My Chess Teacher
‘The environment, however, wasn’t a hostile one. Though it was filled with the strangest guys in town, they were only there to play.’
Five Things Right Now: John Darnielle
John Darnielle, author of the debut novel Wolf in White Van, shares five links of what he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.
‘The viewer has to pour their own unconscious into interpreting these images, make them their own, allow themselves to be encouraged by the existence of a void.’
‘Seven corporations control the afterlife now, and many people spend their lives amassing the money to upload into the best.’
‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’
Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.
How to Get Over Someone You Love
‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’
Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.
‘an orange plastic basket of compost / down from the top of the garden – sweet dark, / fibrous rot, promising’
‘No one knows why ripping up a name makes a person call – science can’t explain it. Erasing the name also works.’
The Ferryman Is Dead
Here, more die than are born. There’s a refrigerator at the bottom of the lake. The ferryman is dead. No one is coming to take his place.
A Hebrew Sibyl
‘And so began what I was to become. To all these things – the admonitions and the testimonies, the rites and the annunciations – I had easily acquiesced.’
A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War
Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.
The tourists are gone. They’ve fled to Islamabad, along with the landlords and the hoteliers and the battalions of police that used to defend them, and certainty has left with them.
The Atlantic Wall
This chain of Nazi fortifications stretching from the Norwegian Arctic to France’s western frontier with Spain is one of Europe’s least acknowledged monuments.
The Alphabet of Birds
‘She is standing there, her body like a lamp, waiting for the glass to break.’
In the Shadow of the Hospital
‘All that yearning spilling down amid the treetops and roof ridges, a shadow I’d never properly considered before.’
Books and Roses
‘A golden chain was fastened around her neck, and on that chain was a key.’
‘My curiosity about lesbianism was an accomplice of my feminism: a path that allowed me to be sexual and free.’
‘I longed to know what she was thinking, what she did all day when she wasn’t performing rituals.’
Five Things Right Now: Dorothea Lasky
Dorothea Lasky, author of the poetry collection, Rome, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
‘At forty, I think the world leads to the body. Besides, laid out on a stretcher, you are your only home’ .