How long is the shadow of a battle, an explosion, a revolution? What stories arise in the wake of devastation? This issue explores the complicated aftermath and legacy of conflict. Lindsey Hilsum returns to Rwanda two decades after witnessing the beginning of genocide. Patrick French writes of a great-uncle whose heroism in World War I left behind a ‘saturating cult of remembrance’. From air-raid drills in Paul Auster’s America to a calf with a broken foot in Herta Müller’s Rumania, this is how we live after the war.