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Explore Essays and memoir

Letter from Wyoming

Brad Watson

‘Before I moved to Wyoming in 2005, I was – like a lot of people outside this region, it turns out – not quite sure just where it was.’

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Wrestling with Translation

Jeffrey Yang

‘As I embarked on my adventure I immediately started to feel that old hatred for simplified Chinese characters.’

Body Snatchers

William T. Vollmann

‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’

One Ridge Over

Josh Weil

‘Some mornings I see him coming up through the mist. The grey shape of a long-haired man carrying a long-barreled gun amid the bare grey branches of the old apple trees.’

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.’

Keeping it in the family

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘My father first came to Death Valley because Charles Manson told him to.’

My First European

Edmund White

‘I belong to the last generation of Americans obsessed with Europe and intimidated by it.’

In Gikuyu, for Gikuyu, of Gikuyu

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘My first name, Binyavanga, has always been a sort of barometer of public mood.’

Simon Willis | What I’m Reading

Simon Willis

‘Like an excitable child, I rushed to the foyer to buy my copy.’

The One True God, Allah

Richard Watson

‘This is the story of the British jihad.’

The House of Provisions

Lois Williams

‘A world of soft things stacked deeply.’

We Went to Saigon

Tia Wallman

‘I thought that this must be the sort of plane that crashes. What were a few more dead, travelling to the city of the dead?’

Joburg

Ivan Vladislavić

‘When a house has been alarmed, it becomes explosive.’