Fiction

‘Writing fiction is a form of travel’

Five Dials reached Mohsin Hamid via Skype in his home in Lahore. The connection from British Columbia to Pakistan was not perfect, so after the interview was do... Read more

Tristram Shandy

Rewriting is not only a way of appropriating a text, of adopting and endorsing it, it’s also the best, most exact, most alert, most certain way of reading it.

The Time

The idea of actually killing had never been in my consciousness before, except as grand abstraction, but things changed rapidly in those first days of rubble an... Read more

How The Light Gets In

If you really want to encourage people to read literature, you’re better off adding a certain mystique. Because the secret the writer is faced with, the secret of language and of reality, is shared by the reader.

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.

A Small Planet

When you move house, you move the stuff with you. Beneath a few notebooks and rubber bands, there’s a letter from a former lover. You no longer see each other.

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.

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.

Day 1851

Today does not mark anything particularly special, but nevertheless there is an 8o per cent chance that today is a special day: I must increase measurement sensitivity, be alert to abnormal behaviour.

The Withdrawal Method

‘You can pay for half the procedure.’ ‘How much is that gonna be?’ ‘I think it costs two hundred and fifty dollars,’ I say. ‘But I might just be getting that from Dirty Dancing.’