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Growing up with the King of Pop

Marlon James

‘The thrill of Thriller was being part of something global and local at once.’

The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

‘In Rwanda today so much is unspoken or only whispered.’

The Tin Drum In Retrospect

Günter Grass

‘With the baggage of stored-up material, vague plans and precise ambitions - I wanted to write my novel and Anna was looking for more rigorous ballet training - we left Berlin early in 1956 and, penniless but undaunted, went to Paris.’

The Smoking Diaries

Simon Gray

‘The inside of my head feels soft and thoughtless, with a muzzy ache going round its rim.’

Mess

Romesh Gunesekera

‘You have to go on the offensive until you smell victory. Then you have the aphrodisiac and can go full tilt.’

Asking for it

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Having my hair cut one morning in February 1999, I fell foul of one of those barber-shop discussions which are a feature of life here in Italy’.

The Dinner

Julián Fuks

‘Sebastián can do nothing but seek refuge in his dinner plate.’

I Like Being a Woman (And I Hate Hysterical Women)

Leila Guerriero

‘One day my father called me over to explain to me about the little seed, patting my head as if he were offering me his condolences.’

Bang!

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘My daydreams were full of explosions.’

God and Me

Simon Gray

‘I'd grown up and become too educated to allow God's breath on my skin.’

Listed for Trial

Tibor Fischer

‘He didn't like attending County Hall.‘

Nicaragua

Christopher Hitchens

‘Nicaragua has always impelled its writers into politics, or exile, or both.’

El Salvador: An Aide-Mémoire

Carolyn Forché

‘Between 1978 and 1981 I travelled between the United States and Salvador, writing reports on the war waiting to happen, drawing blueprints from memory, naming the dead.’

Original Message

Austin Grossman

‘So tomorrow we might be on the same side. Unless you’re a triple agent, in which case we already were on the same side.’

To Feed the Night

Philip Hensher

‘They lived in London at the end of the nineteen eighties.’

Shahid | Moving Parts

Ruchir Joshi

Ruchir Joshi travelled around rural India for our ‘Work’ issue, documenting parts of the country’s informal economy, and meeting people with working lives that are unseen, or unique, or damaging.

Road to Cambodia

James Fenton

‘The buildings were full of surprises. In one, surrounded by winking lights, the last abbot was lying in his coffin. He had died a year before, and it would be another two years before he was cremated.’

Brandy

Philip Hensher

‘So there is music and music. It is not easy, after all.’

Don’t Fall in Love

Mohsin Hamid

‘She does not stare at you, but when your eyes meet, she does not look away.’

Some Heat

Miranda July

‘No one knows why ripping up a name makes a person call – science can’t explain it. Erasing the name also works.’

Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire

Amy Gerstler

‘I must remember god is not my private / secretary.’

Hard Core

Gabe Hudson

‘My buddy Meat's the one who showed me the true joy of handling the M203.’

The Ultimate Safari

Nadine Gordimer

‘We were in the war, too, but we were children, we were like our grandmother and grandfather, we didn’t have guns.’

Mitakuye Oyasin

Aaron Huey

‘Today the Oglala Lakota live in the shadow of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.’

Apples

David Guterson

‘He remembered the new, fresh, orchard country of his youth and the rows of apple trees his father had planted on the east bank of the Columbia River.’

Beirut Diary

Robert Fisk

‘The nun beside me on the helicopter this morning had a tight, self-righteous face.’

The Politics of Grief

V. V. Ganeshananthan

‘It is a way of humiliating people, to say that their dead are not dead, to say that people are not even allowed to mourn.’

Janesville, Wisconsin

Steven Greenhouse

‘To them, the emphasis was on the ‘creative’ part of creative destruction. But in Janesville, few could see beyond the destruction.’

Exile

Olga Grushin

‘For one instant, while all this seemed possible, he listened to the violent unfolding of his heart.’

The Fall of Vukovar

Jean Hatzfeld

'Jean Hatzfeld returned to the former Yugoslavia and was severely wounded by gunfire in June 1992'.

The Womanizer

Richard Ford

‘Austin turned up the tiny street – rue Sarrazin – at the head of which he hoped he would come to a larger one, one he knew, rue de Vaugirard, possibly, which he could take all the way to Josephine Belliard's apartment by the Luxembourg Gardens.’

Foreign Bodies

Peregrine Hodson

‘We'd reached the end of the journey: a day and a night and then home. Perhaps that was our first mistake. We forgot where we were.’

Two Farms: One Black, One White

Lindsey Hilsum

‘They were both in their early forties. We drank tea on the veranda, watching the dogs play as the water sprinkler greened the lawn. This was the Africa of the white man's dream, where nature can be subdued inside the compound, but where the bush extends in its thrilling wildness just beyond the fence.’

Dividing the Kingdom

Pico Iyer

‘I get on the train to hear the funereal call of my boyhood: ‘Reading, Didcot Parkway, Oxford.’’

Foreigners

Daniel Gascón

‘It would’ve been a magical moment if my neighbours hadn’t started fucking at that very second.’

October, 1948

Kazuo Ishiguro

‘I remember looking around me with approval that first night, and today, for all the changes which have transformed the world around it, Mrs Kawakamu's remains as pleasing as ever.’