‘The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity.’
Morwari Zafar | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘What satellites and the internet don’t do is give a voice to experience. And that’s where travel writing endures.’
Sara Wheeler | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘Mass travel has liberated the form. No amount of package tours will stop ordinary life quietly continuing everywhere on earth.’
‘We do not understand why, nor did we covet such long life, but here we are, our respective addictions and madness with us to the end.’
Better Protect America
Padma Viswanathan on the absurdities of the US Border Patrol Agency. ‘The new security was going to be unpredictable, by design.’
Since Everything Was Suddening Into A Hurricane
After a sudden stroke, Binyavanga Wainaina and his lover travel to Nairobi to reconcile with his father.
Alexis Wright | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world.’
‘She draws from her mind the image of a giant steel girder, pictures it smashing through the wall of the bar, obliterating everything, legs and arms reaching and waving.’
Night of the Gnomes
‘The plan was quite simple: Güendolina would invite him into the bedroom and persuade him to make love to her until he was utterly exhausted.’
Best Book of 1926: Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel
His is a force more penetrative than all the bogus machismo of Hemingway.
Best Book of 2010: Mr Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt
‘Hunt writes with brio, the visceral often blooming into the mystical.’
First Sentence: Javier Zamora
‘Immigration has become a physical thing, like a tumor inside us, between us.’
‘Two women appeared embracing two of a kind – that is each woman held onto a globular lamp base that had luster.’
The Beauty and the Bat
‘I knew who she was well enough, by then – a competent woman in earnest who didn’t like me.’
Winnie and the Innocence of the World
‘This is how I became Winnie’s clandestine, outcast and utterly powerless guardian angel.’
‘Your promise has been extracted like the cow-horned remains of molars long-soused in a Diet Coke marinade.’
The Mountain Road
‘Funeral homes are always cold. There were pine benches in lines like a church. They had been varnished recently and there was that heady smell. It reminded me of my father’s boat, the wheelhouse brightwork newly touched up. It was the smell of childhood.’
The Beacon & The Bane
‘In spite of my pining and missing, neither man seemed fully formed and I felt a little lonely in the presence of both.’
Eight pieces in imitation of Thomas A. Clark
‘what it is about the earth / that it won’t absorb the stream’
Reading Comprehension: Text No. 2
‘Which of the following famous phrases best reflects the meaning of the text?’
‘Climate change, I realise, is already here. Not the drama of it, not yet, but in the mundane.’
Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon
Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.
Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.
To the Ocean
‘At the desk they said they encouraged guests not to walk, but she was determined’
Five Things Right Now: Joanna Walsh
Joanna Walsh shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about.
‘After all, they were landlady and tenant; what right did he have to meddle?’
‘There was a time in my life when I lived in hotels. Around this time, the time I did not spend in hotels was time I did not live.’