Explore essays and memoir
‘For my mother and father, the past and present had both become foreign countries.’
Solar Stasis | Discoveries
A cluster of links from across the world wide web, feat. Anthony Lane, Claudia Rankine, David Grossman and more.
Cyclical Wisdom | Discoveries
A mash-up of Elif Batuman | Oscar Wilde | David Lynch | Marilynn Robinson | Margaret Atwood | and Viet Thanh Nguyen
Other-Dimensional Beings | Discoveries
This week’s Discoveries brings you some top-notch urls from around the world wide web.
Robert Moor remembers hitch-hiking across Newfoundland: ‘The way to pronounce Newfoundland, Bill and Sue instructed me, is to remember that it rhymes with understand.’
The Hatchet Job | Discoveries
This week's Discoveries celebrates the brutal literary tradition of the hatchet job.
I come from a place on your bucket list
Deepti Kapoor on travel, authenticity and the peculiarity of being Indian in Uganda.
Yet Trouble Came
Phillip Lewis on writing emotional autobiography. ‘A sincere observation followed by a sincere utterance is the most powerful and effective form of communication.’
The Bonds of Trauma
‘An often-unacknowledged truth about families that deal with addiction is that the bonds of trauma can be as challenging to quit as the habit itself.’
International Women’s Day 2017
‘We want to share with you some of our favourite pieces – published by us and by others – that present clear-headed explorations of gender in our society’
You’ve Got Mail | Discoveries
A collection of fan mail, featuring correspondents James Joyce, Henrik Ibsen, Anthony Burgess, Shirley Jackson and more.
Olivia Laing | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘Which bodies can go where might be the central question of our century.’
Karan Mahajan | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘Too often, a kind of travel writing – especially the novel set abroad in an exotic locale – feels like a way of allegorizing and escaping problems at home.’
This is the Way the World Ends | Discoveries
‘How will the world end? Virus, war, natural disaster, Donald Trump in the library with the candlestick?’
Robert Macfarlane | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘The best writers rose to the challenge by seeking not originality of destination, but originality of form.’
Hoa Nguyen | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘I didn’t have the language for why I could not be a tourist in the same way as my white counterparts.’
Manifestos | Discoveries
A collection of revolutionary writings and manifestos from Audre Lorde, Eileen Myles, Nelson Mandela, James Baldwin and Occupy Wall Street
Best Book of 1818: The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr, by E.T.A. Hoffmann
‘What sets Hoffmann’s work apart is the meeting of the joint impulses of Enlightenment and Romantic thought’
Best Book of 2016: Joanne Kyger’s On Time
Hoa Nguyen on why Joanne Kyger’s On Time is the best book of 2016.
Best Book of 2015: Thus Were Their Faces by Silvina Ocampo
‘Time is a rubber band, and in a single sentence, ghosts and alternative worlds superimpose’
Best Book of 1955: The Magician’s Nephew
‘Much like Tolkien’s, admittedly vaster, legendarium, Lewis’s world is exquisitely conceived.’
Best Book of 1900: The Autobiography of Dr William Henry Johnson
‘Johnson is now a ghost of history; he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but I can’t let him disappear.’
Best Book of 2000: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
‘It is the novel I have read which best expresses the honest and sad truth of art: that it is often produced in precarity and performed in near silence, but that it can also redeem a life.’
Best Book of 1941: Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher
‘This book is about yearning for the Sunday nights of childhood, or dreams; it is a meditation on hunger in all its forms.’
Best book of 1983: The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
‘After 2016 I’m done with sentimentality, and it’s hard to think of a less sentimental book than The Piano Teacher, objectively a masterpiece, subjectively a book that changed my life.’
Best book of 1964: Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr
‘In days of such human cruelty and pettiness and stupidity, we need reminding that we are all capable of savage compassion as well as the contagion of hatred.’
Best Book of 1965: Everything That Rises Must Converge
‘O’Conner has for me the effect of nailing and then blowing up one’s most casual illusions’
Here Be Dragons | Discoveries
A round-up of maps, literary, diagrammatic, chaotic and specific. Maps of London, maps of literature, maps of maps.
Polymorphous Perversity | Discoveries
New erotica from Anaïs Nin; Emily Dickinson’s bedroom; Isaac Asimov’s dystopias, interracial love circa 1963 and more.
‘In Hollin Hills, we believed our flatware could change the world.’ Jennifer Kabat on the intersection of modernist architecture and espionage.
The Fall of Rome | Discoveries
Word of the Year 2016: Post-Truth; Don DeLillo on the enemy in the White House; Leonard Cohen, the novelist; Ariel Levy’s Thanksgiving in Mongolia.
The Very Ecstasy of Love | Discoveries
Zadie on Beyoncé, Didion on diarists, Bureaucracy as Sadism, How Did They Win that prize? and more.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Werewoolf? | Discoveries
Sylvia Plath’s sass, Bob Dylan spars with Leonard Cohen, Guillermo del Toro talks vampires, Shirley Jackson scares the baby boomers