In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

I RememberW.G. Sebald
Close
Close

The day in
the year after
the fall of the
Soviet Empire

I shared a cabin
on the ferry
to the Hoek
of Holland with

a lorry driver
from Wolverhampton.
He & twenty
others were

taking super-
annuated trucks
to Russia but
other than that

he had no idea
where they were
heading. The gaffer
was in control &

anyway it was
an adventure
good money & all
the driver said

smoking a Golden
Holborn in the upper
bunk before
going to sleep.

I can still hear
him softly snoring
through the night,
see him at dawn

climb down the
ladder: big gut
black underpants,
put on his sweat-

shirt, baseball
hat, get into
jeans & trainers,
zip up his

plastic holdall,
rub his stubbled
face with both his
hands ready

for the journey.
I’ll have a
wash in Russia
he said. I

wished him the
best of British. He
replied been good
to meet you Max.

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