"There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "extract"
Back on land

Back on land

Well, when I saw her hanging upside down, like reverse crucified, my heart stop and my blood run cold cold cold. So, they ketch her. My worse fear. I kept up with their boat for an hour or so, but left before they hook her good. They were heading far out. I turn back; I...
Our Lady in peril

Our Lady in peril

Of the night of the fire I remember a kaleidoscope of images, a collision of emotions, in quick succession. Through my kitchen window seeing bright-yellow plumes of smoke coiling into the sky, then rushing down the stairs onto quai de la Tournelle, standing right opposite Notre-Dame’s south rose window, the red and orange tongues of...
Why do birds sing?

Why do birds sing?

It was around midnight when J. and I arrived. The location seemed at first glance unpromising. A snarl of train tracks, interspersed with islands of undergrowth, just outside Warsaw West Station. Neck-high grasses and thistles, less than two miles from the park. It was right here, amid the stink of heated railway sleepers, that a...
from Ledger

from Ledger

Jane Hirshfield’s new poetry collection is a personal, ecological and political reckoning, a registry of contemporary dilemmas and an urgent call to action on climate change, social justice and the plight of refugees. The poems record both abiding and squandered riches and mourn our many failures, summoning our common responsibility to sustain one another and...
The secret

The secret

My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother. In 1968, she was working at the gift-wrap counter at Davison’s downtown when my father asked her to wrap the carving knife he had bought his wife for their wedding anniversary. Mother said she...
The natural

The natural

When he heard that the great Maltese actress Marianne R. was coming to Glasgow to give a series of masterclasses, Willem applied immediately. He was invited to audition a few weeks later by letter and had to plead with his agency to move his cleaning shift at the university. After all the fuss and rehearsing...
A good lie

A good lie

“Excuse me?” Her voice unnerved me a little. It also scared me. First I heard the surprise in it, and then the touch of indignation. I disregarded her tone. She shouldn’t see the flaws. My fright, for example, and my inner doubts. If she noticed those, there was no chance. I explained again, as clearly...
Nile madness

Nile madness

Petina Gappah reads a chapter from the first part of Out of Darkness, Shining Light, narrated by David Livingstone’s cook Halima. In the wake of the famous meeting with American journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, Livingstone and his companions prepare to press on with the hunt for the source of the Nile – despite...
The dolphin children

The dolphin children

Belkis and I met when we were sixteen. Numen prides himself as the architect of the country’s ‘robust’ economy, a feat he achieves by laundering billions of dollars, via private banks, to help Iran and North Korea circumvent the international sanctions imposed on them – a service that reputedly also rewards him with tea chests...