Five Dials

A free literary magazine from Hamish Hamilton

fivedials_no2-5

We Do Not Use The Word Lightly

For years I have been an illicit cultivator of neglected patches of public land. I ‘fight the filth with forks and flowers’ and until now had never been confronted with the choice between arrest and retreat.

Number 41 | How Can This Be Possible?

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 11.06.55

Walking Urge

I’ve heard people say that in your dreams you can never have any control over the light. And that if you want to know for sure whether or not you’re dreaming, you have to try turning the light off or on.
41_13

She

He loved her so much he doesn’t believe it now; he laughs about it, a long, hard and cynical laugh. It is the laugh of someone who has lost.
41_1

Do Not Pet

Nothing better to put a broken heart into perspective, I think to myself, than the inanity of the llama, the enlightenment of the sloth, the opportunism of the chimpanzee.
41_16

Invisible Books

I still get asked about it on the odd occasion. By the handful of people who saw me selling books at the Small Publishers’ Fair. By peers wh... Read more
Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 11.09.41

Statement & Legal Activities

Statement I wasn’t there that night. And if I was, I didn’t know. Not that they were drinking, you hear things sometimes, it’s only now I... Read more

Of Immediate Interest

fd40_04-10-4

On Manic Depression

For Jay Griffiths, manic depression causes an incandescent sensitivity. ‘My nerves are exposed,’ she writes, ‘the world is ferociously present.’
Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 21.30.25

The Time

The idea of actually killing had never been in my consciousness before, except as grand abstraction, but things changed rapidly in those fir... Read more
fivedials_no22-10

Why Elms Die Young

'As any carpenter knows, elm is a tricky wood to work – robust and beautiful, but also recalcitrant and unpredictable. Even when it has been dried, it will continue to move.'
41_1

Do Not Pet

Nothing better to put a broken heart into perspective, I think to myself, than the inanity of the llama, the enlightenment of the sloth, the opportunism of the chimpanzee.

Our Town

Dispatches from London

fivedials_no7-1

My Father’s House

Every summer we were ordered out into the garden with machetes to chop down the grass, which grew above our heads. We loathed having to spend summer days in manual labour, but we never dared question our father’s authority.
fivedials_no11-2

The Fight for Broken Britain

For a place teeming with the ghosts of empire, hard labour, hard liquor, sailors and prostitutes, it’s almost unbearably tranquil. This Britain isn’t broken: it’s just quiet to the point of being unsettling.
fivedials_no39-7

What Goes Around

'Riding past a crowded pavement on a hot day, swallowing consecutive gusts of perfume, sunscreen, cigarette smoke, and sometimes even halitosis, you realize just how helplessly intimate we all are in this city.'
fivedials_no21-17

Virginia Woolf in the Bomb-scarred City

'This was her grandest bid to bring something back from the ruins. She was not reading despite the bombs; she was reading with them, and the two – reading and bombs – are jumbled together in one of her last letters.'
fivedials_no29-3

Yates Lane, NW8

'Escapees from St Mary’s, Paddington: expectant father smoking; old lady wheeling herself in a wheelchair, smoking; die-hard holding urine sack, blood sack, smoking.'
fivedials_no34-4

Out of Windows

'Last Halloween, a woman was thrown out of a fourth-floor window in Marylebone. I was heading back to my flat on Chiltern Street with the intention of watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a film that I had always avoided.'
Unknown

Subscribe to Five Dials. It's free.