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Bitter Tennis

Lucy Ives

‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’

Hungerwinter and Liberation

Jan Vegter

Jan Vegter’s remarkable visual and written record of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, translated from the Dutch by Theo de Feyter.

Postpartum

Geeta Tewari

‘I put the breast milk in the fridge and lie down on the bed. I pretend I am dead, underneath the earth with a bag of Cheetos.’

A London View

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes shares a view of London from his childhood.

If You Start Breathing

Thea Lim

‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’

Portion of Jam

Mazen Maarouf

‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’

Her Left Hand, The Darkness

Alison Smith

Alison Smith on the week she spent with Ursula K. Le Guin.

Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal

Holly Pester

‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’

The Best Book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles

Kathryn Scanlan

Kathryn Scanlan on the best book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles.

Best Book of 1921: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Will Harris

‘I wanted to understand the world and why it hurt, and soon I stumbled on the Tractatus’ Will Harris on the best book of 1921.

Best Book of 1966: Season of Migration to the North

Ayşegül Savaş

‘Of course, literature cannot be separated from its flesh of language and form. Nor can its tangible subject explain why it moves its reader, through the subtleties of language, or the shadowy geographies that it leaves to the imagination.’

Best Book of 1999: Ai’s Vice

Jillian Weise

‘I love Ai’s work because it gives me permission and reminds me that poetry invented fiction. I needed that in 1999 and I need it today.’

Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson

Chris Power

Chris Power on the Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson.

Best Book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi

Naben Ruthnum

Naben Ruthnum on the best book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki's The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi.

Best Book of 1934: Bruno Schulz’s Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe)  

David Hayden

David Hayden on why Bruno Schulz’s Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe) is the best book of 1934.

Best Book of 2011: Kingdom Animalia

Nell Boeschenstein

‘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

Danny Denton on why Fran Lock’s Dogtooth and Gavin Corbett’s The Giving Light are the best books of 2017.

Best Book of 2005: Zadie Smith’s On Beauty

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes on why Zadie Smith’s On Beauty is the best book of 2005

Best Book of 1953/1994: Trans-Atlantyk

Jennifer Croft

‘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

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

Sam Byers on why William Vollmann’s Imperial is the best book of 2009

Best Book of 2013: Tom Drury’s Pacific

John Patrick McHugh

‘There is a remarkable flow to the novel, like that aimless but essential drunken chatter after your third pint.’ John Patrick McHugh on why Tom Drury’s Pacific is the best book of 2013.

Why Should You Be One Too?

Spencer Reece

Spencer Reece on alcoholism, homosexuality, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.

Kings of the Yukon

Adam Weymouth

An extract from Adam Weymouth’s Kings of the Yukon, winner of the Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award in association with the University of Warwick

Man of Principle

Roy Chicky Arad

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

Jane Campbell

‘The lust of an old man is disgusting but the lust of an old woman is worse. Everyone knows that.’

Sixteen Forever

Tishani Doshi

Tishani Doshi on #MeToo, Anand Jon Alexander, and being sixteen in Chennai, India.

Kathryn Scanlan | Notes on Craft

Kathryn Scanlan

‘I try to write a sentence as unbudging and fully itself as some object sitting on a shelf in my office.’

The Trouble With Rape

April Ayers Lawson

April Ayers Lawson on rape, trauma, and the difficulty of speaking out about sexual abuse.

On M.I.A.

Momtaza Mehri

Momtaza Mehri on M.I.A. – part of a series on modern musical icons.

Letter from Zaria

Pwaangulongii Dauod

Memoir by Pwaangulongii Dauod, who writes from Zaria, Nigeria.

En Route to The Promised Land

Ken Light

Ken Light revisits the photos he took of immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the US in the 1980s.