‘My love for him felt so total and so annihilating that it was often impossible for me to see him clearly at all.’
All We Shall Know
‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’
A Visit to the Zoo
‘The two chameleons in a glass case appeared to interest all of them, Heinrich thought, because of their beauty and their stillness. They looked like a pale painting.’
‘Outside deer are nowhere to be seen and inside / the radio spectrum fills up with sorrowful little packets of data.’
On Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer
‘I gently propose that for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death we stop reading Shakespeare and shift our attention to the poems of Aemilia Lanyer’. Sandra Simonds on Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer.
‘Police brutality makes me want to starve / myself to death and loneliness / is a drag’
Cortis & Sonderegger make the premise that there is truth left in photography more doubtful than ever before.
Five Things Right Now: Katy Simpson Smith
Katy Simpson Smith shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Torn Silk and Garlands of Garlic
Teffi remembers the Armenian refugees in Novorossiisk during the Russian Revolution.
Civilization Spurns the Leopard
‘To step out of my door and hope to see something like a life, something passably me.’
‘I don’t know how to think about this. How to stretch compassion for one person into a million.’ Wendell Steavenson on Europe’s migrant-refugee crisis.
The Conveyor Belt
‘Tall men that looked like insects crept out of cracks in the stones.’
The Fencing Master
David Treuer on learning to fence with Maître Michel Sebastiani and learning to write with Toni Morrison.
Introduction: No Man’s Land
‘We tangle and project, in exile; we make it up as we go along.’
Peter Pomerantsev’s anti-travelogue on Putin’s Russia, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, has won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
Last Day on Earth
‘Despite my efforts at denial the new reality of our lives was beginning to sink in.’
‘It was in January, I think. That weekend, more than any other, the thought of her leaving seemed impossible.’
First Sentence: Mika Taylor
‘I didn’t want reality to overwrite the story that was forming in my head.’