Fiction

False River

'When Greta rang with the news about Bertie dying, I said I was in the lobby of my hotel, but really I’d just walked into the reception area at Lake Lawn Cemetery.'

Unused Book Titles

In his notebooks, the ever-inventive Raymond Chandler kept a list of possible titles for books, all of which we think deserve to be written.

John Kennedy Toole’s Hot-Dog Carts

'Going to New Orleans after a fresh reading of A Confederacy of Dunces gives the city a different flavour. Every sign begins to read like a knowing wink.'

Becoming Westerly

'It’s funny how the ocean calls out to you. It’s not about checking wave cams on the Internet, or reading the surf forecast. It’s a feeling in your bones and blood, something like the way dogs sense earthquakes.'

What Was It Like? I’ll Tell You

'He sipped like a hummingbird drinking dew from a curled leaf; his face was long enough to wrap twice around his neck.'

The Collected ‘Maxims’ of W.G. Sebald

'He had weary eyes that made it tempting to identify him with the melancholy narrators of his books, but he also had a gentle amiability and wry sense of humour.'

Five Short Stories

A Story of Stolen Salamis My son’s Italian landlord in Brooklyn kept a shed out back in which he cured and smoked salamis. One night, in the midst of a wave of... Read more

I Knew Nothing

Part 1. 'I have at last rejected the notion that I grasp even the basics of life, of society, or the laws of the natural world, the workings of business, or even the grammar of my native language.'

Give It Up

'I try to guess the book’s big idea and decide, well in advance of criticism or comprehension, whether or not the writing will be rich enough to entertain my friends when they ask, "Read anything good lately?"'