"Our technology has outpaced us to the degree that human understanding is no longer at the centre of it." Olivia Sudjic
Interviews
Steven Uhly: A life of encounters

Steven Uhly: A life of encounters

The chance to converse with Steven Uhly is not just a meeting but a real and even formative encounter, a moment of wisdom, laughter, serious and relaxed humanity. He is someone with a very distinct presence, ineradicable and self-effacing at the same time, poetic and materially concrete. He exudes indomitable strength and very serene, reflective...
Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave’s latest novel, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, is a London-set examination of the real impact of the Second World War, centring on an 18-year-old schoolteacher called Mary North. Cleave and I have tea one afternoon in Piccadilly to discuss it. There’s a reason why we’re drinking tea and not, say, vermouth. Cleave doesn’t drink....
Nathan Hill: Unpuzzling it all

Nathan Hill: Unpuzzling it all

Nathan Hill’s debut novel The Nix is a hefty, engrossing, deeply funny family drama and a sweeping examination of American politics, protest and the shifting media landscape over the last fifty years. At its centre is Samuel Anderson, a blocked writer, bored teacher and online gamer, whose mother Faye walked out decades ago and re-enters...
Michael Chabon: Flying high

Michael Chabon: Flying high

Michael Chabon’s latest novel Moonglow is a fake memoir that spans the Jewish slums of pre-war Philadelphia, rocket science and espionage in World War II Germany, the verve and machinations of the space race and the dwindling of the American Century in a sleepy Florida retirement home. It’s a comical, provocative, jubilant and tender saga...
Welcome to dystopia

Welcome to dystopia

Writer-directors Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel have adapted and filmed György Dragomán’s dystopian fantasy The White King, a series of interlinked stories influenced by the author’s childhood in a Hungarian enclave of Romania during the Ceausescu regime. Lorenzo Allchurch stars as 12-year-old Djata, whose father Peter (Ross Partridge) is imprisoned while he and his mother...
Alexandra Kleeman: Spaces in between

Alexandra Kleeman: Spaces in between

She’s been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the wise young women of our generation”; Ben Marcus called her “one of the sharpest and smartest young writers” around, “ambitious, promising, brilliant”; and Vanity Fair described her as a “future superstar”. These are just a handful of the accolades heaped on American author...
Claire Fuller: A family at sea

Claire Fuller: A family at sea

Claire Fuller’s second novel Swimming Lessons tells the story of a missing woman and her adult daughter who, twelve years on, tries to piece together the facts about her mother’s disappearance. She talks to Juliet West, author of Before the Fall, about the book’s genesis and her inspirations in nature. JW: Swimming Lessons is such...
Chibundu Onuzo: Sticking together

Chibundu Onuzo: Sticking together

Chibundu Onuzo’s vibrant second novel Welcome to Lagos – following 2012’s acclaimed The Spider King’s Daughter – is the story of an unlikely band of runaways thrown together as they escape civil unrest in the Niger Delta to start a new life in Nigeria’s chaotic and sprawling megacity. Army officer Chike and loyal foot soldier...
Burhan Sönmez: Istanbul light and dark

Burhan Sönmez: Istanbul light and dark

Burhan Sönmez’ latest novel Istanbul Istanbul is set in a cramped two-by-one-metre prison cell beneath the teeming city, where a student, a doctor, a barber and a frail activist regale each other with stories, parables and riddles to fill the time between brutal interrogations. Readers are transported from the oppression of the dingy cell by...
Colson Whitehead: Making it

Colson Whitehead: Making it

Colson Whitehead has just won the National Book Award for fiction for his bold and provocative novel The Underground Railroad, a nightmarish historical saga about a slave girl called Cora who’s on the run from the horrors of life on a Georgia plantation. Giving literal life to the metaphor for assisted escape, she emerges via...