Americans, speaking of foreign lands, often say, ‘It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.’ Somewhere in that cheery sentence is an insult—especially if you live in the place being dismissed—but few such speakers would acknowledge it. To many, it just seems obvious:…
Americans, speaking of foreign lands, often say, 'It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.'
The Stinky Ocean
‘It was a peculiar, alopecic landscape of hummocks and gullies, with patches of grass growing on what looked like white earth, and rarely a soul to be seen.’
Ian Jack on the legacy of the Scottish textile bleaching industry.
I’ve Been Away for a While
‘When the world releases him from its oily grip will there still be a world?’
Fiction by Dan Shurley, featuring the 2019 explosion of an oil refinery in Philadelphia.
Death Takes the Lagoon
‘Black waves bring animals to the town’s shore. Sticky corpses float on the oil.’
Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.
House of Flies
‘None of us hung out with them or knew them really, except two boys in our class, who stopped going to school after crude oil became such a big deal.’
A story by Claudia Durastanti, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris.
‘His best photographs are expressionistic, almost calligraphic, as though he’s displaying the hidden signatures our collective appetites have etched across the Earth.’
Anthony Doerr introduces the photography of Edward Burtynsky.
Chris Hedges has been a war correspondent for nearly twenty years, covering Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. He is the author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.More about the author →
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and moved to the United States with his family seven years later. His first novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. It was also named a New York Times Notable Book, a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and a Best Debut of the Year by the Guardian. His second novel, Absurdistan, has sold over 40,000 copies in the UK. The New York Times Book Review named it one of 'The Top 10 Books of 2006'. His most recent novel Super Sad True Love Story was published by Granta in 2010. It won the Salon Book Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Bestseller, and was the first book by an American author to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction. Gary's fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine. In 2010 he was selected as one of the New Yorker's '20 under 40'. He lives in Manhattan with his Dachshund.More about the author →
Paul Theroux is the author of around thirty novels and short story collections, as well as sixteen works of non-fiction. His latest book is A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta (2009).More about the author →