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The Merry Widow

Edmund White

’She met my father in Texas and then they moved north, where I was born in Cincinnati.‘

The Last Post

Simon Winchester

‘It is the roar, however, that is most magnificent and daunting’

The Metaphoreign Body

Tod Wodicka

‘Finally, I was reduced to a piece of matter, solid and real and mute and totally absorbed inside a foreign system.’

Zagreb

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘‘We’ll print your book if you bring us 140 kilos of paper,’ says my friend, a publisher. ‘Where can I find 140 kilos of paper?’ ‘I don’t know. That’s your problem, you’re the writer.’’

Women’s Shadow in the American Western

Thirza Wakefield

‘The wild is no place for women—the film would seem to say.’

We Went to Saigon

Tia Wallman

‘I thought that this must be the sort of plane that crashes. What were a few more dead, travelling to the city of the dead?’

Pariah

Viramma

‘All my children have been buried where they died’

Diego Garcia

Simon Winchester

‘How do you persuade a thousand dogs to walk into a fire? How do you persuade them, as it were, to commit suttee?’.

Saigon Dreaming

Tela Zasloff

‘In the summer of 1964, when we arrived in Saigon, our house belonged to the United States military, whose cheerful Vietnamese employees moved us in.’

Jihad Redux

Declan Walsh

‘American patience snapped, and Washington took matters into its own hands.’

Ali the Muscle

Johnny West

‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’

Getting The Words Out

John Updike

‘No, it is not confrontation but some wish to avoid it, some hasty wish to please, that betrays my flow of speech.’

Introducing Daniel Galera

Alejandro Zambra

‘It’s hard to introduce Daniel Galera’s tale without resorting to adjectives that are more likely to arouse distrust than interest.’

Cricket in Samoa

Gavin Young

‘Balls flew towards the beach or into dense jungle. Enthusiastic young fielders tumbled head over heels in the morning glories. Village elders, large, heavy-breasted, critical men, lay in the shade on cushions discussing the course of play like contented sea lions on their favourite rocks.’

In Cyberspace: a love letter

Joanna Walsh

‘I’m at a cafe table. It doesn’t matter which country. I’ve been travelling for a long time. By train. Nine, ten different countries in thirty days, a couple of nights in each, maybe three at most.’

Field Burning

William Wharton

‘I thought after what had happened to us in the past twenty-four hours I’d never be scared to die again, but I am.’

Soundings

Abraham Verghese

‘On the first day of June, 1972, I was taught how to percuss the body.’

Bush House

Mirza Waheed

‘I first stepped into Bush House on a dreary November day in 2001. It was a trepid walk.’

Body Snatchers

William T. Vollmann

‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’

In the Shadow of the Hospital

Tim Winton

‘All that yearning spilling down amid the treetops and roof ridges, a shadow I’d never properly considered before.’

Veterans of a Foreign War

Elliott Woods

‘If they’re willing to do this for their country then I should be willing to make the same sacrifices.’

Mrs de Pelet

Evie Wyld

‘I see her with her hands cupped in front of her shouting ‘The “O”, ladies, The Vaginal O’ as we read Shakespeare.’

Maori War

Peter Walker

‘It would be hard to overstate the importance of genealogy in Maori society.’

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

A question of identity

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’

Notes from Italy

William Weaver

‘It was easy to meet people, especially if you were a wide-eyed American and spoke Italian. The literary world was particularly accessible, for all the intellectuals wanted to know about the States.’

L.A. Diary: Notes from a Mexikorean Country

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘I was reassured to see that my hotel does not resemble the one in The Shining.’

Petty Thief

A Yi

‘Stop what you’re doing, I’ve caught the guy! He says he knows kung fu.’

The Coral Reef

Tran Vu

'"So, our last night of socialism," Dzung said as he squatted down beside me. I pulled two cigarettes out of my pocket and handed one to him, but didn't reply.'

The House of Provisions

Lois Williams

‘A world of soft things stacked deeply.’

The Romanovs Come to Stay

Frances Welch

‘When I was a child I seemed to live in a fog of inattention which cleared only when I was alone.’

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

‘Could we somehow have avoided feeding the killer at our own breast?’

New York

James Wolcott

‘Shiny and bright and compact, 'Heartburn’ whirrs along, not so much a novel as an appliance - an appliance whose inner workings are on the fritz.’

Waterway

Geoffrey Wolff

‘Six months unwinding, bristling with pitfalls and Sirens and drug dealers and drug agents and anxiety and shoals and snags and reefs and the worst gear-busting winter winds ever recorded in the southern Bahamas.’

Holy Solitude

Kong Yalei

‘I always think, either as a reader or as a writer, one person – anyone – can struggle against this filthy world by entering into a world of literature.’

The Sins of the Flesh

Margaret Visser

‘The message that vegetarianism imparts to the rest of us is ascetic and exclusive.’