
About the Cover
‘I took myself off to the woods, the fragments of the great forests that once spread over our continent.’
Rain at Three
‘Rain at three splits the bed in half, / cracks at windows like horsemen blistering / through a century of hibernation.’
Cairo: September 2014
‘Over the past few months, the government has been ad-libbing the time.’