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Explore Essays and memoir

Work, or the Swet Shop Boys

Hilary Plum

‘My work life – like, maybe, yours – is built around another, non-paying vocation.’

Cooking from Memory

Barclay Bram

‘Each bite exploded temporally, an exquisite blend of past and future that put you firmly in the present moment.’

Notes on Craft

Amina Cain

‘I would rather work in front of, or behind, a story. I want to leave a chain of images that remain in the reader’s mind.’


Legacy Russell

‘What if we are not ‘well-behaved’? What then?’

Legacy Russell on her father and the FBI.

Who We’re Reading When We’re Reading Murakami

David Karashima

‘Luke believes that the early stories might not have been published if the author and translator were uncompromising.’

People From My Neighbourhood: Behind the Scenes

Clare Skeats

Clare Skeats on the cover design for Hiromi Kawakami’s latest book of stories, translated by Ted Goossen.

Surviving Autocracy

Masha Gessen

We knew Trump’s range: government by gesture; obfuscation and lying; self-praise; stoking fear and issuing threats.

La Ville Morte

Benjamín Labatut

‘When the day came, even the nuns lay down inside the walls of their cloister.’

The Price of Vagueness in a Pandemic

Eleanor Morgan

‘With each day bringing more confusion as this mysterious virus holds us in its grip, cognitive dissonance is everywhere.’


Sigrid Rausing

‘But soon everything that had felt so tragic and dramatic to begin with – thousands of people ill and dying, the great pause, the intense dreams, the solidarity clapping – came to feel normal.’

1 April 2020

Michael Hofmann

‘Living on money from the government, excused our duties and our liabilities, reducing our wants to eating and sleeping and what in the eighteenth century may have passed for exercise, the alderman’s stroll.’


Teju Cole

‘I made many pictures of such trees, and each time, some analogy to art would impress itself on me, the more so because of the universally locked museum doors.’

Still Life

Leanne Shapton

‘Because that’s what I’m doing a lot of; looking around the interiors I occupy, the corners of my occupied apartment.’

Open Bookkeeping

Jenny Erpenbeck

‘I write an obituary that appears in the newspaper that she always used to read while drinking her afternoon tea. I receive €170.03 for the obituary.’
Translated from the German by Kurt Beals.