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In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Early RiversRuth Fainlight

This jar of rosy-purple jam is labelled
Early Rivers, August ’82 –
the date I made it, the name the farmer gave
those plums, smooth as onyx eggs, but warmer.

The dimpled groove, bloom-dusted, down each fuit
pouted at the touch of my knife, yielding
the stone I put inside a cotton sock
(relict of a worn-out pair – every
boiling dyed it darker crimson – from one
plum-season to the next I saved it) then pushed
the lumpy tied-up bag into the centre of
the pulpy amber halves and melting sugar
in the preserving kettle, and let the mixture
ooze its pectins, odours, juices, flavours,

until the chemistry of time and fire
produced this sharpness, sweetness, that I’m eating
now, straight from the jar, smearing my mouth,
digging the spoon in deeper, seeking a taste
undiluted even by nostalgia.

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