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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


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Rereading Bowen

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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



Everywhere it’s raining except here
where the mosquitoes thrive
and the car alarms wail at each other
all through the dog-moaning night,
and just before dawn that smell
of onions frying brings the image
of a fat ghost chef whose insomnia
is dealt with like this, making me
rush to the kitchen to catch him
but he and the smell are always gone.
And sleep has no chance at all then,
so rather than ride the toss-&-turning
horse I go naked onto the balcony
to count the lights left on in the flats,
trying to imagine who is up early
and who is late to bed, and soon
the night train will arrive from the north
to rest and be fed, the woken crows
will start the feral cats, and I will add
my wolf howl, then wait for the shouts.


Standing on the hilltop,
he could see the island –
could make out clearly
the old family cottage
not that he’d ever slept
or boiled a kettle in it
but he’d heard stories,
seen one yellow photograph,
and now it was his. A roof
of sorts was there but no
front wall, and the gable
on the sea side was air.
At least a road passed it,
potholed, no doubt,
but bumpable over,
and the pier looked intact.
He’d have local masons
out there before the week
was over, then builders,
roofers, carpenters.
He’d buy himself a boat.
He’d dig out records
of life on the island,
ended fifty years before.
He’d have a helicopter
airlift a generator,
then a cooker, a fridge,
a freezer, and wine,
cases of it, with the food
to go with it, though fish
might be caught, and rabbits
must thrive there. In time
he’d try a herb garden …
But now it was the hotel
and dinner – roast lamb,
he’d noticed. And after,
a cognac with the manager
who’d known his father.

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