Freelance

Sly jazz

The National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, in Upstate New York, lays out the sport’s history like an allegory of the long American century, its tragedies and glories. A...

Freelance

No peace prize

The crisis at the Swedish Academy began in November 2017, when Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of the Academy member Katarina Frostenson, was accused in an article in the Dagens Nyheter...

Freelance

Tooth telling

No sooner had we arrived in Cusco, in southeastern Peru, after a few days travelling in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, than I lost a filling. I thought at...

Freelance

Return of a native

There is – or there is assumed to be – something oxymoronic about claiming to come from a working-class family in Cheltenham. Branding itself as “the centre of the Cotswolds”...

Freelance

Warning: uncensored

Halfway through the last decade, for reasons of private amusement, I started to keep what might be called a Censorship Diary. The rules were simple. Every time that an editor...

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Hang ups

In the course of his highly charged, one-man performance, Huf, part of the impres­sive Canadian contribution to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Cliff Cardinal strode across the performing space towards...

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Lessons of poetry

On a recent drizzly Sunday afternoon, I walked six blocks to the UPS store and sent off a box of papers to my archive. Housed in Rutgers’s Alexander Library in...

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Inventing a monster

I saw Prague for the first time twenty years ago, as a British guest of the Prague Writers’ Festival, but in my mind at the time Prague was still the...

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A summer to remember

It’s been so hot the fields on Hampstead Heath have turned sepia. There’s something about perfect English summer days that make them seem like they’re already in the past. “I...

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Never afraid

July 5 marked the first anniversary of the death of Irina Ratushinskaya. She died in Moscow, aged sixty-three, after losing a long battle with cancer. Who was Irina and why...