Best Book of 2011: Kingdom Animalia
‘As the title suggests, this is a book about the family of animals, the family of man, and the family of family.’
The Best Books of 2017: Dogtooth & The Giving Light
Danny Denton on why Fran Lock’s Dogtooth and Gavin Corbett’s The Giving Light are the best books of 2017.
Best Book of 1953/1994: Trans-Atlantyk
‘The most Polish novel of the twentieth century was written in Argentina and published in France.’
Best Book of 1919: The Years Between by Rudyard Kipling
Robert Chandler on why The Years Between by Rudyard Kipling is the best book of 1919
Best Book of 2009: William Vollmann’s Imperial
Sam Byers on why William Vollmann’s Imperial is the best book of 2009
Man of Principle
A novelette by Roy Chicky Arad, written after one of the wars of Israel in Gaza. Translated from the Hebrew by Maayan Eitan and Oded Even Or.
Susan and Miffy
‘The lust of an old man is disgusting but the lust of an old woman is worse. Everyone knows that.’
Tishani Doshi on #MeToo, Anand Jon Alexander, and being sixteen in Chennai, India.
Letter from Zaria
Memoir by Pwaangulongii Dauod, who writes from Zaria, Nigeria.
‘A middle-aged woman in teddy bear-spangled pajamas came hurtling down on a flatbed tricycle.’ Pallavi Aiyar returns to her old Beijing hutong.
The Editor’s Chair: On Daša Drndić
‘Language is always logic, no matter which language it is.’
Yokosuka blue line
‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’
Turn the River
‘Backtrack / to the bones of the matter, which are the bones themselves.’
I Will Never See the World Again
‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.
The Swallow’s Nest
Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.
Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft
‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.
‘Rihanna had cut her hair short, and she was no longer being marketed as the Caribbean Beyoncé.’
‘I Am Going to Speak to You about Anxiety’
‘Her mother was still sitting on the sofa, stroking the left armrest while she talked.’
Writing Like Degas Paints
Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’ nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence Is My Mother Tongue.
A coming-of-age story about an awkward roommate on Roosevelt Island, ordering bisexual porn tapes from catalogues and writing summaries of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for a living.
Slip of a Fish
‘Charlie’s swimming. Six strokes then she turns to breathe, six more and all the way to the end of the length. She’s a swimmer, Charlie. She’s a bit of a fish, a slip of a fish.’
Reflections on shame in sacred spaces
‘At sunset the light is both nasty and nice / in my robe.’
Lucia Berlin Writes Home
Nina Ellis on the life and writing of Lucia Berlin. ‘If Berlin's collections were houses, their hallways would change direction without warning, and their rooms would be bright and dark at the same time.’
Full Moon on a Dark Night
A new photo-essay by Soumya Sankar Bose that recreates the dreams of his LGBT friends in India.
Breasts: A History
‘My breasts are shrinking. As my fat redistributes it settles in my belly and leaves my chest.’
Cowboys and Angels
‘I had me a cowboy once on a hot steam Friday night.’ New fiction from Chelsea Bieker.
Cassiopeia (three back-to-front songs)
‘Anyway, I did not die. / I lined the sky, inside-out.’ Translated from the Georgian by Jean Sprackland and Natalia Bukia-Peters.
Of Donuts I Have Loved
‘Krispy Kremes melt at the touch, are tender and loving, are used by my family to perform a wholeness we do not always feel’
Every Day Was Ordinary
‘A life is an open thing / leaking out into / the air around it.’
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
‘You repeat this over and over. You pinch your nipples harder. Then harder and harder still. You twist them. You dare them to say Mercy. You stare into your own eyes that are watching you from the mirror.’