“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 "memory"
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,...
Alex North: An intriguing game

Alex North: An intriguing game

It was just a silly game to start with. Paul never dreamed that Charlie would take it so far. Never thought it would end in murder… Twenty years later, Paul is trying to put his past behind him. But now his mother is dying, and he can’t run any longer. But home isn’t just full...
Knowing who the real monsters are

Knowing who the real monsters are

A crucial juncture in world history was the encounter between the Helleno-Judeo-Christian tradition on the one hand, and the new tenets of Islam on the other. It manifested itself with particularly momentous poignancy on the intellectual plane through a single concept, upon which depended almost everything that mattered: the right to existence itself, cultural, national,...
A ghost of Christmas, present

A ghost of Christmas, present

The smell hits me as Gary closes the door behind me. Some Scratch ’n’ Sniff abomination – I’d call it ‘December 1983’, but I’m damned if I know what it actually is. “It’s frankincense,” Gary says. “Off a display at Bed Bath & Beyond. Little spray bottle. Heh.” He shrugs. “Guess I got trigger-happy.” “Apparently,” I...
Elif Shafak: Time to reconnect

Elif Shafak: Time to reconnect

Elif Shafak’s richly evocative, elegantly crafted novel The Island of Missing Trees transports readers between 1970s Cyprus and 21st–century London in a cross-generational saga of passion, trauma, memory and renewal. Greek Cypriot Kostas and Turkish Cypriot Defne fall in love as teenagers in the divided city of Nicosia in 1974, meeting undercover in the back...
Multitasking

Multitasking

Catherine Steadman is a woman of many parts. A celebrated actress, novelist and screenwriter, best known as Lady Mary’s love rival Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey, her two novels to date, both tightly wound psychological thrillers, have been huge bestsellers. We catch up with her as her second novel Mr Nobody is released in...
Avni Doshi: Mother and daughter

Avni Doshi: Mother and daughter

Avni Doshi’s debut novel Burnt Sugar – longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize immediately prior to UK publication and subsequently making the shortlist – is a compelling exploration of the ties that bind a mother and her daughter, and of an irreconcilable longing for self-expression in both of them that signifies betrayal. As a young woman,...
Here and there

Here and there

One of the things we do as poets is to try to preserve experiences, people, places important to us, in an effort to save them from time’s erasure. In Passport to Here and There, I’ve been more conscious of this than in some of my other books and felt that a short introduction to my...
Sleepwalker

Sleepwalker

Martin can still hear the way Vickie screamed that night when they’d set the bone. He winces. She was just a little girl, then. Downstairs, pots and pans knock against each other. The cupboard closes. A passing car smears a phantom window over his walls. It leaves behind darkness and the gray outlines of things...
Atlantic

Atlantic

Married as we were to your brown untourist beaches, unconcerned with the many shores you touched, as children, we thought that you, Atlantic, belonged to us, your below-sea-level offspring.   See us playing cricket, turn-down bucket making wicket – ball a spin-off of empire – lost in the applauding waves for six. At Easter, to...
Enough to drown a man

Enough to drown a man

It was New Year’s Eve, and the night belonged to Deacon. A bulb buried and lying dormant inside of him was finding its way to flower. He beamed at his girlfriend Clara, as if to say: Look at the world I can give you. Look at the men in tuxedos and women in sequined gowns....
Marbles

Marbles

I have lost plenty of people. Every loss is a lessening. Every loss makes one more aware of how much there is to lose. But the death of my mother was something else. I don’t know when she died. She had dementia. For ten years she was among us in the midst of life cut...