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Self-Made Man

Mark Gevisser

Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

The Husband Stitch

Carmen Maria Machado

‘I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them.’

Etgar Keret | Interview

Etgar Keret & Sophie Lewis

‘Usually my wife makes fun of me.’

Scavengers

Adam Johnson

‘I was dying to buy something, anything that would help my wife and children understand the profound surrealism and warped reality I’d experienced on my research trip to North Korea.’

Girl on Girl

Diane Cook

‘Marni on Mack. Mack in Marni. A little Mack and Marni. My head rushes. I want to watch, hear the sounds.’

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’

The Indian Uprising

Ann Beattie

‘Then winter ended and spring came, and I thought, even if I don’t believe there’s a poem in anything any more, maybe I’ll write a story.’

Self-Portrait

Martin Amis

‘You’ve got your catflap, I’ve got my guy.’

The Mast Year

Diane Cook

‘Sounds like a mast year . . . it’s a thing that happens to trees. But sometimes it happens to people too.’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

‘Certain moments send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue’

River So Close

Melinda Moustakis

‘She’s a good-for-nothing chummer. If she survives a week on the slime line without cutting off her thumb or slicing her wrist, she’s hired.’

The Magic Box

Olivia Laing

‘It never gets dark in Times Square. Sometimes I’d wake at two or three or four and watch waves of neon pass through my room.’ An essay on David Wojnarowicz's work, life and archives.

The Bees that Disappeared

Keiichiro Hirano

‘It was during this period that I got to know K, one of the local mailmen.’

Sam Lipsyte and Diane Cook in Conversation

Diane Cook & Sam Lipsyte

‘The bewilderment was productive, and relit a good fire under my instinct, which I didn’t have to conflate with certainty.’

When Did I Become a Writer?

Mia Couto

‘I am often asked when I became a writer, and I have taken to not rushing my answer.’

Small Differences

Catherine Lacey

‘Everyone should just sit very still until they reach the calmer waters of later-young-adulthood, that promised land of lowered expectations.’

Bad Seeds

Masatsugu Ono

‘Evil, she told herself. That was the name of the flower.’

Ventimiglia

Joanna Walsh

‘Love is constant revolution, pure disruption, it can never be stilled.’

Ann Beattie | First Sentence

Ann Beattie

‘Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea.’

Final Fantasy III

Tao Lin

‘On the F train to Manhattan I emailed a friend in the UK. I said I couldn’t write my essay about Japan.’

Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’

The Chronicle of the Wrinkled-Face Sheikh

Salman Natour

‘No other inanimate object retains emotion as strongly as keys do. Fingerprints are engraved on them as if the laws of wear and tear do not apply.’

Fiona Benson | Interview

Fiona Benson & Rachael Allen

‘I’ve always wanted to write from the gut, to write instinctively rather than cerebrally.’

Thank You for Having Me

Lorrie Moore

‘Every day there was something new to mourn and something old to celebrate.’

A Clean Marriage

Sayaka Murata

‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.

The Love Machine

Julia Elliott

‘Beatrice was my first love. The dark contours of her delicate skeleton, the glowing flesh made translucent by my X-ray gaze, drove me crazy.’

Hare in Love

Sam Coll

A wry, fanciful fable about how love can transform both nature and fate.

The Atlantic Wall

Ianthe Ruthven

This chain of Nazi fortifications stretching from the Norwegian Arctic to France’s western frontier with Spain is one of Europe’s least acknowledged monuments.

My Chess Teacher

Ricardo Lísias

‘The environment, however, wasn’t a hostile one. Though it was filled with the strangest guys in town, they were only there to play.’

The Making of a Writer

Kent Haruf

‘I learned to live completely inwardly in those years.’

Mona Simpson | First Sentence

Mona Simpson

‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’

David Peace and Kyoko Nakajima in Conversation

Kyoko Nakajima & David Peace

‘When we talk about history, the dangers of embellishment, fabrication and wilful distortion are ever-present’