This review is part of the No Man's Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck (2010), there is a great … Continue reading Book Review — The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula K. Le Guin
In the northern foothills of the Alborz mountains, bordering the Caspian Sea, a small village community once existed. It thrived temporarily on the artificial water systems provided to it by a government that lasted not all that long, water pumped from the great dams that watered Tehran on the southern slopes of the mountains, water … Continue reading One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::
I remember I preferred the soldier to the philosopher at the time; a preference which life has only confirmed. One was a man, and the other was either more—or less.
[The following is a short story I wrote for the National Portrait Gallery's The Big Chill: Fireside Tales short story and poetry competition. The prompt was the photo below, which was taken in Sydney by Dr Julian Smith some time in the 1940s. Nothing is known about the subject, so entrants were asked to use … Continue reading Winter time ::
A shot rang out. Blanks, thought Detective Hunt, the thought proving to him twice over in a single instant that he was still alive. First in the realisation's presence in his mind. His mind was still equipping itself for business. Second in the fact within the realisation. The blanks Espinosa had subbed into Griggs' gun had rendered … Continue reading Two hundred words on a shot that rang out ::
Do you think gaudy colours can gloss over the misery of the world? Do you think loud orgies of good taste can drown the moans of the tortured earth? ... Art is the sacred torch that must shed its merciful light into all life's terrible depths, into every shameful and sorrowful abyss; art is the … Continue reading Thomas Mann (1875-1955), on the Purpose of Art ::
It was the middle of summer, a twenty five degree night, and the air was thick and sweet. I was walking home from the local cinema and I cut through a carpark. Rain must have drifted through the area while the movie was on. It wasn’t any cooler but the smell was there, like the … Continue reading The Fight ::