“When you are a latecomer, outsider, immigrant, exile, there are fractures in your life that you can’t heal… I have a lot of respect for people that have stayed behind and have to deal with the wounds every day.” Elif Shafak
Posts tagged "Belgium"
Veronika

Veronika

“Épouse-moi!” Though I’ve had fabulous lovers, they’re never so fabulous as the day I leave them. “Marry me,” Veronika said again. She looked stunning. She was big, larger than me by at least three dress sizes – a Belgian with the bearing of a Viking, educated at the best universities in Flanders and the United States....
Starting over

Starting over

Kololo Hill by Neema Shah (Picador, 18 February) starts with Idi Amin’s declaration that all Asians must leave Uganda within 90 days. What follows is one family’s fear, sadness and the uprooting of their whole life. Jaya and Motiband moved to Uganda from India and have built up a successful life and business along with...
Coming in and going out

Coming in and going out

Plague diary, 29 March 2020. I’m reading about one of the biggest icebergs in history, “a tabular iceberg” in Antarctica, which was “more than 31,000 km2”. “Significantly larger than Belgium,” they add. I read that another giant iceberg, a sort of island 61 metres thick, “took seventeen years to be mapped.” I start studying bunkers,...
from Passport

from Passport

Richie McCaffery’s second poetry collection is a vivid exploration of place and displacement, boundaries and borders, creativity and doubt. As he writes about anxiety, loss and dislocation, he asks us to consider what it means to belong, and how we find our place in life, in love and in language, and in our pasts.  ...
Magritte: This is not a biography

Magritte: This is not a biography

Intoxicated by the prospect of a promotion, Charles Singulier allows himself a small extravagance: he buys a bowler hat. But unbeknownst to him, this particular hat was once the property of the great Surrealist René Magritte – and by donning it, he is transported into the artist’s off-kilter world. What’s more, he can’t escape –...
A night in the barn

A night in the barn

David Hare’s The Red Barn, his latest sell-out play at the National Theatre, is a bold adaptation of Maigret creator Georges Simenon’s hitherto obscure novel Le Main, which is also now released by Penguin Classics in a new translation. In the depth of winter in 1950s Connecticut, Donald and Ingrid Dodd (Isabel in the novel)...
Reading Europe

Reading Europe

Now in its eighth year, European Literature Night (ELN) returns with an expanded programme under the banner of the newly inaugurated European Literature Festival. Presented by EUNIC London, ELF is a six-week celebration of literature from across the continent, with more than 60 writers and poets from over 30 countries involved in events and projects from 27...
Strays and loners

Strays and loners

The temple garden was beautiful, bright flowering trees and shrubs hidden from the noise of the traffic. We stood holding hands by a Buddhist statue while a local government official read something from a piece of paper. We promised to love one another, to live in harmony until death, caring for one another in times...
Out of the cellar

Out of the cellar

I wish I could say that The Woman who Fed the Dogs is the hardest novel I have ever written, but the opposite is true. It is the most distressful, but that’s a different matter. The novel is conceived as a monologue and tries to imagine what might have gone on in the mind of...
Jörg Tittel and John Aggs: Taking the Mickey

Jörg Tittel and John Aggs: Taking the Mickey

In May, we ran some pages from Jörg Tittel and John Aggs’ shoot-em-up theme park satire Ricky Rouse Has a Gun, then available only in a limited-run special edition hardback. As the paperback is launched, I catch up with the pair – and a stranger in a giant mouse suit. What was the initial spark...