"Grief feels like love. Sometimes you press on that tender spot, because it’s as close as you can get to the person who is otherwise gone.” – Kate Brody
Posts tagged "memory"
Anatomy of an obsession

Anatomy of an obsession

You’re likely wondering what all this is about – my aim in contacting you. It’s been three years since rain flicked our glasses as we stood inches apart and I stared at your quivering upper lip, which always reminded me of the tilde: ~. Last week, a journalist contacted me. Since I appeared in a...
The man who spoke with butterflies

The man who spoke with butterflies

In the end, what does it matter who developed the photo? Why am I sifting through a time so far away, a moment that has already frozen and petrified, like a snail fossil in a stone among the billions of other stones that line the shore? I’d like to say a word in my defence,...
Trials, trauma and women's tales

Trials, trauma and women’s tales

In winter 2017, I visited a sandstone cathedral in Orkney called St Magnus. I’d published two novels in as many years, with the next about to be released, and I was exhausted. This trip was meant to be a break from creating – I’d even left my laptop at home in Australia. I wandered the...
Catastrophe on the shore

Catastrophe on the shore

The boat had seemed large at the dock, but now that they’re rumbling away from Big Island, it seems flimsy and ludicrously small. Luda tries to think of the last time she’d been on a boat before coming to the islands. Years ago. Someone’s thirtieth birthday on the thick, marshy water of the Hopeturn River...
After the deluge: Knowledge in the magical age of (mis-/dis-) information

After the deluge: Knowledge in the magical age of (mis-/dis-) information

A new book by Simon Winchester has just come out. The mere fact in itself is thrilling and exciting. For over 50 years, Winchester has been critically informing his readers as a journalist for the Guardian, the Daily Mail or The Times, and as an author of political histories of troubled places and troubling times,...
Subverting the idea of The One That Got Away

Subverting the idea of The One That Got Away

Of all the great romance tropes – friends to lovers, forbidden romances and love triangles – there’s one that I’ve never been able to resist. From Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth in Persuasion to Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the idea of The One That Got Away has always pulled at...
My invisible friend

My invisible friend

At one point they tried to calculate when time began, when exactly the earth had been created. In the mid–seventeenth century, the Irish bishop Ussher calculated not only the exact year, but also a starting date: October 22, 4,004 years before Christ. It was a Saturday (of course). Some even say Ussher gave a precise...
Claire Fuller: Polpo fiction

Claire Fuller: Polpo fiction

Claire Fuller’s latest novel The Memory of Animals imagines a near-future London paralysed by a devastating pandemic that has wiped out much of the world’s population. The narrator Neffy, a marine biologist with an obsessive interest in cephalopods, is among a band of young, healthy volunteers in a vaccine trial. At the beginning of the...
Becoming a writer

Becoming a writer

My twentieth novel, Reservoir, is a psychological thriller about memory, secrets and shame. My central character Hannah has reinvented herself in order to escape her past. Like me, she has moved from a working-class background into a profession that is traditionally middle class – in her case it is psychotherapy rather than writing. At a recent...
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,...