Literature & Stories

First Chapter: A Writer’s People’ by VS Naipaul


We were a small, mainly agricultural colony and we said all the time, without unhappiness, that we were a dot on the map of the world. It was a liberating thing to be, and we were really very small. There were just over half a million of us. We were racially much divided. On the island, small though we were, the living half-cultures or quarter-cultures of colonial Europe and immigrant Asia knew almost nothing of one another; a transported Africa was the presence all around us, like the sea. Only segments of our varied population were educated, and in the restricted local way, which we in the sixth form understood very well: we could see the professional or career cul-de-sacs to which our education was leading us.

Read entire first chapter HERE

Literature & Stories

Believer, June Issue: How Zaidie Smith writes her novels

200806.gifThe latest from writer Dave Egger’s San Francisco-based Believer magazine.

Okay, er, that piece, the text of a lecture she gave to students at Columbia University is only available online as an abstract. However other features are available in full.

But if you get a chance, buy a copy of the Believer, if only for the magazine’s quirky/brilliant design, devotion to the best and newest writing, the covers by illustrator Charles Burns and not least the fancy paper it’s printed on – one of those things in life you can still only enjoy off-line.

Read more HERE

Literature & Stories

Barry and the Baliff

It was early Sunday morning when he snuck back into bed, squeezing in beside his wife, arms wrapped around their child, it seemed she had not moved since he had and never noticed his departure. He smiled to himself as he closed his eyes, confident that today, she would not bicker. But she could smell the potency of his breath, saturated with alcohol, and she had risen.

Often she thought of leaving him, many men had made offers, rich men who did not care she had a child, she grew weary of the hunger pains, and her son was ill. They could hardly afford to feed and medicate him, yet her husband continued to drink like they could. He rationalised it; the only means of relief, he had trouble with anxiety, but she knew better, and she resented the lie.

They were lucky, they had managed thus far to live off the land but these days the crops had grown weaker, the rain had not come in weeks and they could not harvest enough. Then there were the women, these random whores would show up at their gate claiming Barry had fathered their bastard children and demanding child support, whenever this had happened Barry (always spotting them before they did him), would hide out in the shed until they got sick of screaming obscenities at the gate.

Continue reading

Literature & Stories

Lost at War

He rings her doorbell,
And hears the jangling sound,
Throughout the house.
His heart thumps loudly in his chest,
Yet he feels no pain;
He is not here.
Already he has untangled himself from the web of confusion,
His former self.
Plans must be made.
Lies unearthed, truths buried,
Alive and screaming like the foolish boy
Who dared
Try to expose them.

Continue reading