I always know, when I sit down beside my small herd of cows – and also feel that they might know – that our relationship is flawed. I may be their custodian, the provider of grass in summer and hay and straw in winter, and the shelter of a barn away from the wind; but I am also their predator, the agent who removes the young bullocks at 30 months and has them killed, who has the power of life and death over all 15 of them. And so, when I am with them, that double atmosphere prevails: wary and easy, calm with a suggestion that calm might not be the whole story, all in it together but not in it together at all.
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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.
Chasing Wolves in the American West
‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’
‘The eel is perfect, in its sheen of efficiency, its introversion, scarcely distinct from the place it makes its own, like a cancer, spread into every cell of the moors.’