The Sweet Sop

The longest day have an end.’ At the door I turned around for one last look. Not that he look overjoyed to see me when I reach. ‘Everybody wearing bracelet like this.   After one…

Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman

(Does the source material for the story of The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn REALLY contain the line ‘Send forth the naked women!’?) At a little shy of 300 pages including introduction, pronunciation guide, endnotes…

Coming up on Vulpes Libris:

This week for your edification and delight, we have our usual mixed bag of reviews: Monday: Moira considers the shattered stained glass window effect in Philip Freeman’s Celtic Mythology. Related Coming up on Vulpes Libris: The…

Amit Chaudhuri | First Sentence

I spent my years as a reader and apprentice writer devoted to poetry. The quotation, like the paragraph, is for me not a sample of writing, or a taster, or a representative of the narrative;…

Emma Cline | Five Things Right Now

Golden foliage and backyards abutting total wildness, a certain quality of late afternoon light. There was nothing remotely sexual between us – I hugged him hello and I hugged him goodbye.   2. He was…

The Tamarind is Always Sour

These moments, these movements, are as anachronistic as they are timeless. Kamal was sullen and withdrawn when I spoke to him, and my colleague who was helping interpret could not hear him well over the…

The Naming of Moths

Miss Bethan is incontinent and the July air is humid. She thinks of Adam, alone in the world. You need to rip it here, above your heart.’ Adam obeys and easily tears the fabric with…

Araben

It was cloudy, and the water shivered in the wind. ‘Perhaps most important subject in school.’ ‘Oh yes, definitely,’ she said. She was a human being just like him, and they could both pretend for…

Nifty Nonfiction: Dreadlocks and Deliveries

Nifty Nonfiction: Dreadlocks and Deliveries Two books on elements of everyday life that I found interesting. The narration had a friendly, conversational flow, which also contained amusing anecdotes and historical references. Some years ago, I realized…

Great Castles by Peter Roberts

Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited 1981 128 pp. There are plenty of photos, both black and white, which work well for pictures of armories and exterior grey stone. There’s even a short chapter on “America’s Castles”,…

Solar Stasis | Discoveries

  Elsewhere, Gonzalo Torné laments the dissolution of his marriage in Divorce is in the Air: ‘You have to understand: we were good together.’   May Jean-Claude Juncker have mercy on our souls. Back in…

The Portobello Prize

The judging panel consists of: Ben Rawlence (author of   City of Thorns), Sharmaine Lovegrove (film & TV scout and literary editor), Sophie Lambert (Literary Agent,   C+W), Marion Rankine (book-buyer at   Foyles), and…

Caravan of Freedom

For three days, the time it took for the hearse carrying the former Cuban leader’s ashes to travel from Santiago to Havana, this scene is repeated. Schools, hospitals and every state company – closed for…

Soon Comes Night

The jump was an act of pure forgetting, in which the self-consciousness of looking and thinking and measuring my distance from those around me evaporated. A continent away, Idi Amin was expelling the Asians of…

A Pinch of Salt

Ed calls it being stuck in a washing machine of misery. The blue sky   and the gold corn are legitimately beautiful, even if they are painfully local. Quiet they knew something was not right….

Who Is Like God

When I entered her bathroom, Ure wiped the wet shower glass to see who it was. ‘That is how you should be,’ she’d tell my sister, who always managed to tear her clothes or scrape…

Blue Self-Portrait

He drives his car on ex-GDR roads, on these roads of the former republic that are still complete chaos, he crosses the still deeply sorrowful countryside, this once-upon-a-time republic still effectively lying fallow and as…