Forster in Cambridge

Richard Shone, 30 July 2020

At six I knocked on his door and heard his light-toned ‘Come in.’ At first I could see no one in the large, high-ceilinged room with its mass of Victorian furniture, books and pictures against...

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Diary: In Ashgabat

James Lomax, 30 July 2020

Phillips had been waiting for me to arrive for half an hour. He was desperate to talk to someone, even if that person had been sent to investigate him for fraud. ‘Let’s go for a drink after...

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The Suitcase

Frances Stonor Saunders, 30 July 2020

Childhood is lived not in history but in geography, in the slow, systematic mapping of place. Every child is a pioneer, surveying with great seriousness a world in which everything is new under the sun. Slowly,...

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Ooh the rubble: Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill, 16 July 2020

Churchill ran into the kitchen during an air raid and told her to get into the shelter, but Landemare, who was making a delicate pudding, refused: ‘If I’d’ve turned it out it’d’ve...

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He was a heretic who remained on the left, never a Cold War renegade who sang the virtues of capitalism or colonialism. Had he done so, many avenues would have opened up for him in the West. His books...

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Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood, 16 July 2020

My mind had moved a few inches to the left of its usual place, and I developed what I realised later were actual paranoid delusions. ‘Jason’s cough is fake,’ I secretly texted a friend...

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Michael Tippett’s freewheeling creative spirit had started to rub the British classical music establishment up the wrong way. He was going rogue at a time when much British music sounded stiff, rule-bound...

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Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa, 2 July 2020

Djenné was exactly as I’d expected. For somebody like me, who grew up in the Sahel, it isn’t exotic. The mudbrick houses, the people on the streets, the heat (dry, despite the surrounding...

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Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones, 2 July 2020

Elaborate and secret bunkers tend to be linked in the popular imagination (and perhaps in reality too) with evil megalomaniacs: every other Bond villain is to be found lurking in an underground lair –...

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Diary: How to Draw an Albatross

Gaby Wood, 18 June 2020

When my plate was processed and printed – a chemical bite into metal; a slow rotating wipe of blackened scrim; a heavy roll of the printing press – the effect, at least to my eyes, was of an...

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Krazy Glue for All Eternity: Mrs Escobar

Jessica Loudis, 18 June 2020

In his own memoir, published in 2014, Juan Pablo wrote that while he considered himself one of his father’s victims, he placed himself at the very bottom of the list. Victoria Eugenia Henao makes...

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Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice, 4 June 2020

The feeling of being unsafe is more acute in a world where everyone is beginning to feel unsafe. To be seriously ill in ordinary circumstances is to measure one’s distance from health. To be seriously...

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Over the decades the princess and her lady in waiting became an effective double act. They made a striking couple: at nearly six foot tall, Anne Glenconner towered over Margaret’s 5'1''. Margaret...

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At Home

Jane Miller, 4 June 2020

It’s​ april, and beyond our back wall a line of ambulances is queuing up to deliver sick passengers to the hospital. We are self-isolated, safe in our fortress, as we wait on our order...

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In Beijing

Long Ling, 4 June 2020

I replied no to each question and then asked: ‘What if someone hides this information?’ Without looking up she said: ‘Nobody can hide. Everything is under control.’

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Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana, 4 June 2020

In late March, Yonas heard that another rescue boat, the Alan Kurdi, was on its way to Libyan waters. But he didn’t manage to get on board. On 7 April, the boat, crammed with 150 migrants, headed...

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Bournemouth: The Bournemouth Set

Andrew O’Hagan, 21 May 2020

‘Remember the pallid brute that lived in Skerryvore like a weevil in a biscuit,’ Stevenson wrote. Yet his three years there, the only period he spent in England, were the best years of his...

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Diary: In Guy Vaes’s Footsteps

Iain Sinclair, 21 May 2020

The poet’s London was a literary mausoleum edited from quotations. And then, in growing excitement, a place actually experienced from a number 14 bus, before he struck out in whichever direction...

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