"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "politics"
After shock

After shock

On 4 July, a little under six months into Donald Trump’s presidency, I joined a packed audience of over 2,000 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall for an engaging and impressive keynote speech by Naomi Klein based around her latest book No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics. Klein equates Trump’s election...
A new day

A new day

The young woman runs burning along the side of the marketplace, down the High Street, away from the fountain. Away from the fountain and the cool, litter-strewn water. She is tall, long-legged. Her hair is ablaze and flames spit from an unravelling scarf towards the motley crowd of people who give chase. Someone is screaming,...
Sun on grey water

Sun on grey water

There is no time or place in human history without a crisis (not even the Garden of Eden of Adam and Eve). Whether in the form of socio-political or cultural earthquakes of greater or lesser magnitude, or as underlying tensions, festering wounds or unquietened, maddening murmurs, crises are at the heart of the very act...
Freedom from democracy

Freedom from democracy

The electoral process has often been compared to a marketplace in which ideas are sold by parties to voters who make their consumption choices in the voting booth. In his compelling study of American democracy, Golden Rule (1995), US political scientist Thomas Ferguson argues that we need ‘a different account of political systems in which...
Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave’s latest novel, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, is a London-set examination of the real impact of the Second World War, centring on an 18-year-old schoolteacher called Mary North. Cleave and I have tea one afternoon in Piccadilly to discuss it. There’s a reason why we’re drinking tea and not, say, vermouth. Cleave doesn’t drink....
Nathan Hill: Unpuzzling it all

Nathan Hill: Unpuzzling it all

Nathan Hill’s debut novel The Nix is a hefty, engrossing, deeply funny family drama and a sweeping examination of American politics, protest and the shifting media landscape over the last fifty years. At its centre is Samuel Anderson, a blocked writer, bored teacher and online gamer, whose mother Faye walked out decades ago and re-enters...
Burhan Sönmez: Istanbul light and dark

Burhan Sönmez: Istanbul light and dark

Burhan Sönmez’ latest novel Istanbul Istanbul is set in a cramped two-by-one-metre prison cell beneath the teeming city, where a student, a doctor, a barber and a frail activist regale each other with stories, parables and riddles to fill the time between brutal interrogations. Readers are transported from the oppression of the dingy cell by...
Read my lips: Pol-talk

Read my lips: Pol-talk

When new-dealer Franklin D. Roosevelt told the American people, in a radio broadcast, “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues”, it wasn’t because Mr President couldn’t have come up with something more – let’s say – ‘presidential’. He wanted to be homely, to get down with the...
FUKP is the answer – what's the question?

FUKP is the answer – what’s the question?

As we head into a General Election tougher to call than last orders at an Aussie wedding, Free United Kingdom Party leader The Pub Landlord is wooing the good people of South Thanet with the promise of cheaper beer and a common-sense commitment to restoring Britain’s lost hope and glory. Our ordinary punter gets under...
Tony Juniper: Green growth

Tony Juniper: Green growth

Tony Juniper’s latest book, What Nature Does for Britain, sets out to undermine the received folly that protecting nature is somehow bad for the economy and, via first-hand accounts from around the country showing how environmental damage is under repair, builds a persuasive manifesto for a greener nation. We sit down for a wide-ranging chat...