Explore essays and memoir
Protected: The Cult of the Hindu Cowboy
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When Denmark Criminalised Kindness
‘We now know that it is a criminal offence to help refugees in distress.’
‘In Hollin Hills, we believed our flatware could change the world.’ Jennifer Kabat on the intersection of modernist architecture and espionage.
‘What future youth movement might capture them, those international participants in virtual hunts?’
The Sufferings of this Present Time Are Not Worthy to Be Compared With the Glory Which Shall Be Revealed in Us
‘Every sect needs jargon. We did not have churches, we had halls; services were called meetings; the congregation was the assembly; elders were overseers’
Blue Sky Days
‘For those caught beneath its thrum, there’s no comfort that the drone, and whoever is at its helm in America, is only targeting the bad guys.’ Eliza Griswold introduces Tomas van Houtryve's unsettling photo-essay taken by drones coming close to civilian life in the manner of the drones currently deployed in Afghanistan.
The Interpreters: Among the Brahmins of Benares
‘That first sight of the city curled around the river goes through me like the breath of something old and known and familiar. The city has been destroyed many times in the last thousand years, no less by development authorities than by conquerors. And yet it is so perfect an articulation of the culture that built it that the overlay of centuries has not muffled its voice.’ Aatish Taseer revisits Varanasi.
Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard
‘Freedom, even with hunger and cold, is still precious and irreplaceable.’
‘Even today, she still speaks with emotion about Dorian, the transsexual so proud of her breasts, Diane, who weighed only sixty-five pounds, and Steven, who was so frightened of dying alone that Darcy wished she could promise to be with him when the time came.’ Emmanuel Carrèrre on addiction and poverty in an forgotten America.
Things I Never Told Her
‘I will lay down what I want, and I will get it, and prove I am not the kind of woman who is controlled by a man.’
Teaching After Trump
‘In a country whose government we do not trust, who do we need more than writers and teachers? And what is more powerful than an inspired youth?’
The White Bloc
‘This election made clear that white people in this country have begun to vote how Southern whites always have: as a bloc.’
The Day After Trump Won
‘I feel afraid, and I do not know what to make of yesterday’s belief. I can see that belief like an object shimmering underwater, a kind of relic.’
All that Offers a Happy Ending Is a Fairy Tale
‘If you were like me, you would know the obsession of the compulsive reader: every street sign; every bottle label’
Labyrinth of the Heart
‘Every marriage is forged differently; some crack at a touch, others endure beyond belief, still others are tempered by events and time.’
He Had His Reasons
Colin Barrett on the Hawe family murder-suicide, and what the Irish media’s coverage tells us about the nation’s prejudices.
‘The poor hated the poor, natives hated outsiders, settled migrants hated new incomers, the North hated the South, non-Londoners hated London.’
‘They knelt at my feet. They crawled naked across gleaming wooden floors.’
Crocodiles and Fairy Dust
‘I admit the sneaking feeling, just now and then, that those who govern us think we’re the problem.’
The Politics of English Forgetfulness
‘Brexit demonstrates one of England’s most trusted strategies of power: deliberate forgetfulness.’
Free will and Brexit
‘Whether or not you think 23 June was a great day for Britain and Europe, it was a very bad one for freedom.’
The Price of Freedom, Including VAT
‘I had lost my native country, now I was going to lose a continent.’
Why We’re Post-Fact
‘We are living in a ‘post-fact’ or ‘post-truth’ world. Not merely a world where politicians and media lie – they have always lied – but one where they don’t care whether they tell the truth or not.’
Putting Down Strangers
‘Home, after all, is a continual plangent threnody in the often uninterpretable clamour of being an immigrant.’ Adam Thorpe on Brexit.