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.
Niña Weijers on why writing is such a curious business.
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.
Svetlana Alexievich listens to the sound of distant radiation
Svetlana Alexievich’s Chernobyl Prayer first appeared in 1997, eleven years after a series of explosions rocked the Chernobyl reactor in the middle of the night, sending 50 million curies (Ci) of radioactivity into the atmosphere, of which 70 per cen... Read more
When it comes to democracy, have we lost our way? By David Van Reybrouck
Why do we hold elections? Why do governments in the west export elections to other parts of the world? Is this process of choosing a politician’s name from a ballot effective, or have we forgotten why this practice arose in the first place?
What is it like to vote in Serbia? Bojana Gajski recounts her history
In my little Serbian hometown, streets are mostly named after poets and Second World War heroes. The street where I lived and where my parents still live was named after the Laković brothers, Arsen and Stevan, two young communists who had lived and d... Read more