“Deep curiosity, deep listening, that’s what we have to give to each other. Reading is a form of deep listening, isn’t it? Staying with something, and being affected by it." Maggie Gee
Author Archive
Absolute Bedlam

Absolute Bedlam

It was the week before Christmas. The place that I worked was closing down; offices shut up, people disbanded. The lunchtime buffet, part Christmas cheer, part farewell, was still going on late into the dark afternoon, but I wanted to see an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond. I snuck away...
Double English

Double English

I was a slow learner; my primary school English teacher told me so and I almost believed her. She put me in remedial classes. I was taken off to another room away from the other children; but the support assistant let me sit and write stories, (I still have one of them, ‘Mrs Brambles’). After...
A drink or two

A drink or two

Jack slipped under the counter and closed the door to the bar; propped behind it was a picture of Churchill, glass cracked, and in front beer-crates lined the wall leading straight to Georgie. Her buttocks strained against the seam of her skirt as she bent over and counted bottles. Jack tiptoed forward – one slap...
Human terrain

Human terrain

A latecomer slides into the middle row. “War Studies?” he asks the brunette next to him. She nods. I tell the students to put away their texts. “History isn’t in those books,” I say. “Where is it then?” the latecomer asks. A girl in the front runs a finger over her iPhone. “Bomb in Pakistan...