"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 "New York"
Catskills karma

Catskills karma

In 1973 my family spent a summer in the Catskills, upstate New York. One afternoon I peeped through the fence of our front yard as a woman with long yellow hair lay down in the middle of the road. My mother said there was a house near the river where the hippies lived. They did...
Nikhil Parmar: Spirited, inspired and fundamentally hilarious

Nikhil Parmar: Spirited, inspired and fundamentally hilarious

Nikhil Parmar’s acclaimed debut play Invisible returns to London’s Bush Theatre for a limited run before transferring to New York as part of the 2023 Brits Off Broadway festival. The provocative one-man show is a darkly comic tour-de-force in which an underemployed actor (and overemployed dealer) takes drastic steps to get noticed. I fire off...
Lore Segal: A life in stories

Lore Segal: A life in stories

Lore Segal published her first Ladies’ Lunch story, ‘The Arbus Factor’ in The New Yorker in 2007, and the most recent, ‘Soft Sculpture’, in summer 2022. For her extraordinary new collection, published to coincide with her 95th birthday on 8 March 2023, she brings three new stories together into a sequence with earlier stories published in The New Yorker and elsewhere....
Grace Paley: 'Goodbye and Good Luck'

Grace Paley: ‘Goodbye and Good Luck’

I was fortunate enough to see Grace Paley speak. It was back in 2003 or thereabouts at the Small Wonder Festival at Charleston. I think it might have been the first time the festival, which celebrates the wonder of short stories (the clue’s in the title), had taken place. Grace Paley had been due to...
The train

The train

The train to Paris, which had been expected at 2:37 p.m., pulled in five minutes behind schedule. Albert Le Prince didn’t see his younger brother, Louis, very often anymore. Louis had moved away from France over twenty years ago – and if that wasn’t enough, lately he had been consumed by his work on a...
Upwards and sideways

Upwards and sideways

Daphne Palasi Andreades’ stunning debut novel Brown Girls (Fourth Estate, 3 February 2022) is a vibrant and poetic look at the lives of women of colour growing up in modern America. Told in vignettes, we meet a collective group of girls from different immigrant backgrounds finding their way in today’s society. On a single block...
Obama the chameleon

Obama the chameleon

The concept of race has no evidentiary basis in science or the serious study of the natural world, but as a social construction, it has had a powerful impact on the shaping of the modern era. Race has structured hierarchies and relationships within vast empires and between powerful nation-states and subjugated colonies for centuries. Further,...
Nasim's story

Nasim’s story

I moved to New York in January 2014 to start reporting New Yorkers. I had spent the previous decade researching, reporting and writing two books about other places. They were based on my experiences interviewing a wide array of people to get a feel for their lives, their work and the places they made. For...
Raven Leilani: In the air tonight

Raven Leilani: In the air tonight

Luster is an original, darkly funny debut about an interracial love triangle, by a new voice with the power to turn modern manners upside down and inside out.  Edie is having online sex with Eric, a man she met on a dating app who messages her with impeccable punctuation – she has a good feeling...
Pictures behind the story

Pictures behind the story

All photographs are packed with stories. They surround us, littering our screens and walls with narrative and memory. Time embalmed. But for each of us, some images are packed fuller than others. Alighting upon a particular combination of light and shade, colour and form, a person we love(d), a fleeting delight – our attention is...
The portraitist

The portraitist

I have to admit that I had a few colleagues with whom I would have preferred never to have crossed paths. Sherman was one; the mere thought of him fills me with bitterness and disgust. Augustus Frederick Sherman. How could I possibly forget him? I can still picture him, stout and saturnine, with his prophet’s...
New arrivals

New arrivals

Augustus Frederick Sherman (1865–1925) worked as a registry clerk with the Immigration Division at Ellis Island from 1892 until close to his death. Over the course of his career he took around 250 photographs of new arrivals at the immigration centre, capturing pictures of Romanian shepherds, Italian peasants, German stowaways, circus performers, single women and...