"To write anything worth reading you have to put everything you have into every sentence. There can be no lazy thinking, no clichés, no borrowed tropes, no third-hand experience; there can be no hiding.” Miranda Darling
Posts tagged "French"
A time for reading

A time for reading

It is the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday in March. She has just woken up from a nap. The snow is no longer falling but its brightness is still being projected onto the ceiling of their apartment. It is rather lovely. The cat is watching her from a pouffe opposite the sofa with...
Arianespace

Arianespace

IT’S THE LAST ONE IN THE VILLAGE. RUMOUR HAS IT she’s outlived most and chased away the rest, that’s how they talk about her in these parts, where her first name is all that’s needed: Ariane. According to the police report, she is ninety-two years old, and what I hope, as I park my car...
A shower of stardust

A shower of stardust

It was long after nightfall, and a soft breeze played over Guillaume’s face. He had positioned his telescope to the portside and aft, to observe the constellations of Centaurus, Circinus, Volans and the Southern Cross. With a yellow glass disc placed over the end of the telescope, the image was more sharply focused. He was...
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,...
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...
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,...
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...
Truth or dare

Truth or dare

My name is Fatima Daas. I write stories so I don’t have to live my own. I’m twelve years old when I go on a school trip to Budapest. Everyone gathers in the evening to go over the itinerary. Right after dinner, in a big room where there’s no network. Impossible to connect to MSN...
Samira Sedira: The makings of a murder

Samira Sedira: The makings of a murder

French-Algerian author and actress Samira Sedira’s People Like Them, her first novel to be translated into English, is a fictional retelling of a real-life multiple murder in a mountain village in Haute-Savoie, in which a recently arrived wealthy black property developer, his white wife and their three young children were brutally killed by a neighbour....
Véronique Tadjo: Listen to the trees

Véronique Tadjo: Listen to the trees

French-Ivorian writer, academic and artist Véronique Tadjo’s spellbinding novel In the Company of Men draws on personal testimonies from medical workers and those affected by the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as oral traditions of storytelling, to create an urgent modern fable about the strength and fragility of life on...