"Our technology has outpaced us to the degree that human understanding is no longer at the centre of it." Olivia Sudjic
October 2015
Writing on with a joyful cackle

Writing on with a joyful cackle

Perhaps Stephen King skimmed over the fine print when he signed his deal with the Devil to become one of the most successful authors of all time. Maybe the streetlights were too dim on that gloomy night at the crossroads, and he missed the clause that stated: “Henceforth, upon expiration of x months on worldwide...
Opening night at Shakespeare’s Globe

Opening night at Shakespeare’s Globe

The Time Travel Handbook offers eighteen exceptional trips to the past, transporting you back to the greatest spectacles in history. You can join Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; march on Versailles with the revolutionary women of Paris; sail with Captain Cook to Tahiti and Australia; hang out at Xanadu with...
Greetings from Fürstenfelde

Greetings from Fürstenfelde

The vixen lies quietly on damp leaves, under a beech tree on the outskirts of the old forest. From where the forest meets the fields – fields of wheat, barley, rapeseed – she looks at the little group of human houses, standing on such a narrow strip of land between two lakes that you might...
Perfectly formed Mitchellania

Perfectly formed Mitchellania

Pardon my enthusiasm but the master plotter and literary magician has done it again, delivered a thrilling page-turning, mind-bending masterpiece, a novella with all the punch and humanity of his 600-page blockbusters. Slade House is a compact 240 pages, a one-night-stand of a book but still inhabiting the multi-dimensional universe of his previous star turns,...
A country escape

A country escape

Christine Sneed’s latest novel Paris, He Said focuses on a woman in her early 30s who accepts the offer of an older man who invites her to live with him in the French capital and work as an artist. She writes from a luxurious and strings-free creative haven closer to home. October 2, 2015 Lake Forest, Illinois: I’m at Ragdale, an...
Vendela Vida: Other people

Vendela Vida: Other people

Vendela Vida’s latest novel The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty thrusts a nameless narrator into a maelstrom of mishaps in Morocco in which she loses her luggage, money and proof of identity and dives headlong into a random hiring as a cranky and needy Hollywood actress’s double. Her delirious dissembling is fuelled by a determined indifference...
Suzie baby

Suzie baby

Murders: forty-seven. Kidnappings: fourteen. Attempted rapes: five. Car chases: fourteen. Hijacks: two. Helicopter jumps: one. Smuggling expeditions: countless. It’s not exactly Sir Laurence Olivier. But in summing up my film career, mendacity will serve no one. I have acted in eleven films, three of which were shelved: two for financial reasons, the third as a...
Erasures

Erasures

Ann Goldstein, the English translator of Elena Ferrante, said in a panel discussion hosted by Rosie Goldsmith at Waterstones Piccadilly this month that she felt “bereft when the last translation was finished.” “The characters,” she felt, “become people we live with.” The same sense of bereavement, of loss of a vital friend or voice, is...
Marina Warner hits the high notes

Marina Warner hits the high notes

Marina Warner’s soaring new story collection Fly Away Home echoes with the author’s signature concerns about life’s mysteries, wonders and perplexities through myth, history and the present. Beginning with a tale you can read on these pages, I ask her about the gathering of these stories and their wider themes. MR: A version of the...
Sing for me

Sing for me

In those days the rumour started that there would be an inquiry. Full and frank disclosure, the government kept hinting. A tribunal of independent adjudicators and observers. Independent observers. They’d look into the events thoroughly. And into the sequence of events that led to them, into the decisions and actions that led to those particular...