The Ungrateful Refugee
‘I was born in 1979, a year of revolution, and grew up in wartime.’ Dina Nayeri on growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
How I Write My Books
Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.
‘Just look at those nasty trees flaunt / their leaves, each one a tra-la-la.’
‘The bro has a pair of plump dogs over which he deploys nauseating quantities of ketchup.’
Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.
Rules for Visiting
‘It wasn’t until the end of dinner, when my aunt started clearing and my grandmother demanded another bottle of wine, that I began to understand.’
Pajtim Statovci | Notes on Craft
‘My childhood was pierced not only by the violence in Kosovo but also by the violence my immigrant family was confronted with in Finland.’
The Summer After the War
‘As it was, my grandfather began helping me to paint without my having to ask him.’
‘Characteristically my wife refused to be drawn into the situation while I became obsessed with it.’
The Fall of Saigon
‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’
‘It was a harsh and brutal puberty: the tiny creatures began to fret, as if an inner sense had forewarned them of the torment in store’
The Imam and the Indian
‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’
‘Vicky says I’m crazy. She said worse things too last night. But who could blame her?’
‘I naively believed as a child that I would always have a father present, and the truth seems to be that I always will.’
‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’
The Snow in Ghana
‘We always carry it to foreign countries, all over the world, our pride and our powerlessness.’ Translated from the Polish by William Brand.
The Little Winter
‘She remembered being happy off and on that day, and then looking at things and finding it all unkind.’
At Yankee Stadium
‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time.’
The Zoo in Basel
‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’
Dreams for Hire
‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.
Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.
Where is Kigali?
‘Evariste was the nightwatchman. He and I were alone in the house in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, when the killing started.’
Agnes of Iowa
‘Through college she had been a feminist – more or less. She shaved her legs, but just not often enough, she liked to say.’
Those Who Felt Differently
‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’
‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.‘
‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’