"There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "Bloomsbury"
Taking flight

Taking flight

Nature writing has experienced a resurgence in recent times, not least as a means of exploring a wide range of personal issues and experiences. This is reflected in this year’s shortlist for The Wainwright Prize, an award for exceptional books about the great British outdoors, named in honour of the celebrated fell-walker, author and illustrator...
Meg Rosoff takes the lead

Meg Rosoff takes the lead

I go to visit Meg Rosoff in her new loft apartment, not far from Borough station. Her husband Paul and her two dogs are there too and it feels a little like the pages of her new novel Jonathan Unleashed, in which a spaniel and sheepdog have a starring role, have been brought to life....
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...
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...
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...
Writing about nothing

Writing about nothing

In a clip I never tire of watching, filmed on the Scandinavian leg of her 1976 tour, punk-rock legend Patti Smith takes perhaps the tamest song in the Velvet Underground’s repertoire and bawls it at us with a screech that is raw, ferocious, tortured. Her poet’s instincts turn Lou Reed’s bland line “lately you just...
Amerika's box

Amerika’s box

The decision to change their five-year-old daughter’s name was a bold one for Ahmed and Fatma to make. Kuwait was, after all, a country tangled in red tape. But like most of their fellow citizens in the year 1991, Ahmed and Fatma wanted to commemorate their nation’s gratitude to America. Fatma was in her late...
Origins

Origins

I really loved the piece of land I grew up on. I spent so much time alone there, looking at the things around me, that sometimes I thought I myself was one of the trees that grew there. I didn’t rule out the possibility that my head might sprout leaves or that mangoes might grow...
Never forget to remember

Never forget to remember

Roger Cohen’s The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family is a truly haunting, vibrant, unusual and staunchly poignant gentle book. It is in fact not one, but many books: a lingering, evocative memoir, a gripping narrative, a shrewd socioeconomic history of South Africa, Britain, Israel, the US and Eastern Europe,...
Boualem Sansal: Resistance writer

Boualem Sansal: Resistance writer

Boualem Sansal began writing his first novel, Le serment des barbares, in his late 40s while still working as a civil servant. When the book was published in 1999, containing criticism of the political situation in Algeria, he was asked to go on leave. In 2003, after further criticism of President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika’s regime,...