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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Posts added in July 2010

Elif Shafak on Fiction and Imagination

Listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, feel what others feel. Elif Shafak builds on this simple idea to argue that fiction can overcome identity politics. “Knowledge that takes you not beyond yourself is far worse than ignorance.” Thanks to Donigan Merritt for pointing this […]

Spare Ribs

At the pool today, Julius, 8 foot tall anorexic Tanzanazian with eagle-eyes asks me why I have one toe with gold nail varnish. I don’t have an answer that comes anywhere near satisfying him. Later in the sauna, Azra, the Egyptian goddess, talks incessantly about herself, how she and her world interact, how the universe […]

Patti Smith – Horses

“It was the most electrifying image I’d ever seen of a woman of my generation. The cover immediately went up on my living-room wall, as if it were a holy icon. It symbolised for me not only women’s new liberation but the fusion of high art and popular culture. Now, two decades later, I think […]

Zadie Smith on Reading and Writing

I don’t write that much. There are people who write every day, and it’s part of their life, and I go for months, and recently years, without writing fiction, for example. For me, it is not a matter of daily survival. And I’ve heard writers speak of something that they can’t help but do. The […]