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Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal

Holly Pester

‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’

Best Book of 1953/1994: Trans-Atlantyk

Jennifer Croft

‘The most Polish novel of the twentieth century was written in Argentina and published in France.’

Best Book of 1966: Season of Migration to the North

Ayşegül Savaş

‘Of course, literature cannot be separated from its flesh of language and form. Nor can its tangible subject explain why it moves its reader, through the subtleties of language, or the shadowy geographies that it leaves to the imagination.’

Best Book of 1996: The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Natalie Eilbert

‘Mina Loy has been a preferred voice in my head, echoing with a signature delirious chant as a kind of primordial poetry mother.’

Best Book of 1999: Ai’s Vice

Jillian Weise

‘I love Ai’s work because it gives me permission and reminds me that poetry invented fiction. I needed that in 1999 and I need it today.’

Best Book of 2005: Zadie Smith’s On Beauty

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes on why Zadie Smith’s On Beauty is the best book of 2005

Best Book of 2009: William Vollmann’s Imperial

Sam Byers

Sam Byers on why William Vollmann’s Imperial is the best book of 2009

Best Book of 2011: Kingdom Animalia

Nell Boeschenstein

‘As the title suggests, this is a book about the family of animals, the family of man, and the family of family.’

Best Book of 2013: Tom Drury’s Pacific

John Patrick McHugh

‘There is a remarkable flow to the novel, like that aimless but essential drunken chatter after your third pint.’ John Patrick McHugh on why Tom Drury’s Pacific is the best book of 2013.

Biscotti Boys / On Men Who Wear Living as Loosely as Their Suits

Momtaza Mehri

‘salmaan the second son & his mama’s seventh seal by way of underwater & underemployment’

Bob

Jana Prikryl

‘he cut out small talk / not hearing it, convincingly deaf to its nothing’

Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts

Tiffany Murray

Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.

Breasts: A History

Krys Malcolm Belc

‘My breasts are shrinking. As my fat redistributes it settles in my belly and leaves my chest.’

Broken Animals

Britta Jaschinski

‘These bored, frustrated and hungry animals appear as reluctant figures in some unsolvable puzzle, or as victims of a grand experiment whose original purpose is lost in time.’

Brother

David Chariandy

An excerpt from David Chariandy's novel Brother

Brother in Ice

Alicia Kopf

‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’

Candidate

Jessie Greengrass

‘All through winter and another summer we wait, but time passes more quickly now that we have a purpose. I feel it flowing.’

Carys Davies | Notes on Craft

Carys Davies

‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’

Cassiopeia (three back-to-front songs)

Diana Anphimiadi

‘Anyway, I did not die. / I lined the sky, inside-out.’ Translated from the Georgian by Jean Sprackland and Natalia Bukia-Peters.

Challenger Deep

Ashley Hutson

‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’

Chameleon

Tomoko Sawada & Sayaka Murata

‘If Sawada can transform herself without limit, maybe I can too.’ Sayaka Murata introduces Tomoko Sawada’s photographs, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

Clean

Matt Young

An excerpt from Matt Young's memoir Eat The Apple, which explores his three deployments to Iraq as a member of the US Marine Corps.

Climb the Mountains

Apricot Irving

'Harm that comes through the hands of those we love must be wrestled with; it does not simply disappear.'

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

‘I went to Ilford alone / was handed a pink laminated square’

Comme

Paul Dalla Rosa

‘Because I spent a large amount of time convincing people to buy clothing they would never actually wear, it was easy to convince myself the same.’

Common Cyborg

Jillian Weise

‘I’m nervous at night when I take off my leg. I wait until the last moment before sleep to un-tech because I am a woman who lives alone’

Common Whipping

Naben Ruthnum

A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.

Consolation Puppies

Amy Butcher & Martha Park

A graphic essay on dogs, adoption and Donald Trump.

Cormac James | Notes on Craft

Cormac James

‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’

Court

Blake Morrison

‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’

Cowboys and Angels

Chelsea Bieker

‘I had me a cowboy once on a hot steam Friday night.’ New fiction from Chelsea Bieker.

Cows

Adam Nicolson

‘All in it together but not in it together at all.’

Cross-Dressers

Sébastien Lifshitz & Andrew McMillan

‘These images appear to give a glimpse of a ghost-self, a photographic negative of the heart.’ Andrew McMillan introduces photography curated by Sébastien Lifshitz.

Cumbrian Fell Pony

Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall writes about the Cumbrian fell pony for Granta 142: Animalia.

Danez Smith and Kaveh Akbar In Conversation

Danez Smith & Kaveh Akbar

Danez Smith and Kaveh Akbar share sublime food experiences, discuss their latest collections and ask one another how best to bring community into poetry.