In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

A Family JokeMichael Laskey

Just her superstition – never
to watch a guest pass out of sight.
There we’d be all waving together
till the last moment when she’d turn

and dash indoors. Not that it dawned on us
for years – she was just our mother –
but rumbling her we were unanimous:
nonsense like that had to stop.

So we’d encourage her, slip our arms
around her shoulders and then hold her
more firmly the more she squirmed;
and she’d be laughing, but wouldn’t look.

And still won’t. We watch her duck
inside the porch as we drive away,
don’t scoff so much at the bad luck
she wouldn’t risk bringing down on us.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences