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My Chequered Europe

Melitta Breznik

‘A Europe of different languages, landscapes and cultures, all of which have retained their characters.’ Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins.

On Being French and Chinese

Tash Aw

‘We were trapped in a sort of double prison: by poverty in Europe, and by China and its expectations of us.’

On High Heels and Lotus Feet

Summer Brennan

Summer Brennan on high heels, foot-binding, and our ongoing performances of gender.

On Taking Time

Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook on the art of slow writing.

On the Island of the Black River

William Atkins

William Atkins visits the remote island of Sakhalin, following in the footsteps of Anton Chekhov.

Our Agent At Dawn

Nina Ellis

‘After I kill him I’ll go to Graceland.’

Our Home Is Mortal Too

Katherine Angel

Katherine Angel on Stromae and Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium.

Populism and Humour

William Davies

‘As reality has grown more absurd, the job of satirists has grown harder.’

Quantum Displacement

Nuar Alsadir

‘I don’t want / to be a figure others lean their names into’

Scissors

Karina Sainz Borgo

‘They reached Cúcuta at midday. All of them except the grandmother were hungry.’

Sirens

Jorge Consiglio

‘A knock-off Conrad. He’d drive us to school in his car.’

Tasked with Designing the Vienna House

Ken Babstock

‘Sky of bright rust and / soapy aquamarine.’

The Dreadful Mucamas

Lydia Davis

‘We do not believe they are sincerely trying to please us.’

The Girls and the Dogs

Kevin Barry

‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’

The Main Thing Is to Keep the Front Garden Immaculate

Simone Buchholz

An extract from Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz, translated from the German by Rachel Ward.

The Most Common State of Matter

Cara Blue Adams

‘She was quietly awed by her own panic.’

The Silk Road

Kathryn Davis

‘The choice of starting point wasn’t important; the important thing was to cycle through the same sequence of edges.’

The Tension of Transience

Chloe Aridjis

‘How unusual that April night had been, yet how normal it had seemed at the time’

The Way to the Sea

Caroline Crampton

‘Alone in the silent dark, she traversed the mouth of the estuary in mile-long sweeps, making a little more progress up the river each time she turned. Wind and tide were pushing her away, back towards the sea.’

The Wind That Lays Waste

Selva Almada

‘Leni’s last image of her mother is from the rear window of the car.’

The Zoo in Basel

John Berger

‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’

Three Poems

Anthony Anaxagorou

‘we are born / to a siren and the wail of each other’

Two Poems

Julia Copus

‘The me that was then / follows, watching from the dark / theatre of my skull.’

Two Poems

Anthony Caleshu

‘Consider the dramatic events that become ordinary people like us.’

Two Poems

Joe Dunthorne

‘I’ve seen it hang in muslin / like a freshly popped-out eye.’

Two Poems

Rae Armantrout

‘A glowing purse / that unlatches / with a snap’

Two Poems

Heather Christle

‘I am asking in case it happens, / because anything can and even does.’

Two Poems

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

‘You divide space you think time occupies, not motion itself.’

Visitors Rev. 4

Anne Carson

‘I descend to confront – a visitor! After the jam? I think so. Or the gin.’

Windrush Reflections

Vahni Capildeo

‘It is not informational, it is / not a blameshift, it is not / all-lives-matter top down and sideways blank.’

[The Delicate Architecture of the Withdrawal Agreement]

Kevin Breathnach

‘I, the pulse. I, the task. I, the ions of the documents extant. I, I, I as in, irrealidad, ingles, intruido.’