Train Dreams

He kicked free of his captors easily, as they were trying to shed themselves of him anyway, and went over the side, dangling over the gorge and making hand­over­hand out over the river on the…

Happy Hour

The rapist met his victim, the jilted child discovered its mother. Most days in Seattle are grey, but now I remember only the sunny ones.   *   I was sitting on the city bus—this…

Paul Auster In Conversation

Paul Auster’s 4 3 2 1 is available now from Faber & Faber. They touch on the inspiration for his latest novel – the longest of his career –   the differences between fate and…

I Am Lying

That’s why he hesitates. In one study by the Innocence Project, more than 25 per cent of wrongfully convicted people had made a false confession. Image   courtesy of the author. In memory it is…

Any Idiot Can Write a Book

I look up at the director to see if he wants me to start again from the top, but he is whispering something to the microphone girl and doesn’t appear to have noticed. The director…

Cyclical Wisdom | Discoveries

Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen also has reservations, writing of the hostility workshop spaces can generate for people of colour: ‘the writing workshop… Artistic integrity or raging ego? What would happen if men could…

Consolata

My mother whistles a line of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and looks off into the sunset like a pilgrim contemplating a promised land. The cider is flat, but cool and welcome slipping down my throat. Patsy had…

Calorific

And then I sigh, knowing or hearing that faintest trace of breeze doing the whispering for me, travelling over many hectares along my line of sight from the elevated position I return to. But these…

All That Was Familiar

Tired of Boko Haram attacks, youths of the city took up arms to hunt down the terrorists that had risen from among them. Sa’adatu and her children waiting for food Multiple reports of displaced persons…

Other-Dimensional Beings | Discoveries

But since this is Discoveries, here are some things they’ve been up to elsewhere: Claire Vaye Watkins’s feminist challenge to the male canon An interview with ‘other-dimensional being’ Ottessa Moshfegh Esmé Weijun Wang on living…

Between Them

Which created its own strains. My recalled feelings over that time – my little-boy life, in Jackson, on Congress, in my first years, in the forties and beginning fifties – are of a hectic, changing,…

Roma

She says she has noticed he has not unpacked his bags from Portugal. It has been raining in Portugal for three days and nights. The cold marble floor. A shack restaurant in the poorer part…

Leaving Gotham City

I start to laugh. ‘Hey, whattup? She waves at him, and he flips her off, laughing, turning back towards me with a shrug. ‘He’s a grown man, Nana. I know because I’ve been counting. I…

The New Me

Aimless, giddy dread fills me. ‘This is really affecting you on a day-to-day level.’ ‘Well, I mean, no, we weren’t that close, it’s just on my mind.’ ‘Is it on your mind because you feel…

Introduction

The title was New American Writing, and it featured work by Joyce Carol Oates, Norman Bryson, Tillie Olsen, Leonard Michaels and Susan Sontag, alongside pieces about writers – some in the vein of literary criticism,…

Terra Nova

  *   I ended up spending a few more nights with the Guineys, so strong was the gravitational pull of their hospitality. It also provides an excellent window onto a foreign place. He pulled…

Hatchet Jobs | Discoveries

    Images   © David Stillman and Cameron Russell John Wilson Croker ‘made efforts almost as superhuman as the story itself appears to be, to get through it’, doubting that ‘any man in his…

Last Days on Corfu

A woman standing on the shore, just as you did this morning. A thumb-tack on the road went right into my bare foot, and I didn’t notice it until much later, when I was changing…