Explore essays and memoir
Dreams for Hire
‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.
Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.
Where is Kigali?
‘Evariste was the nightwatchman. He and I were alone in the house in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, when the killing started.’
Those Who Felt Differently
‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’
‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.‘
‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’
‘When I was seeing Kilty (how, even today, the word 'seeing' mesmerizes me), the fact of my blindness was never mentioned, referred to, or alluded to’.
The View from this End
‘It lay like a sodden comma, curled up against its mother, and no one realised it was dead.’
How to Write About Africa
‘Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.’
‘Which deaths are tragic and which are not? Who decides what is big and what is little?’
From the editor’s desk
A selection of correspondence with authors during the early years of the magazine.
In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia
Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.
‘After all my travels, I can see now what I couldn’t when I started. In the suffering pollution brings, there is also the glimmer of a different future, its outlines visible through the haze.’
The Power of a Name
‘When English is the dominant everything, you can’t help wanting to fight for the little speck of the rest of your self.’
On Meeting Mrs Obama
‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’
Radicalisation in the Digital Age
Marc Weitzmann on how radicalisation happens in the digital age.
The Poem in the Pocket
‘The note stated that it was by Borges, and I believed that, or at least I wanted to believe it.’
Jennifer Kabat on the Anti-Rent War, one of the earliest moments of rural populism in the US, and something few know about outside the Catskill Mountains.
On High Heels and Lotus Feet
Summer Brennan on high heels, foot-binding, and our ongoing performances of gender.
A Night in the Engadine
John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
10 Schools of Philosophy that should be better known (in the West)
The author of How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy explains ten of the most overlooked philosophies from around the world.
Martin Goodman | Notes on Craft
Martin Goodman on why it took him twenty years to write his latest novel, J SS Bach.
The Nine Circles
‘The body wants to escape suffering at all costs. The body wants to live.’
‘Touch had its own language, and the rules were the opposite of the ones I knew at home.’
‘I don’t see him staring back at me from the La-Z-Boy, I see me, I see a crystalline image of my own burned-out soul’