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

Under the SkyRobert VanderMolen

How it was, after the babies,
One week’s vacation at the shore
During late July, trying to isolate
A hummock of time in which to be dazed,
Beer in the mug, the slant of sunsets,
Fried chicken seasoned with sand.
All of us thinner, sweat-dried, more prone
To anger. With a housecat prowling
Through dune grass . . .

And they made a film of it. I’ve forgotten
The name of the one who played me.
Someone with more hair on his body.
My wife was shorter with a robust bosom.
While a character died reluctantly
Snatched by a rip in the current
And roiled beyond the sandbar
(where brown trout lurked like torpedoes),
Bubbles becoming foam.
We used to joke about monstrous sturgeon
Fish that would slip into shallows
To suck up infants . . .

Eventually we scattered:
Through divorces, disreputable habits,
Windfalls and death.
The actors disappeared too –
Unlike us, they played in the last Westerns,
Never left Montana
After they were cashiered.
Plains rising into a wall of mountains.
I’ve often considered driving west
After steaming across on the ferry . . .

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