NO BLANK SPACES

You Got This

Here is a story I wrote about a year ago. I was reading a lot of Hemingway at the time. *** Mitch needed money. So there was that. He needed other things, but he still needed money. After school, he went running. It was a perfect afternoon. In the height…

‘Unremitting, Unremitting’

Here is a poem I wrote last year to mark the anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s suicide by drowning, inspired partly by her suicide note. Unremitting, Unremitting A headlong rush that breaks The water’s skin and mine. These shoes give little traction, Slipping down the muddy bank. They were not made…

Why I Write about Afghanistan

Four years ago I stumbled across some pictures of Kabul in the 1960s. It didn’t look anything like the city that I saw on the news every day. Women walked the streets, uncovered and unaccompanied. Tourists and locals mixed freely. This was a free, vibrant, optimistic city. Ever since, this…

The Cultural Carrion: April Edition

Eduardo Paolozzi, Whitechapel Gallery (until 14 May) – ***1/2 The most striking picture in the first room of this retrospective is a portrait of the artist himself. Suddenly everything else makes sense. You see, Paolozzi was made of concrete. At least, I think. His sculptor has tried to cram as…

‘Jackie’: An existential biopic

“Jack wasn’t a perfect man but he was perfect for our country.” So says Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) to Life journalist Theodore H. White (Billy Crudup) in Pablo Larrain’s heady, haunting biopic of the former First Lady. It’s a statement rich in ambiguities: does she mean he was better suited…

2016: Must Read Harder!

In 2016, the world stubbornly refused to end. In light of this fact (something else that hasn’t gone away), I’m going to need something to read while waiting for the End of Days (re-scheduled for 20th January, apparently). Last year my book-reading ceased, at least outside of holiday time, thanks…

Every one a winner?

When I decided to read and review the novels shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, I did so from a position of ignorance. I didn’t know how it all worked. Although I have probably read a Booker-winning novel before, I don’t remember it for that. I didn’t know who…

One-line reviews of 100+ books: 31-40

Features ‘The Trial’, ‘Naked Lunch’, ‘The Quiet American’, and ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ One-line review #31: ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury. A very cleverly written ideas-driven story (the sections where they discuss the unique importance of books is wonderful) that actually has the guts to pursue its ideas as far as they…

Something went wrong with the twitter.