"There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
November 2014
A bookshop like no other

A bookshop like no other

Ah, Paris. The city of love and food and books. Abundant with literary cafés and penniless poets. Home of Le Procope, the city’s oldest restaurant still trading, founded in 1686, where Voltaire is supposed to have drunk forty cups of coffee a day. Also home to Bar Hemingway, at the Ritz Paris Hotel. So called...
The wraith

The wraith

Carl Blunt was fully aware when he married her that Lurene was an unhappy woman, and he’d had no illusions about the possibility of her ever changing. She had told him as much when they met: “I’m not happy,” she’d said, on their second date, a dinner followed by a walk along the lake, “and...
Pretending to wait for someone

Pretending to wait for someone

Wanting to be Tinkerbell and take you in my arms— pearly pink flat shoes After seeing you off this morning, I glance at my toothpaste tube— the dent in it is new Sharing in the sun with you summer’s first tomato, skin firm yet delicate He loved another first— and so I am cast as...
Gifted

Gifted

When the nurses handed me my son, I couldn’t believe how perfect he was. Ben was so robust, nearly fifty inches tall, including horns and tail. Even the doula was impressed. “My God,” she said. “My holy God in heaven.” Alan and I knew instantly that our child was exceptional. He was just so adorable,...
A resounding peace

A resounding peace

Irene and I reached a point where we overdosed on silence, although not long before it had seemed normal to us to be surrounded by sound. Not a single thought about the importance of sound or of its absence had ever crossed our minds. Our research into silence had its origins in an upheaval in...
Captain Coconut

Captain Coconut

Captain Coconut is a one-of-a-kind Indian detective, ready to solve any mystery, large or small. In his debut adventure The Case of the Missing Bananas – the first in a planned series – we follow the Captain as he moves from his office to the scene of crime, his powerful brain constantly at work –...
It was the books in his head that killed Michael

It was the books in his head that killed Michael

I knew I had a sickness, knew something wasn’t right, took me years to figure it out. And then, it was too late. Always too late. A head full of words all queuing up to get out, stories fighting among themselves, dreaming of the white page and me taking to the drink for solace because...
Dear Katherine

Dear Katherine

My father was a great reader. He often sat in his blue armchair in the corner of the living room, legs crossed at the knee, sipping a glass of ginger ale, reading a book. One evening when I was fifteen, I looked in on him and asked if he had something he might recommend for...
Sitting tight

Sitting tight

Publication week, and surfing the exhilarated, semi-anxious state of having a book launched into the world. We cracked a bottle – okay, more than one – across the bows of Getting Colder on Monday… marking the beginning of the uncertain voyage any book takes. In my other job, as a screenwriter, seeing your work go out...