“I wish I had a more reliable way of figuring out how to write. It’s all just intuition and waking dreams.” – Robbie Arnott
Posts tagged "fiction"
Close at hand and out of reach

Close at hand and out of reach

Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel is bold and beautiful. It’s told over seven interconnected stories and from different members of the same family. A Jamaican family come to the USA to find a better life for their sons Delano and Trelawny but things don’t work out as planned. When his parents split up Trelawny stays with...
Into the volcano

Into the volcano

In Iceland, volcanoes used to be a menace; terrible, sleeping monsters that erupted once in a while, spewing ash and lava over the country, killing people and animals, destroying homes and causing famines. Today, thanks to science, we know much more about them, we understand why they erupt, and our brilliant geoscientists can often warn...
Look to the skies

Look to the skies

The novella Boundless as the Sky takes place in Chicago on a single day – 15 July, 1933. It is based closely on a true event, the arrival of a “roaring armada of goodwill” in the form of twenty-four seaplanes flown in a display of fascist power by Mussolini’s wingman Italo Balbo to Chicago’s Century of Progress...
History and 'the people'

History and ‘the people’

The stories in German Fantasia were written between 2016 and 2020. Although the times and the conditions under which each of these texts was written were different, they turn on themes and ideas that have been important to me for a long time: first and foremost that of the incoherence of history and the roles men play in it,...
Back to that place

Back to that place

José went in a car with two plainclothes policemen. I went in another with the detective and a muscular man covered in tattoos. The vehicle I was in drove slowly, up the same road that a few days earlier I had travelled up on foot, clothed and intact, and on the way down, torn and...
Wildness and wonder

Wildness and wonder

Franco-Mauritian author Caroline Laurent’s latest novel An Impossible Return is an epic love story set against the shocking injustice of the Mauritian government’s deal with Britain for independence – which resulted in the wholesale evacuation of the Chagos Islands to enable the US to set up a strategic military base on Diego Garcia. When independent, passionate Marie...
Winds of change

Winds of change

They sat around the plot, as peaceful as seabirds. Their hands plunged into woven baskets, pulled out coconuts that they set on their skirts. Always the same gestures: raise the machete, split the fruit with a sharp thrust, husk each half before putting it on the ground, the meat exposed to the sun. Then the...
The most Bantu of all the Swiss

The most Bantu of all the Swiss

The controversial poster has all tongues wagging. There are opinions of every flavour. Some say there’s nothing nasty about it. It’s just an everyday expression, they argue. A black sheep is simply someone who’s a bit different from its fellow sheep. Nothing more. Others, however, claim that it contains blatant discrimination against foreigners. On this...
Light in a world of darkness

Light in a world of darkness

In 2013, Icelanders voted for the most beautiful word in their language. They chose a nine-letter one, the job title of a healthcare worker, the Icelandic term for midwife: ljósmóðir. In its reasoning, the jury stated that the word was a composite of the two most beautiful words: móðir, meaning mother, and ljós which means light.  Although I had two...
Approaching The Peckham Experiment

Approaching The Peckham Experiment

Five and a half years after the appalling tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the public inquiry has finally completed more than 300 public hearings. Richard Millett KC, counsel to the inquiry, declared: “Each and every one of the deaths that occurred… was avoidable.” He mapped out the way the companies, authorities and individuals involved had all...
Robbie Arnott: Untamed nature

Robbie Arnott: Untamed nature

In the heat of a Tasmanian summer, with the world at war and his brothers away on secretive missions in the Pacific, 15-year-old Ned West traps, shoots and skins rabbits to sell their pelts in the hope of saving to buy a small boat. As his father and older sister struggle to keep the riverside...
Starting small

Starting small

Lord knows why, but starting my own small press has been a dream as long as I can remember. Guess I’m allergic to money. When I was child, I used to make little books out of typing paper and staples; in my twenties, when no one wanted to publish me, I made pamphlets out of...