“Every gal from Omaha to Oslo would soon be savoring the pounding cut-loose orgasms Penny had only recently discovered. It was stunning to imagine how this might change the world.”
Chuck Palahniuk


Chuck Palahniuk: Better than love
A tantalising passage from his new novel Beautiful You, about the apocalyptic marketing opportunities in female pleasure.

Pedro Zarraluki: A resounding peace
The narrator of The History of Silence is struck dumb on a desert road trip.

Murielle Szac: Perseus and the Gorgons
Episodes from The Adventures of Hermes: 100 Journeys through Greek Mythology, in which Hermes and Athena help Perseus slay Medusa.


David Foster Wallace: Other people’s stories
Critiquing fiction with the modern American master, in an excerpt from the new collection The David Foster Wallace Reader.


Anthony Trollope: The Cornhill Magazine and Framley Parsonage
Trollope relates an upturn in fortunes after the serialisation by Thackeray of his fourth Barsetshire novel. From An Autobiography.


0918_10_046Boris Fishman: Believable lies
The author of A Replacement Life discusses psychological spaces, fitting in, storytelling, South Brooklyn, ex-Soviets and a boy named Bobby.

J. Robert Lennon: Short, weird stuff
We talk to the author of Familiar about his new story collection See You in Paradise, the story ‘The Wraith’ (see below), music, adaptations, and other creative engagements.


Mika Provata-Carlone: The power of leaves
How Zaha Hadid’s planned research institute and genocide memorial in Cambodia and the writings of W.G Sebald remind us to cherish memory.

Jen Campbell: A bookshop like no other
The author of The Bookshop Book praises the Paris institution Shakespeare and Company, and chats with its custodian Sylvia Whitman.

Philippe Claudel: Rainstorm
Extract from the novelist and director’s olfactory memoir Parfums.



J. Robert Lennon: The wraith
About a marriage briefly enlivened by split personality, from the collection See You in Paradise.

Simon Rich: Gifted
A mortifyingly funny tale about parenting and schooling a very special child, from Spoiled Brats.



Patrick O’Flaherty: It was the books in his head that killed Michael
A sparkling tale of sickness, delusion and despair at the edges of the creative imagination.



Machi Tawara: Pretending to wait for someone
A poem about love, loss and yearning from her bestselling debut collection Salad Anniversary, now published in English by Pushkin Press.


Thomas E. Kennedy: Dear Katherine

The author of The Copenhagen Quartet reveals how Katherine Mansfield’s observations of human cruelty opened his eyes to the power of fiction.


Rob Doyle: After the euphoria, the finances
The author of Here Are the Young Men reflects on his journey from Bohemian trier to life above the breadline.

Amanda Coe: Sitting tight
The novelist and screenwriter cracks open a bottle and awaits the critical and public response to her second book, Getting Colder.


Anushka Ravishankar and Priya Sundram: Captain Coconut
Introducing a singular Indian detective – master of logic, dance and song – on the trail of missing bananas.

Lines in the Ice: Seeking the Northwest Passage
A selection of illustrations, maps and photographs from the British Library exhibition about 400 years of Arctic exploration.