In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Two PoemsSelima Hill
Close
Close

Upstairs, in the heat, beside the handkerchiefs,
my mother’s navy-blue horsehair mattress

still, although it’s August, smells of damp,
of horses in the hush of damp forests,

of Spassky, still a child, playing chess
all day long, with nobody, in silence –

Spassky, whose seductive ingenuity
my mother has no need to understand.

The eerie bittern – this may sound unfair –
spends her days pretending to be reeds

and people think she’s sulking, but she’s not,
she’s like my mother: sunlight gives her headaches.

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