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Painter to the King

Amy Sackville

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

Paul Dalla Rosa

‘I feel like I’m haunting an empty building, inert, waiting for each room to burst into flames.’

Pay for Your Words

Peter Pomerantsev

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

Ben Pester

‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’

Radical Sufficiency

Jess Row

‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’

Rocky Raccoon

DBC Pierre

‘The mask said everything. This was a thief. A schemer and a thief.’

Slum Wolf

Tadao Tsuge

‘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

Souvankham Thammavongsa

‘When I look at a word, I can see the thing inside it. The ear inside heart.’

Swine

ko ko thett

‘I rode bareback, I rode out all the revolutions.’

The Advent of the AI Co-Author

Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton on the advent of AI co-authors

The Best Book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles

Kathryn Scanlan

Kathryn Scanlan on the best book of 1943: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles.

The Canvas Bag

Inigo Thomas

‘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 Closet

Kim Sagwa

‘It’s the hour of afterglow, the day’s demise, the sky bleeding to death.’

The Duchess of Albany

Christine Schutt

‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’

The Editor’s Chair: On Svetlana Alexievich

Jacques Testard

‘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

Yoko Tawada

‘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

Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.

The Minutes

Nell Stevens

‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens is shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018.

The Panther

Sergio Pitol

‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’

The Perseids

Susan Straight

‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’

The Poker

Kathryn Scanlan

‘I looked back and there was something wrong about his hand – how it cupped her bottom, how it probed.’

The Reckoning

Armand Garnet Ruffo

‘the earth will heal / eventually / magnificently / when our species / is gone’

The Trickster Creates the World

Eden Robinson

'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

Aaron Thier

‘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.’

Three poems

Mary Ruefle

‘One of the loveliest possibilities / is that the truth is made of glass’

Three Poems

Sophie Robinson

‘you can call my price by any name and she will come just the same’

True Happiness

Efua Traoré

‘Papa suddenly appears inside the door and sits down after three months of no-show-face and my happiness just vamoose.’

Tyger, Tyger

Aman Sethi

‘A man-eating tiger was on the prowl when I arrived in Pilibhit one rainy evening in September.’

Walk Laramidia

Swati Rana

‘Imagine all the prodigal / People, hoping only to / Escape every human mistake.’

What Silence Knows

Anthony Shadid

‘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

Spencer Reece on alcoholism, homosexuality, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.

Women Talking

Miriam Toews

‘When we have liberated ourselves, we will have to ask ourselves who we are.’