"Our technology has outpaced us to the degree that human understanding is no longer at the centre of it." Olivia Sudjic
May 2014
Akhil Sharma: Let it bleed

Akhil Sharma: Let it bleed

Akhil Sharma’s long-awaited second novel Family Life tells the story of an Indian immigrant family’s arrival in America – a mother, father and two sons: 8-year-old Ajay and the older Birju – and the terrible tragedy that befalls them when Birju hits his head on the bottom of a swimming pool, where he lies unconscious...
A passage to Forster

A passage to Forster

In contrast to his earlier novels, which he produced in a flurry between 1905 and 1910, E.M. Forster took eleven years to write A Passage to India. For nine of those years he was blocked, unable to move forward. He started it after his first visit to India in 1913 and was only able to...
Laline Paull's hive society

Laline Paull’s hive society

The literary world is buzzing over a remarkable debut novel featuring Flora 717, an unlikely heroine born into the lowest ranks of society and breaking free to achieve like no one of her kind before her. Flora happens to be a bee. Described in some quarters as Animal Farm meets The Handmaid’s Tale, Laline Paull’s...
One lady owner

One lady owner

A provocative and darkly comic look at marital relations, pregnancy, romance and fantasy, Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London in June 2011, and now comes to the MCC Theater in New York in a new production directed by Sam Gold and starring Greta Gerwig. Here’s how it begins…  ...
Ricky Rouse Has a Gun

Ricky Rouse Has a Gun

Rick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park – a family destination ‘inspired’ by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears and a big behind) and other original characters....
Emma Jane Unsworth gets rowdy

Emma Jane Unsworth gets rowdy

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth is the hilarious account of the friendship between Laura and her best friend Tyler as they navigate their nights out, days spent hungover and the relationships they develop along the way. I ask her about the origins of the novel and how it speaks to our times, and she gives...
The witch

The witch

We set out for the witch’s house in the still-gray morning. Babushka drove, squeezed behind the steering wheel of our boxy yellow Zhiguli. Mama sat in the front, fumbling with my migraine diary. Over the last year, the doctors had failed to establish any correlation between the excruciating pain that assaulted me weekly and what...
The global thermostat

The global thermostat

For the globe as a whole, the ocean is the great regulator, the great stabiliser of temperatures. It has been described as “a savings bank for solar energy, receiving deposits in seasons of excessive insolation and paying them back in seasons of want.” Without the ocean, our world would be visited by unthinkably harsh extremes...
Andrea Gillies: Sirens call

Andrea Gillies: Sirens call

Andrea Gillies’ second novel opens with Nina Findlay recovering in a hospital in a tiny postcard-perfect Greek island. She’s lucky to be alive. She’s survived a head-on collision with a minibus with only a broken leg, whereas her life just before the accident was in tatters following the implosion of her relationship with two brothers....
Elisabeth

Elisabeth

It was early Sunday morning. I had taken a deckchair from the veranda and carried it down to the corner of the garden, next to the flagpole, and was sitting there reading The Anarchist. My brother and his wife weren’t up yet. I glanced up at the house now and again, at their bedroom window,...