"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
November 2015
Malambo kings

Malambo kings

Laborde, a town three hundred miles northwest of Buenos Aires in Argentina’s Côrdoba province, was founded in 1903, originally under the name Las Liebres. Populated at the time by Italian immigrants, it now has six thousand inhabitants and is situated in an oasis of wheat and corn dotted with mills. The wheat and corn brought...
Sloane Crosley: Sparkling in the dark

Sloane Crosley: Sparkling in the dark

Sloane Crosley’s debut novel The Clasp is the story of three college friends – Kezia, Victor and Nathanial – each of whom is reassessing their friendships, careers and love lives as they turn 30. Written in the style of a comedy caper, while also owing much of its inspiration to Guy de Maupassant’s famous short...
The locusts

The locusts

In the village that follows a never-changing script, things are today exactly as they were yesterday, the day before, and last year. Over there, one of the villagers, dutifully executing his daily chores. He’s drawing water from the well using a bucket raised by a beast of burden. Now he’s tossing daily feed to his...
Ahmed Fagih: After the revolution

Ahmed Fagih: After the revolution

In 2008, Ethan Chorin’s Translating Libya, an anthology of short literary works by Libyan authors he had encountered whilst working as a US diplomat in Tripoli, shed light on hidden aspects of Libyan life and exposed the rich cultural heritage of a country that in Western eyes was solely dominated by vast, barren desert and...
Phyllis Nagy: Carol and me

Phyllis Nagy: Carol and me

Carol, starring Cate Blanchett as a wealthy 1950s New York housewife and mother who risks her place in society by embarking on an intense affair with Rooney Mara’s shop girl, is a hot tip for big prizes as the film industry gears up for its annual awards season. The film, directed by Todd Haynes, is...
One moonlit night

One moonlit night

Under a harvest moon FBI agent John Connolly eased his beat-up Plymouth into a parking space along Wollaston Beach. Behind him the water stirred, and further off, the Boston skyline sparkled. The shipbuilding city of Quincy, bordering Boston to the south, was a perfect location for the kind of meeting the agent had in mind....
Not a girl, alas

Not a girl, alas

Our times are times of tremendous change, maturation and unique creative vibrancy for the theatre. Productions have multidimensionality, a plurality of voices and of centres of balance which enthrals us, inspires us, truly lures us to share in the dramatic experience, be more and more an integral, engaged part of a stage that is no...
Margaret Atwood: 'Rape Fantasies'

Margaret Atwood: ‘Rape Fantasies’

‘It’. Ten times in the first two paragraphs of Margaret Atwood’s classic ‘Rape Fantasies’, the chatterbox narrator, Estelle, avoids naming rape – plainly the topic she wants to address. And who is this Estelle? Oh, she’s quite the card, quite the jokester about rape, although she does take constant detours from her topic. So we...
Alice in Wonderland at the British Library

Alice in Wonderland at the British Library

Celebrating the enduring power of Lewis Carroll’s original story and the first illustrations by John Tenniel, this exhibition explores how the story of the girl who went down the rabbit hole continues to inspire and entertain 150 years after it was first published. One of the British Library’s most loved treasures, Lewis Carroll’s iconic handwritten...
Shakespeare's exiles

Shakespeare’s exiles

A tempestuous and disproportionate furore erupted in the media after Benedict Cumberbatch used stronger terms than usually expected to entreat the audience at a recent production of Hamlet at the Barbican to show support for the refugees arriving on Europe’s shores. The actor’s reaction, after being presented with a CBE by the Queen for his...