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The Comrades and I

Mona Abouissa

Mona Abouissa on her experiences with Egyptian communists, and the role they played in Egypt before 1952, when they were excised from official history.

Russia on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Liza Alexandrova-Zorina

‘The Russian people suffer from a victim complex: they believe that nothing depends on them, and by them nothing can be changed.’

Relinquish

Kazim Ali

‘I haven’t learned very much in my life, I’ve just become a more / Choreographed disaster’

Fat Time

Jeffery Renard Allen

‘Six feet of man, muscled up perfect, game to the heart.’ New fiction from Jeffery Renard Allen.

The Scream

Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida

‘That supremacist is the idea, in those brothers and sisters of mine, of shyness (which no one understands) being an encumbrance that they should purge as they try to find in their interaction with the world a perfect mixture of disdain, meekness and expansiveness.’

Fourth Person Singular

Nuar Alsadir

‘The wet in the air is like signal anxiety: life is about to / change.’

Clown School

Nuar Alsadir

Political resistance, poetry, self-revelation all spring from that provocative, impish drive to burst free from external constraints.

Summer

Molly Antopol

‘Maybe you heard about the sticks of dynamite he set along military rail routes, waiting for them to spark and explode.’ New flash fiction from Molly Antopol

The Secular World

Nadeem Aslam

‘There is no lack of talent in this country. All we lack is decent leaders.’ Pakistan’s secular world runs against fundamentalism in Nadeem Aslam’s latest novel, The Golden Legend.

Between Great Fires

William Atkins

‘This is the perennial anxiety – that at any moment, day or night, you might be snatched and shackled and tried and sent back.’

The Martians Claim Canada

Margaret Atwood

‘Mushrooms have long memories. Some of them are thousands of years old. However, they are not always very talkative.’

4 3 2 1: Overture

Paul Auster

‘According to family legend, Ferguson’s grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket’

A Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word For

Jesse Ball

‘My friends, what I mean is, this life is shallow like a plate. It goes no further.’

On Stage

Bandi

‘Where emotions are suppressed and actions monitored, acting only becomes ubiquitous, and so convincing that we even trick ourselves.’

The Farm

Nicola Barker

‘Yes. Oh yes. That is who we once were. The Young must never, ever allow themselves to ignore what has brought them here.’

Out of the Cradle

John Barth

‘What had formerly been a sedative, a tranquilizing soporific, had morphed into a facilitator of reflection, contemplation, deliberation, even inspiration.’

Essay

Gary Barwin

‘the heart is an ocean-sized drum / a rat-sized jellyfish’

Two Poems

Gary Barwin

‘it’s philosophy / coming from everyone at once // like a ballgown worn by the sky’

Elif Batuman | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Elif Batuman

‘The power imbalance built into travel writing is just a heightened version of an imbalance that’s there in all writing.’

Tara Bergin | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Tara Bergin

‘If you laugh and tell me I am only speaking metaphorically, I will reply: what other way do you expect me to speak?’

The Remains of the Day

Emily Berry

‘I am lying in the foetal position on a beach in the east of England.’

The Republic of Motherhood

Liz Berry

‘a cardigan / soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk’ – New poetry from Liz Berry.

The Back Way and the Way Back

Will Boast

Despite emerging from two decades of misrule under Yahya Jammeh, many Gambians still aspire to go ‘the back way’ into Europe.

Davos Woman

Trisha De Borchgrave

‘Did she process my gentle hand in the same way as the objectifying touch of the men before me? Did she know the difference?’

Same-same but different | Discoveries

Ka Bradley

This week’s Discoveries features translation in all its many articulations.

A Pinch of Salt

Andrea Brady

‘When we’re close to weaning / ourselves history gives us its reasons / to return’

The Blue Clerk

Dionne Brand

‘Now you are sounding like me, the clerk says. I am you, the author says.’

Écrire Avec Facultés Affaiblies

Fanny Britt

Comme il a grandi, j’ai pensé, puis j’ai passé la débarbouillette sous l’eau tiède du lavabo de la salle de bain.

Writing While Worried

Fanny Britt

‘Just as it can spur me on, worry is adept at stifling and silencing.’

Trollhättan

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown on Swedish society and the Trollhättan school attack.

The New Me

Halle Butler

‘But I feel sure. Making some decisions today, no doubt about that! Not thinking about certain things today, no doubt about that!’

Three Poems

James Byrne

‘Another kind of people hobgoblins / the minds of little men.’

Caravan of Freedom

Nicola Lo Calzo

When Fidel Castro died, his funeral procession was called a ‘Caravan of Freedom’, and extended 900km, from Santiago to Havana.

Two Poems

Vahni Capildeo

‘Fingers twirl / composite stems whose colour / twist rock-candies, snake-ladders / precious yellow, less-rare green.’

Microtravel: Home and Away

Vahni Capildeo

‘The place I thought I knew best had become unknown territory, by the perhaps not-so-simple process of taking a few steps.’

Assuming the Habits of the Day and Night

Vahni Capildeo

‘my every day is a being in of being / a mixity of worlds’