“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
Posts tagged "extract"
Down on Disneyland

Down on Disneyland

DOMED BLUE CEILING, a phantom ocean. The Little Mermaid hangs from a wire, waving her hands in greeting, her tail swishing sinuously in her wake. Her stomach bulges from the harness beneath her bodysuit. Down on the ground, visitors brandish cameras, contorting themselves to keep her in their sights. A puff of smoke and Triton,...
Communicating evolutions

Communicating evolutions

Audrey Schulman’s The Dolphin House is an engrossing fictionalised account of a singular episode in modern science. In the mid-1960s, a NASA-funded project led by neuroscientist Dr John Lilly saw naturalist Margaret Howe live in confinement with a dolphin named Peter in a flooded house on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, to investigate...
Into the lagoon

Into the lagoon

As soon as her head was under the surface, the dolphins’ noises filled her. Sound, bright as light, hard as touch. Ping-pong balls bouncing down metal stairs. Dolphins are constant vocal innovators, playful geniuses with unspeakable power, the Maria Callases of the sea, their sounds unworldly and pure. A gospel group on helium, hitting the...
White desire

White desire

Weary and defeated, I collapse onto the damp floor of my cell and think about those people who swarmed the seas like repellent jellyfish and heaved themselves up onto foreign shores. They were interviewed in half-hidden, half-open offices on the outskirts of the city. It was my job, and that of many others, to interpret...
Soon you will wake

Soon you will wake

It started ages ago, a thousand centuries ago, but let’s skip all those yesterdays and begin last Tuesday. It is a day you wake up hungover and empty of thought, which is true of most days. You wake up in an endless waiting room. You look around and it’s a dream and, for once, you...
Paradise Lodge

Paradise Lodge

As they would go to a holy city to die, people came to Paradise Lodge to end their lives. Young and old. Men and women. Able-bodied and ailing. Like migratory birds, they arrived from places Latif had never heard of. It was as if it was the closest point to the after world, as close...
A party for Hanna

A party for Hanna

The first guests start to arrive. There is not yet any sign of Hanna, who claimed she would be there early. ‘But “early” for Hanna still means late by most people’s standards,’ Kemi says. She doesn’t seem at all worried that Hanna might not turn up, so Alice tries not to be either. She welcomes...
The why, not the what

The why, not the what

Unless I’m mistaken, a riot is about to break out in the departure lounge of the Lagos Domestic Airport. ‘Someone should at least tell us what’s going on!’ an irate passenger barks into the face of an unruffled airline staff member, spraying her with spit. Good luck with that, I think from where I sit...
Unheld conversations

Unheld conversations

Just before my second novel, Belladonna, was published in 2020, I gave each of my parents an advance proof copy. They had both read my first book at a much earlier stage in the publishing process, when I was still working on edits. This time, the novel was just weeks away from being made available...
Frontists, Stalinist and murderers

Frontists, Stalinist and murderers

Frentista, estalinista, asesina loca. Una palabra detrás de otra, un conjunto de palabras elaboradas en una ecuación implacable. Sílabas sonoras, perfectas, que iban organizando una cadena armónica que resonaba igual que una recurrente letanía. So begins the next chapter, and I know it’s going to cause me trouble. The first sentence is just four words:...