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17 Melbourne Road

Oliver Reynolds

‘A room at the top of the street / preserving his life in sunlight’

1911, The Other Revolution

Isabel Hilton

‘Anniversaries, of course, can be a two-edged sword: they invite historical reappraisal.’

1964

Robin Robertson

Under the gritted lid of winter, each ice-puddle’s broken plate cracked to a star. The...

1979

Aminatta Forna

‘What happened in 1979 has happened many times before and many times since, in places where people have set themselves free and believed with all their hearts that the freedom they had fought for was real and lasting, only to be recaptured.’

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’

6 March 1989

Salman Rushdie

‘Damn, brother. You saw what they did to my face? / Poked out my eyes. Knocked teeth out of place’.

700 Miles

Seba Kurtis & Barry W. Hughes

A photoessay documenting life along the 700-mile concrete and steel border between Mexico and the United States.

9999

John Barth

The word odometer dates from 1791, but mileage indicators didn’t appear as standard equipment on...

(nostalgia)

Juliet Jacques

‘I ended up piecing my life together through other people.’

A Bar on North Avenue

Roger Ebert

‘We regulars knew each other. We dated each other. We slept with each other.’

A Battle

Patrick Süskind

‘Early one August evening, when most people had already left the park, two men sat confronting one another across a chessboard.’

A Beheading

Mohsin Hamid

‘The words are just dribbling out of my mouth. I can’t stop them. They’re like tears.’

A Bizarre Courtship

Ben Okri

‘One morning, more golden than yellow, I went outside to our housefront and saw that the beggars had gone.‘

A Blow to the Head

A.L. Kennedy

‘I am looking for my dead grandfather in the British Library.’

A Bosnian Alphabet

Lawrence Norfolk

‘APOLOGY: A should be for Alphabet: the device I am resorting to in some desperation to structure my thoughts on this subject: my relations vis-à-vis two Yugoslavian wars.‘

A Brief Guide to Gender in India

Minal Hajratwala

‘Please be creative. This is only the beginning.’

A Brief History of a Musical Failure

Catherine Tice

‘At the end of the piece, there was silence, followed by a sudden thunder of feet and bows on the stands. A thrilling noise.’

A Brief History of Fire

Jennifer Vanderbes

‘My happiness was so deep I was afraid to speak of it.’

A Childhood in Broadmoor Hospital

Patrick McGrath

‘These were the friends of my early boyhood, men who twenty years earlier would still have been called ‘criminal lunatics’.‘

A Childhood in Terezin

Ivan Klíma

‘I am trying to reach, in memory, a time before the war began.’

A Child’s Book of Death and Dying

Abraham Verghese

‘A fine morning mist had rolled down over Addis Ababa from the Entoto mountains, leaving a sheen on the lawn between the apartment buildings'.

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.

A Cloudless Sky

Michael Dickman

‘A cloudless sky and I’m back / an ice-cold sky-blue rag / for my eyes’

A Cock Fight

Charles Nicholl

‘And now, the night before the fight, with the moon high and nearing the full, came the final preparation: we were taking him to Auguste.’

A Colossal Hoard

Ian Hamilton

‘For James Boswell, admiration was a busy, intimate affair.’

A Confession

Jess Row

‘I walk out of the theatre in a daze. I’ve glimpsed something. But a glimpse, as it turns out, is not enough.’

A Conversation Piece

George Steiner

‘No. Listen to me. God's confidence in Abraham was not total. Let me hammer out my meaning.’

A Conversation with Orhan Pamuk

Maureen Freely

‘How do you hold your own in such a climate?’

A Conversation with the Head of Orpheus

Russell Hoban

‘Far, far away in the night are live human beings whose breathing can be heard as they speak, and they're looking at their illuminated dials as I look at mine at this end of the darkness that curves with the night miles to the heave and swell of the ocean dawn.’

A Coup

Bruce Chatwin

‘We are having another little change of politics. Nothing more! In these situations one must keep calm. You understand? Calm!’

A Day in the Life in El Salvador

Manlio Argueta

‘I have not failed you, José. I understand that you were saying goodbye when you opened your eye, and that, besides greeting me, you were expressing your pride in me, seeing me standing with my arm around the shoulders of your granddaughter.’

A Description of the Architectural Impact of My Home, Age 7

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘my apartment is neither over / nor under the sidewalk, / but both at once’

A Discourse on the Elephant

Richard Rayner

‘This is not the story of my life, at least not the story of all of it, but it is the story of my father.’