When I first went to the Iraq National Museum, I tried to get in through a gate that in its design had been inspired by Nineveh, the ancient capital of Assyria. The gate had a big hole in it, above the door, where it had been pierced by an American tank shell. The door was locked – it turned out t…
Our most popular reads of 2018
Who Killed Tolstoy?
Elif Batuman travels to the International Tolstoy Conference in Russia to determine, once and for all, if Leo Tolstoy was murdered.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her – not even her biographers.
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
Nell Boeschenstein on the fraught discourse surrounding post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Jillian Weise explains what being a cyborg really means.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.
Christophe de Bellaigue on what happened when free speech came to the ayatollahs' Tehran.
The Pine Islands
‘Gilbert Silvester woke up distraught. Mathilda’s black hair lay spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.’
‘It murmurs beneath the crust of the ground, or a person who serves as the ground you stand on.’