We’ve put together a round-up of our favourite pieces from 2017 – stories, essays, readings, poetry and extracts from some of the best novels of 2017. Here you can find great political writing, sharp, witty fiction, and excellent interviews with our authors.

 

Non-fiction 

In 2016, a young French woman filmed her own suicide live online. In ‘Notes on a Suicide’, Rana Dasgupta considers a disconcerting new trend in the age of social media.

‘Océane fell silent, reading the comments and occasionally rolling her eyes. More than a thousand were now watching and the mood was raucous; people joked about her appearance and expressed lewd anticipation about what she might do.’

 

In Prozac Culture, Brian Dillon looks back to the Prozac craze of the 1990s and its aftermath.

‘Prozac did not work at the catatonic extreme of bone-deep and often lethal melancholia, and so in the process of its preparation for the market a milder category, “atypical depression”, was emphasized in the literature directed at clinicians.’

 

Short stories 

Lisa Taddeo’s A Suburban Weekend’ captures the nuances of female friendship.

‘Liv was obsessed with Fern’s dead parents. She would say things like, I bet your mom would tell you that you look like a slut right now.’

 

In Brom, Ottessa Moshfegh explores the twisted mind of an ignoble knight obsessed with the divine light within.

‘I stay mostly in my bedroom chambers, examining what has found its way into my pores or the mucoid crook of my eye.’

 

Poetry 

‘To no longer be in a state of grief is also a state.’ Two poems by Dara Wier from her new book In the Still of the Night, published by Wave Books.

 

‘I saw at the park I let you lift me like rucksack.
The court spilled out of me even as I held it.
I was thick dough when you ran us away. I never
knew you.’

Judges is taken from Natalie Eilbert forthcoming collection Indictus, published by Noemi Press.

 

Interviews and readings 

Sarah Hall and Tessa Hadley discuss the short story, their creative processes, and the magic and medicine of literature.

 

Critic Margo Jefferson reads ‘The Uncle’ by Kathleen Collins, taken from her collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? (Granta Books).

 

Novel extracts

This extract from Marie Ndiaye’s My Heart Hemmed In is a remarkable exploration of alienation and belonging, in subtle relation to race.

 

‘The Farm’ is an extract from Nicola Barker’s novel H(A)PPY. It won this year’s 2017 Goldsmith’s Prize, awarded to fiction that ‘opens up new possibilities for the novel form’.

 

 

Image © caruba

Souvankham Thammavongsa | Notes on Craft
Round-Up 2017 | Readers’ Choice