Painter to the King
This is an excerpt from Painter to the King, Amy Sackville's account of the life of Diego Velázquez. Now available from Granta Books.
Paul Dalla Rosa | Notes on Craft
‘I feel like I’m haunting an empty building, inert, waiting for each room to burst into flames.’
Pay for Your Words
Peter Pomerantsev downloads his Facebook data. ‘We seem to be caught in a trap: the more we use a word, the more we will be charged for it.’
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
‘It was a red-light district and a plywood market and a town of hoodlums in one. I’ll add one more thing: The whole place stunk of sewage.’
Souvankham Thammavongsa | Notes on Craft
‘When I look at a word, I can see the thing inside it. The ear inside heart.’
The Best Book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
Kathryn Scanlan on the best book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles.
The Canvas Bag
‘It was given to her by her Japanese captors after the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 to pack the few possessions she was allowed to take with her to prison.’
The Duchess of Albany
‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Svetlana Alexievich
‘It is clear when reading Svetlana Alexievich that she has a deep empathy for the characters whose stories she tells.’
The Last Children of Tokyo
‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.
‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens is shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018.
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’
‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’
‘I looked back and there was something wrong about his hand – how it cupped her bottom, how it probed.’
‘the earth will heal / eventually / magnificently / when our species / is gone’
The Trickster Creates the World
'A Q&A session exploring the writing process with novelist Eden Robinson, her muse Marvin and myself, Fictional Eden Robinson'
The World Is a Narrow Bridge
‘They’re back on I-95, northbound this time, the city disappearing behind them, the sun setting like a piece of pink candy over the Everglades.’
‘Papa suddenly appears inside the door and sits down after three months of no-show-face and my happiness just vamoose.’
‘A man-eating tiger was on the prowl when I arrived in Pilibhit one rainy evening in September.’
‘Imagine all the prodigal / People, hoping only to / Escape every human mistake.’
What Silence Knows
‘Words can’t quite re-create the smell of war. I have found myself trying to wash it out of my hair, off my fingers. More than once, I have run water over the soles of my shoes.’
Why Should You Be One Too?
Spencer Reece on alcoholism, homosexuality, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.