"Our technology has outpaced us to the degree that human understanding is no longer at the centre of it." Olivia Sudjic
February 2014
This dog's life

This dog’s life

It happened like this: after a walk in the park, Karl and I saw a young woman sitting in a car talking to a dog. Even from a distance, through the hard glass of the windshield, we could tell this was an exceptional animal. Karl, never shy, tapped on the window to ask her what...
J. Courtney Sullivan forever

J. Courtney Sullivan forever

J. Courtney Sullivan’s epic third novel The Engagements serves up a sparkling slice of American social history alongside tales of love, marriage, break-up and everything in-between as it charts the fortunes of a diamond ring through the lives of couples spanning five generations from 1901 to 2012. Conjuring great passion and deep betrayal, this inventive...
In living memory

In living memory

Elena When someone you slept with dies, you begin to doubt their body and yours. The once touched body withdraws from the hypothesis of a re-encounter, it becomes unverifiable, may not have existed. Your own body loses substance. Your muscles fill with vapour, they don’t know what it was they were clutching. When someone with...
Christos Tsiolkas: Privilege and shame

Christos Tsiolkas: Privilege and shame

Christos Tsolkias’s follow-up to the international bestseller The Slap tells the story of a boy swimmer named Daniel Kelly who comes so close to glory then spirals into unbridled aggression and self-hatred. Where The Slap saw a single act of violence and its repercussions witnessed from eight distinct viewpoints in individual chapters, Barracuda opens with...
The old world

The old world

No one wants to listen to a man lament his solitary nights – myself included. Which is why, on an early fall morning four months after Gail left, when a woman breezed into my shop  with a pinstriped skirt in her arms and said, “On what day this can be ready?” I didn’t write a...
A little bird...

A little bird…

At the height of his powers, Chairman Mao launched a war on sparrows. On a mission to turbocharge China’s productivity, the Communist leader decided that the birds were eating too much grain. One winter day in 1958, he mobilised the population of China to kill them off. The campaign was ruthlessly coordinated. At dawn on...
Deborah Levy finds her voice

Deborah Levy finds her voice

Deborah Levy has been riding a wave since her novel Swimming Home was nominated for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Both the novel and her superlative collection of short stories Black Vodka were published by indie publisher And Other Stories, while bespoke house Notting Hill Editions picked up her essay on writing, memory and childhood...
No way to live like this

No way to live like this

My friend Bay Lettique, a sleight-of-hand man, does close-up magic. You can shuffle a deck of playing cards, spread them facedown on the table, and he’ll pick them up in order, ace to king, by suit or by rank, your choice. He once asked me to think of a card – not to mention it,...
The tiger who came to stay

The tiger who came to stay

The main character of my first novel, The Night Guest, is a seventy-five-year-old woman named Ruth. People often ask me how it was that I came to write a book about an elderly woman. I assume they ask this because I’m not elderly; this leap of imagination, from young to old, seems particularly hard to...
Sow the weeds

Sow the weeds

These are my best tips for writing non-fiction. I haven’t the faintest idea how one approaches novels or stories, and the below is probably terrible advice for fiction writers, who just seem to need a lot of time. 1. Writing is a job The worst thing you can do for your writing is get precious...