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A Land Without Strangers

Ben Mauk

Ben Mauk on nationalism and xenophobia in Poland.

A Letter

Sławomir Mrożek

‘I draw your attention to football. The practice of this game threatens the basis of our very way of life.’

A Letter to my Sons: War’s End

Heinrich Böll

‘No, it's not easier for you than it was for us: don't let them tell you otherwise.’

A Letter to Our Son

Peter Carey

‘We talked about Alison’s blood. We asked her what she thought this mystery could be. Really what we wanted was to be told that everything was OK. There was a look on Alison's face when she asked. I cannot describe it, but it was not a face seeking medical “facts”.’

A Life in Clothes

Ruth Gershon

‘The children of ruling families are born in the purple’.

A Literature for Politics: Introduction

Bill Buford

‘‘A Literature for Politics' is dedicated to a different set of possibilities - the possibilities of political engagement.’

A Mid-life Crisis

Patrick Süskind

‘Just what exactly is it that belongs together, pray tell? Absolutely nothing!’

A Mingling | State of Mind

Siri Hustvedt

‘My empathy may become a vehicle of insight for me and therefore help me to help you or it may debilitate me altogether, make me so sad I am no good to you whatsoever.’

A Mischief of Rats

Joanna Kavenna

‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.

A Moveable Beast

Helge Skodvin & Ned Beauman

‘Taxidermy offers animals both a second life and a second harassment by the Anthropocene.’ Ned Beauman introduces the photography of Helge Skodvin.

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

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

A Not-So-Pretty History of Pet Care

Daniel Magariel

‘One day after the next I would figure out what was needed, learn from my mistakes, pay attention to what worked.’

A Note on Shakespeare

Harold Pinter

‘Shakespeare writes of the open wound and, through him, we know it open and know it closed. We tell when it ceases to beat and tell it at its highest peak of fever‘, Harold Pinter in 'A Note on Shakespeare' in Granta 59: France: The Outsider.

A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War

Anjan Sundaram

Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.

A Plausible Portrait

Ted Hodgkinson

‘My friends say I am secretive and devious,’ he wrote in the introduction to Picasso and Dora. ‘They’re right.’

A Play on David Rakoff

A.M. Homes

‘He was rare and singular.’

A Plug for Bukowski

Henry Davis

‘There is an American literature that is anti-intellectual, apolitical and anti-social.’

A Poet in Cuba

Reinaldo Arenas

‘Perfect totalitarian systems have always been in the vanguard: they modify not only the past and the future, but they also abolish the present.’

A Preface to A.H.

Tony Tanner

‘Words can move mountains, but also Nuremberg rallies.’

A Prisoner of the Holy War

Wendell Steavenson

‘Thayr held out. He would not betray his country, he would not betray his leader.’

A Prize

Christine Schutt

‘He picked our little sister’s laces loose and made her cry.’

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.’

A Rationalist in the Jungle

Héctor Abad

‘A pale-faced, near-sighted urbanite like me is nothing less than handicapped in the heart of the jungle.’

A Revolution of Equals

Lana Asfour

‘Women have rights and we’re not going to lose them now.’

A Sign of Weakness

Terrence Holt

‘Fast asleep, even comatose, a living body moves.’

A Story for Aesop

John Berger

‘The image impressed me when I set eyes upon it for the first time. It was as if it were already familiar, as if, as a child, I had already seen the same man framed in a doorway.’

A Summer of Japanese Literature

Dan Bradley

From manga to crime fiction, contemporary literature to Nobel-Prize-winning classics, here are ten works of Japanese literature worth spending your summer on

A Summer’s Evening in Beijing

Elizabeth Pisani

‘The air is light with the intoxicating fumes of impending martyrdom.’

A Thousand Splendid Stuns

Morwari Zafar

‘More important than anything else that fateful year was the life-defining transcendence of Peter Gabriel.’

A Tour of Angola

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘You have to learn how to live with the check-points and to respect their customs, if you want to travel without hindrance and reach your destination alive.’

A Train in Winter

Caroline Moorehead

‘It was clear that not all would, or could, or would choose to, survive.’

A Trip to Syria

David McConnell

‘Several years ago, a friend and I stayed at the one hotel set amid the ruins of Queen Zenobia’s oasis capital, Palmyra, in the Syrian desert.’

A True Afrikaner

Mary Benson

‘What first struck me was his courtesy: it never faltered even when some remark by the prosecutor or an action by the police angered him, hardening the expression in his blue eyes.’

A Vacation From Myself

John Beckman

‘My every next thought took a melancholy detour through drippy forests of humid emotions, often never to return’