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Naples is Closed

Barry Unsworth

‘Naples had always been high on the list of places I wanted to visit‘.

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.’

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.’

Notes from New York

James Wolcott

‘Now and then it can appear that an entire magazine is opening up the silks, searching for a soft place to land.’

One Day I Will Write About This Place

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘We are, it seems, in the middle of nowhere.’

One Ridge Over

Josh Weil

‘Some mornings I see him coming up through the mist. The grey shape of a long-haired man carrying a long-barreled gun amid the bare grey branches of the old apple trees.’

Pariah

Viramma

‘All my children have been buried where they died’

Persian Love

Alan Warner

‘It is 6:22 of what beauty and life's joy there is to extract’

Petty Thief

A Yi

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

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.’

Searching for Pavese

Alejandro Zambra

‘Something’s gone awry with this article. My intention was to remember, in his birthplace, a writer I admire, and it’s clear that my admiration has waned.’

Self-Consciousness: Memoirs by John Updike

Edmund White

‘The freedom conferred by masks. Children and current wives cannot blame you for what your characters do and say.’

Seminarians

Marcos Villatoro

‘The seminary building, parked smack in the middle of the campus, looked west to Davis Hall (women), south to another women's dorm building, and east to the vocationless, unharnessed men of Beast Hall. What did they expect, with so many earthly reminders of flesh around us? Out of the fourteen young men who discerned the call, few, very few, made it to ordination.’

Simon Willis | What I’m Reading

Simon Willis

‘Like an excitable child, I rushed to the foyer to buy my copy.’

Soundings

Abraham Verghese

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

Stevenage

Gary Younge

‘In 1988 my mother took the bus to Stevenage town centre to do the weekly shop, came home and died in her sleep.’

The Aesthetics of Resistance

Peter Weiss

‘His whole life, he had declared while still at work on this painting, was nothing less than a continual struggle against the backwardness of thought and the killing of art.’

The Art of Moving On

David Ulin

‘This felt like the moment New York disappeared for me.’

The Case Against Babies

Joy Williams

‘Babies, babies, babies. There’s a plague of babies.’

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 Last Eighteen Drops

Vitali Vitaliev

‘Drinking vodka is just a memory for me now. Vodka was hurting me .’

The Last Post

Simon Winchester

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

The Merry Widow

Edmund White

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

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.’

The One True God, Allah

Richard Watson

‘This is the story of the British jihad.’

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.’

The Sins of the Flesh

Margaret Visser

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

Ventimiglia

Joanna Walsh

‘Love is constant revolution, pure disruption, it can never be stilled.’

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.’

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.’

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?’

What It’s Like

Anya Yurchyshyn

‘I’d been telling myself I would get there and get through it. I’d been telling myself I was doing the right thing, that no one could escape doing this thing and that was why the thing was right, not wrong.’

Woman’s Body: An Owner’s Manual

Evie Wyld

‘In the year before my first period, my mother gives me a book called Woman’s Body, An Owner’s Manual.’

Women’s Shadow in the American Western

Thirza Wakefield

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

Wrestling with Translation

Jeffrey Yang

‘As I embarked on my adventure I immediately started to feel that old hatred for simplified Chinese characters.’