‘If a little bird enters into a café…’

Cesar Aira explains why the sinuous thread running through his novels is more interesting, and more writable, than a linear plot.

The Needle and the Damage Done

What's the best title for a book about knitting? Superneedles? Or Bring Knit On?

Wind, Storm and Cloud

A flinchin is a deceitful promise of better weather. Skub is hazy clouds driven by the wind. And a ciabhar is a slight breeze, just enough to stir the hair.

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.'

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.'