Explore essays and memoir
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 Story of 1992: ‘Mlle. Dias de Corta’
Mary O’Donoghue on why Mavis Gallant‘s ‘Mlle. Dias de Corta’ is the best story of 1992.
‘There’s a sense, I think, that what that X in the box translates as is seventeen and a half million voices that say, we’re still here.’
Blue Hills and Chalk Bones
‘One day, something changes; a corporeal blip. For me, it happened in the months after turning thirteen: the synovial fluid in my left hip began to evaporate like rain.’
Blue Sky Days
‘For those caught beneath its thrum, there’s no comfort that the drone, and whoever is at its helm in America, is only targeting the bad guys.’ Eliza Griswold introduces Tomas van Houtryve's unsettling photo-essay taken by drones coming close to civilian life in the manner of the drones currently deployed in Afghanistan.
‘The poor hated the poor, natives hated outsiders, settled migrants hated new incomers, the North hated the South, non-Londoners hated London.’
Bucharest, Broken City
‘It is only consciousness and memory that hold together the things we sometimes see as solid.’
‘War is a narrative: it might almost be said to embody the narrative principle itself.’
‘It has been several weeks since I slept for more than an hour, and lately I’ve been feeling on the verge of cracking up.’
Crocodiles and Fairy Dust
‘I admit the sneaking feeling, just now and then, that those who govern us think we’re the problem.’
‘This was the collective trauma of a community discovering, very abruptly, they’d have to uproot their lives.’ Tim Beckett on the ruins of Uranium City.
Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard
‘Freedom, even with hunger and cold, is still precious and irreplaceable.’
‘Climate change, I realise, is already here. Not the drama of it, not yet, but in the mundane.’
First Sentence: Eliza Griswold
‘This, of course, was years before anyone knew or cared who Boko Haram was.’
First Sentence: Javier Zamora
‘Immigration has become a physical thing, like a tumor inside us, between us.’
First Sentence: Mary O’Donoghue
‘It’s the small stuff – and here I mean the odd particulate matter of daily life – that lets me access the sprawl of a place that wasn’t mine but has incrementally become so.’
First Sentence: Mika Taylor
‘I didn’t want reality to overwrite the story that was forming in my head.’
Five Things Right Now: Diane Cook
Diane Cook shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Free will and Brexit
‘Whether or not you think 23 June was a great day for Britain and Europe, it was a very bad one for freedom.’
‘Now we’ve fizzled into a ridiculous unsaid, a flaccid tale of love, or lack thereof, in the time of Ebola.’
He Had His Reasons
Colin Barrett on the Hawe family murder-suicide, and what the Irish media’s coverage tells us about the nation’s prejudices.
Hell and Night
‘The implication of Iago’s silence is that there is no hope for his redemption’ Noelle Kocot-Tomblin on ‘Othello’.
Here Be Dragons | Discoveries
A round-up of maps, literary, diagrammatic, chaotic and specific. Maps of London, maps of literature, maps of maps.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby: Best Book of 1995
‘It was a story about music and relationships.’
‘But Ireland is Ireland. It resists and relishes its own national images in equal measure.’
‘What future youth movement might capture them, those international participants in virtual hunts?’
Introduction: No Man’s Land
‘We tangle and project, in exile; we make it up as we go along.’
‘Even today, she still speaks with emotion about Dorian, the transsexual so proud of her breasts, Diane, who weighed only sixty-five pounds, and Steven, who was so frightened of dying alone that Darcy wished she could promise to be with him when the time came.’ Emmanuel Carrère on addiction and poverty in an forgotten America.
‘They knelt at my feet. They crawled naked across gleaming wooden floors.’