“When we are most in need of love, we tend to act in ways that are least likely to attract it… people are generally intolerable at exactly the same moment as they most need to have grace extended to them.” Jenn Ashworth
Posts tagged "And Other Stories"
Veronika

Veronika

“Épouse-moi!” Though I’ve had fabulous lovers, they’re never so fabulous as the day I leave them. “Marry me,” Veronika said again. She looked stunning. She was big, larger than me by at least three dress sizes – a Belgian with the bearing of a Viking, educated at the best universities in Flanders and the United States....
A grammar of emotions

A grammar of emotions

“Tragedy as a collective historical fact is at the core of Salvadoran identity,” wrote Horacio Castellanos Moya for the World Policy Journal in 2018, citing “the tragedy of the Civil War, the tragedy of the 2001 earthquake, and the current and most perverse tragedy of them all: the gangs, or maras.” More than thirty years...
Limelight's shadow

Limelight’s shadow

A neuroscientist by trade, Rachel Genn draws from a deep well of jargon to fill her novel What You Could Have Won. The two words that stick in my head for much of the time I’m reading it aren’t too obscure: Toxicity and Tragedy. It’s no wonder: the novel’s main character Astrid spends a good...
Deb Olin Unferth: Free the birds!

Deb Olin Unferth: Free the birds!

Deb Olin Unferth’s ferociously funny novel Barn 8 drops Brooklyn teenager Janey Flores into the utterly alien environment of rural Iowa, where she is recruited into a thankless job as an auditor for the US laying-hen industry. Appalled by the grim conditions in the vast chicken barns, she and her boss Cleveland Smith go rogue...
It's coming!

It’s coming!

At stake: the contested objects, nine hundred thousand white leghorn hens, their foremothers brought over from Italy in the mid-nineteenth century and bred in a frenzy ever since. Were they property or individuals? That’s what had to be decided. — It was from this farm, don’t forget, that Cleveland had taken Bwwaauk some three months...
Iosi Havilio: Getting away with it

Iosi Havilio: Getting away with it

Iosi Havilio’s Petite Fleur is a virtuoso meditation on life, death, depression, anxiety, temptation, recovery and miraculous resurrection. Narrator José is down in the dumps when his job at a fireworks factory goes up in flames, but as the gloom lifts he gains an unexpected talent for guilt-free murder. Establishing that his victims seem always...
Never a dull word

Never a dull word

In April 2015 a delightful story by Fleur Jaeggy, ‘The Saltwater House’, appeared in my inbox. As I read it the Italian seemed to turn into English spontaneously in my brain. It had been sent by a friend in Milan to a friend in New York who then forwarded it to me. It was a...
Cat

Cat

Observing others is always interesting. On a train, in airports, at conferences, while waiting in line, when sitting across from someone at a table; on any occasion, in fact, that people flow into. Even someone who doesn’t travel or is very much alone will at some point go out on the street for half an...
A song for the king

A song for the king

It was exactly as he’d always envisioned palaces to be. Supported by columns, paintings and statues in every room, animal skins draped over sofas, gold doorknockers, a ceiling too high to touch. And more than that, it was people. So many people, striding down corridors. This way and that, attending to affairs or looking to...
On the delta

On the delta

Between the Pajarito and the river that’s an open sea, turning sharply northwards, narrowing and narrowing at first, to almost half its size, then widening again and drawing curves towards its mouth, coiling in on itself, secluded in the first islands, is the Anguilas Stream. Beyond the final bend the open sea breaks into view,...