"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "London"
The first killings

The first killings

Who now remembers the story of the Limehouse Golem, or cares to be reminded of the history of that mythical creature? ‘Golem’ is the medieval Jewish word for an artificial being, created by the magician or the rabbi; it literally means ‘thing without form’, and perhaps sprang from the same fears which surrounded the fifteenth-century...
Mohsin Hamid: Moving on

Mohsin Hamid: Moving on

Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel Exit West imagines a world in which war refugees and economic migrants have the chance to break for safety by passing through supernatural black doors that serve as wormholes to wealthier countries. It’s a magical conceit that fast-forwards the likely exoduses of the coming decades, and intensifies the human dramas of...
An unfailing life

An unfailing life

On 29 April 1937 Virginia Woolf read one of her texts on the radio, the only recording of her voice known to have survived from a total of three BBC radio broadcasts. This highly introspective essay on the craftsmanship of writing was entitled ‘Words Fail Me’; four years later, almost to the day, Woolf would...
Mixed-up thinking

Mixed-up thinking

This is the story of how I came to write Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars and how it came to be more relevant than even I had imagined. It is a story of two parts – the first a little more obvious than the second. But everything needs a beginning… My beginning lies...
There is something very wrong with Leyton Mills Retail Park

There is something very wrong with Leyton Mills Retail Park

There’s something wrong with Leyton Mills Retail Park. I didn’t notice it in the old days when I used to go there with my wife to shop in B&Q. In need of a bit of wood, or a thingy to fix an object to another thingy, we’d drive from Clapton across the Lea Bridge, then...
Elena Lappin: Secrets and lives

Elena Lappin: Secrets and lives

In Elena Lappin’s novel The Nose, her protagonist Natasha Kaplan, a young New Yorker in London editing an Anglo-Jewish magazine, discovers more than she’s bargained for when in the course of her new job she ends up uncovering secrets about her own family’s past. “I thought I had invented and imagined it all,” writes Lappin...
Amy Liptrot: Wired and watchful

Amy Liptrot: Wired and watchful

Amy Liptrot’s astonishing debut memoir The Outrun is a brutally honest tale of inglorious addiction in hipster-central Hackney, and a lyrical meditation on the long path to recovery after she washes up back home on the clifftops of Orkney. Plunging into nature on the remotest islands, she dissects her desperate descent into alcoholism and the...
A small wonder

A small wonder

They say that good things come in small packages, and W11 Opera’s current production of Eliza and the Swans, a sparkling retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans, is certainly a glorious thing on the small stage of the POSK Theatre in Hammersmith, which for two nights transforms into the great world of fairy...
London models

London models

Professional models are a purely modern invention. To the Greeks, for instance, they were quite unknown. Mr Mahaffy1, it is true, tells us that Perikles used to present peacocks to the great ladies of Athenian society in order to introduce them to sit to his friend Pheidias, and we know that Polygnotus introduced into his...
The fifth wife

The fifth wife

Blessings sometimes travelled in pairs. And when they did, especially during a rainy season, there was a unanimous decision by the Gods to give way to them through the traffic of the living. They floated above the still moist beds of earth where cassava plants slept, bounced off the hard backs of restless tortoises in...