I lay in bed that first night at boarding school, listening to the silence wrap around me. Instead of hearing my father’s voice chanting the shahada – ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet’ – I heard my own voice whispering: ‘Mahdi, Mahdi, Mahdi – this is all because …
The Mother of All Sins
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.
‘his balance / between person and / abstraction’s so stirring I want no other token for anything can happen’
‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’
Hungerwinter and Liberation
Jan Vegter’s remarkable visual and written record of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, translated from the Dutch by Theo de Feyter.