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Epithalamium

Greg Jackson

‘Hara had stumbled on a kind of play, as if they were sisters left alone by their parents for the first time to explore the different ways a day could be deconstructed.‘

Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road

Russell Hoban

‘Music is a puissant recaller of time past; music is memory's sister and for its very life relies on memory to hold in our minds the passage of sounds through time.’

Nothing Ever Happens Here

Ottessa Moshfegh

‘I was broke, and I was a nobody, but I was happy.’ A story from Otessa Moshfegh about a young man moving to Hollywood.

How to be Gay and Indian

Manil Suri

‘This was supposed to be my great in-your-face coming-out campaign, which I’d fretted over for months beforehand. Had India suddenly lost its conservativeness, turned enlightened, even hip?’

Jim Magee’s Hill

Pamela Petro

‘No one who’s seen The Hill has been able to describe it to me without visceral discomfort. Actually, no one’s been able to describe it at all.’

One Day I Will Write About This Place

Binyavanga Wainaina

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

Lavande

Ann Beattie

‘It seemed impossible, but probably everyone marries thinking such a thing impossible.’

How It Ends

Andrew O’Hagan

‘Seagulls murmur overhead, and nip at the banks. You can hear almost nothing.’

The Instant of Passage

Mathias Énard

‘Praying for the unknown dead, for the vague remains of the existences of total strangers, was sadly abstract.’

Year of the Monkey

Fan Wu

‘I stood in front of the roller coaster, whose winding tracks looked like intestines in a demon's stomach.’

Thailand

Haruki Murakami

‘Living and dying are, in a sense, things of equal value.’

Two Poems

Jack Underwood

‘We are nearing the conclusion of this anatomy. / We are strung between the point of ending, and / the point of having started.’

Too Hard to Keep

Jason Lazarus & Ariana Reines

‘There are days I can’t even remember the things I want to know.’

Hawk

Joy Williams

‘As regards to life it is much the best to think that the experiences we have are necessary for us.’

Dear Peter

Simon Armitage & Ted Hughes

An unpublished letter by Ted Hughes, introduced by Simon Armitage. ‘It’s reassuring to see a spelling mistake (‘style’ for stile), and I love the maps.’

The Pretty Women of Paris

Anonymous

‘For the last fifteen years she has been richly kept by a Russian prince, who revels in her brutality, viciousness, extravagance and love of brandy.’

The Last Thing We Need

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘I think there will be lightning tonight; the air has that feel.’

Famished Eels

Mary Rokonadravu

‘After one hundred years, this is what I have: a daguerreotype of her in bridal finery; a few stories told and retold in plantations, kitchens, hospitals, airport lounges.’

How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’

Dance Cadaverous

Uzodinma Iweala

‘It just seemed like the right thing to want, the right thing to do.’

A Lovely and Terrible Thing

Chris Womersley

‘For a moment I could not speak. I looked off into the bleak distance, then at this man, and there was something about the sad shake of his head and the way his hair flapped about on his scalp that filled me with unreasonable warmth.’

Mona’s Story

Urvashi Butalia

‘I’m a woman, I’ve always wanted to be one, it’s that simple.’

Made in China

Isabel Hilton

‘Visiting a factory was one thing; working in one quite another.’

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

The Indian Uprising

Ann Beattie

‘Then winter ended and spring came, and I thought, even if I don’t believe there’s a poem in anything any more, maybe I’ll write a story.’

Six Brazilian Songs

Teju Cole

Teju Cole shares six favourite Brazilian songs.

The Life and Death of a Homosexual

Pierre Clastres

‘There was no sweetness in the air that day: the corpse gave off a terrible stench’.

Interesting if True

Phillip Knightley

‘The end of the war in the Pacific came just before I left school.’

From The Abstract Humanities

Sandra Simonds

‘let us / build the openwork fabric of our garden / on the fear in the body’

The Dune

Stephen King

‘Being able to read obituaries in advance gives a man an extraordinary sense of power.’

Election Night in Nicaragua

Sergio Ramirez

‘There was no room in our dreams for another war.’

Look-Alikes

Nadine Gordimer

‘It was scarcely worth noticing at first; an out-of-work lying under one of the rare indigenous shrubs cultivated by the Botany Department on the campus.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

‘The thing about a circular walk is that you end up where you started’

Self-Portrait

Martin Amis

‘You’ve got your catflap, I’ve got my guy.’

Binyavanga Wainaina | Podcast

Binyavanga Wainaina & Ellah Allfrey

Binyavanga Wainaina talks to Ellah Allfrey about meeting the expectations of an African readership and what to do with a bad review.

The Mast Year

Diane Cook

‘Sounds like a mast year . . . it’s a thing that happens to trees. But sometimes it happens to people too.’