wed 29/06/2022

memoir

Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is to see simultaneously through the eyes of a woman and a child.The mother, the industrious and ingenious Stefania, watches her...

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Extract: Catching Fire by Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn began his translation of Jamás el fuego nunca, a novel by experimental Chilean artist Diamela Eltit, in January 2021. Considering the careful, difficult but not impossible “craft” of translation as he worked, Hahn kept a diary,...

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Extract: Where My Feet Fall - Going For A Walk in Twenty Stories

I began work on Where My Feet Fall a few months into the pandemic of 2020. After lockdown was announced we all became better walkers, and the collection took on greater resonance.The writers I selected were invited to do one of two things – recall a...

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Marianne Eloise: Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking review - bargaining with the devil

No mental health condition has become quite as kitsch as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Its tacky shorthands – the hand washing, the germaphobia, the clean freaks – have made their way into everything, from Buzzfeed listicles to The Big Bang Theory...

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Album: Elvis Costello and the Imposters - The Boy Named If

There is a sense in which Elvis Costello emerged as a recording artist fully grown, with that unique vocal mix of vulnerability and insolence, savvy and often brilliant lyrics. Although he has never stopped experimenting, always with the logic of a...

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Peggy For You, Hampstead Theatre review - comedic gold, and a splinter of ice, from Tamsin Greig

Was Peggy Ramsay a “woman out of time”? The celebrated London literary agent, who nurtured the talents of at least one generation of British playwrights, surely counted as a legend in her own lifetime (she died in 1991). Has she lasted beyond it?...

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Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Marcin Wicha’s mother Joanna never talked about her death. A Jewish counsellor based in an office built on top of the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, her days were consumed by work and her passion for shopping. Only once did she refer to her passing,...

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Extract: The Breaks by Julietta Singh

How do we mother “at the end of the world”? Among the ruins of late capitalism, climate catastrophe, and entrenched white state violence?Julietta Singh “admit[s] that at a conceptual level there is a crucial part of me that wants to throw in the...

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10 Questions for writer Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Anyone familiar with psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk’s bestseller The Body Keeps the Score (2014) will recognise the ghost of his title in Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s My Body Keeps Your Secrets. His book is an essential text for understanding the...

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Extract: David Lan's As If By Chance

In June 2001 the London Festival of International Theatre brought Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Alive from Palestine to the Royal Court Theatre for one performance. The Guardian said, “How often do you see a piece of necessary theatre? These 'stories under...

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Rosie Wilby: The Breakup Monologues review - do breakups make us stronger, better people?

According to Rosie Wilby, “breaking up and staying together are simply two sides of the same coin. They are a flick of a switch apart, separated only by one fleeting moment of madness, or perhaps clarity.” Wilby’s book The Breakup Monologues: The...

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Kate Lebo: The Book of Difficult Fruit review - a rich, juicy delight

Two years ago, I became preoccupied with beetroot. I didn’t want to eat it, particularly, or learn new ways to cook this crimson-purple veg. Instead I hunted down stories of the “beet-rave”, as it was once called (from the French la betterave), from...

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