Best Book of 2008: The Alphabet
Rae Armantrout on why Ron Silliman's The Alphabet is the best book of 2008.
Best Book of 1901: The Octopus
Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.
Best Story of 1965: ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’
Aimee Bender on why Flannery O’Connor's ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is the best story of 1965.
Best Book of 2003: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke
Daisy Hildyard on why Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hooke is the best book of 2003.
Best Book of 2015: After The Dance
Dimitry Elias Léger on why Jan Gaye's After the Dance is the best book of 2015.
Best Book of 1981: Lanark
Lorna Gibb on why Alasdair Gray's Lanark is the best book of 1981.
Best Book of 20??: Shadowbahn
Jonathan Lethem on why Steve Erickson's Shadowbahn is the best book of a year to come.
Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon
Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.
Best Book of 2006: The Re-Emergence of Global Finance
Oliver Bullough on why Gary Burn's The Re-Emergence of Global Finance is the best book of 2006.
Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo
Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.
Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Callan Wink on why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.
Bad Luck, Britain
‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’
‘Restored nature would be a phantom of its former self. The experience would be akin to visiting a wildlife park.’
Five Things Right Now: Noelle Kocot
‘This is not only poetic, to think of the Creator as a big bird, but also quite mysterious.’
‘The second year, I noticed before anyone else that the Coelophysis was trying to escape.’
Introduction: What Have We Done
‘There is an apocalyptic feeling in the air. I write the day after the news that the IS have blown up parts of the ancient site of Palmyra.’
‘The effort to know a place deeply is, ultimately, an expression of the human desire to belong, to fit somewhere.’
George and Elizabeth
‘She could see, or was starting to, that someone out there was seeing him, watching him.’
‘The word money popped up like a bit of the ocean’s detritus riding in on a wave, but her lips formed the words ‘Merry Christmas’.’
‘I liked the way she travelled: with her iPod in one pocket, her traditional Yup’ik woman’s knife, or ulu, in the other.’
‘What I am equipped to do is different / Than what I have been called for.’
The Middle Ages: Approaching the Question of a Terminal Date
‘What is left? What is he to wrap himself in, now that everything has floated off into space?’
‘They party in the woods / as if they were meant for pleasure / not timber.’
To the Ocean
‘At the desk they said they encouraged guests not to walk, but she was determined’
Hunters in the Snow
‘The hunters have all failed, / the three hunters and their forlorn dogs / now arriving home from the mountain / which thunders above their village’