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Review | The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

In this beautifully nuanced debut novel from Syrian American author, Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, two parallel journeys alternate with and counter each other, highlighting the connections between the vital importance of the stories we tell and the psycho-geography of maps. In the present day Nour is 12 and lives with her Syrian family in Manhattan. When her father dies, her...

Poetry | The Sleepers by Sylvia Plath

No map traces the street Where those two sleepers are. We have lost track of it. They lie as if under water In a blue, unchanging light, The French window ajar   Curtained with yellow lace. Through the narrow crack Odours of wet earth rise. The snail leaves a silver track; Dark thickets hedge the house. We take a backward look.   Among petals pale as death And leaves steadfast in shape They sleep on,...

Review | The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh Hamish Hamilton, 2018 256 pp, £12.99 (hardback) False utopias, and their human cost, are at the core of Sophie Mackintosh’s uneasy, hypnotic debut, which charts three sisters’ attempts to navigate the fallout from their father’s disappearance and the unexpected arrival of strange men on their fiercely protected soil.The sisters – Lia, Grace, and Sky – live on...

Fiction | Alone with the Tide by John Saul

At last. Dismissing all fiction, I come clean. The figure coming into focus, in that smart black and grey coat, unbuttoned, collar up, is me, the actual me; bearing my name, in my 501 jeans, unruly hair getting wilder, walking at speed along Piccadilly, the street gleaming in the wrong kind of way, a reminder there are no trees,...

Essay | Meg Wolitzer’s #MeToo Moment by Sophie Perryer

Meg Wolitzer must be psychic. Well before the explosive allegations against Harvey Weinstein were revealed and the #MeToo movement gathered pace, she penned The Female Persuasion, a novel about feminism, and finding your voice.  Published on June 7th, the Female Persuasion tells the story of Greer Kadetsky’s coming-of-age, from her edifying arrival at Rutland College to her encounter with the...

Review | Fragmented Dialogues – Art and Identity in 1980s Chile

Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela, Art & Identity in 1980s Chile is currently on display at the Austin Desmond Fine Art Gallery, London WC1B 3BN, until June 30th. ‘Fragmented Dialogues’ brings together the work of Mario Fonseca and Mauricio Valenzuela in an exhibition that presents a new and intimate look at the visual arts in Chile during the...

Review – Ghosting for Beginners | Charlie Baylis

Ghosting for Beginners is the fifth collection by Anna Saunders. It is a compelling work, comprised of poems of good length which compliment and contradict each other as any well curated collection should. Saunders writes in a curious, occasionally enchanting, neo-Gothic style. Although influenced by Victorian fairytales and ghost stories, it is a concoction she has cooked up on...

Essay | Peas by Alice Dunn

Peas
One of the stand-out gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show appeared to replicate the pea in its structure. ‘The Seedlip Garden’ had a circular pool, round stepping stones, and a ‘Peavillion’ housing a collection of articles about peas. This garden got me thinking about, well, peas, and the little-observed role they’ve played in our culture.   One of the...

Fiction | Quiet Mountain by Sally Jubb

They got on at Vico Equense. The carriage was almost full, but the two of them managed to squeeze into a seat diagonally opposite, facing in the wrong direction.  Immediately the kissing started. Not in tender brushes or exploratory pecks, but with desperation and much rolling round of their heads, as if they were merely resuming, and rightly, what had been...

Review | Lee Bul: Crashing at the Hayward Gallery

Lee Bul does not make art that is designed to comfort you. Her latest collection at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank is a culmination of thirty years work. To step through each room is to follow Bul’s journey as she has explored the pursuit of perfection—and its potential pitfalls—through the last forty years. Crashing is designed to transport the...

Poetry | Atlantic Palimpsest by Kerri ní Dochartaigh

-for Heaney and the Peace Bridge Grey and greying sky reflected in choppy body, as our matching heron performs his balancing act for all to see. The Donegal hills, patient, waiting; barren, call a siren song, lost and piercing- on the wind. Ours is a past seeped in rust. A history bathed in thick, black squelch; M U D L A R K I N G, always, for our...

Review | Fatherland at the Lyric Hammersmith

The coats stand out in the exhilarating performance piece Fatherland now on at the Lyric, Hammersmith after its premiere in the Manchester International Festival in 2017. The armour of manhood in the 21st century. Men in black, beige and tan coats.  Leather jackets. Tracksuit tops.  Parkas.  Faceless firemen in what might as well be hazmat suits in a nightmare of X-...

Review | Sex With Robots and Other Devices

In a world where Siri and Alexa can organise our lives without even touching a button, the question of consenting machines seems almost irrational; and yet in Nessah Muthy’s new play set in a frighteningly realistic future, audiences are forced to question what it is that makes something human. In the intimate setting that is the Kings Head Theatre (a...

Review | Multiverse by Andrew Wynn Owen

The Multiverse ( or theermvsuitle as it says on the cover)  is the first poetry collection by Andrew Wynn Owen, a fellow of All Souls College. It is published by Caranet and praised by the poets of likes of Simon Armitage. Each poem exuberates life as Owen crafts each and every word with the authority of a laureate. If...

Collyer Bristow Prize Shortlist Announcement

The London Magazine is very pleased to announce the shortlist for a brand new literary award in partnership with Collyer Bristow: The London Magazine and Collyer Bristow Prize for a Debut Work of Fiction 2018 This is Memorial Device - David Keenan (Faber & Faber) Darker with the Lights On - David Hayden (Little Island Press)  Safe Mode - Sam Riviere (Test Centre)  Sympathy...

Review | Red at Wyndham’s Theatre

Walking into the Wyndham, the stage takes you by surprise. Alfred Molina sits unmoving, back to the audience, staring fixedly at one of the many deep crimson paintings that loom over the stage. Instantly, we find ourselves in Mark Rothko’s studio circa late 1950s. There is little plot to Red; the short play’s events circle around Rothko’s commission for a...

Essay | A Journey Through Silence by Georgie Knaggs

The chat stops. We rise to our feet, step back over our benches. My foot hunts for its flip-flop. I am nine years old. It is a mid-week evening. Supper has finished and the school is about to say grace. We must be silent. We must not move. This is normal. The thick rubber of my flop is jammed beneath the...

Introducing The London Magazine Podcast – Episode 1 – June/July 2018

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/448043730" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] We are pleased to share with you the first episode of our new podcast. In this episode, two of our editors, Steven O'Brien and Lucy Binnersley, talk about the latest issue of the London Magazine. Featuring exclusive sneak peaks of some poetry, fiction and essay pieces in the magazine. Listen on Soundcloud Listen and subscribe on iTunes

Contributor’s Picks – June/July 2018

Introducing Contributor’s Picks! Recommendations for the very best in arts, culture and literature from the writers for The London Magazine June/July 2018 issue. Read their writing in our latest issue, available now.  Nicholas Summerfield (Essay: On the Road) Thinks - David Lodge This is a light-hearted comedy and, at the same time, a consideration of human consciousness itself.  An overlooked gem.   Maggie Butt...

Review | The Ink Trade by Anthony Burgess, Edited by Will Carr

  Even though Burgess was an ‘enormously prolific journalist’, he is dominantly known for his controversial, cult classic A Clockwork Orange (1962). But you will find no Nadsat here. This collection of journalism, edited by Will Carr, features some of Anthony Burgess’s articles from 1961 to his death in 1993. Previous collections of his work include Urgent Copy (1968) and...

Essay | Personal Feeling is the Main Thing by Sue Hubbard

By Sue Hubbard I have long been interested in the work of Chantal Joffe and have written about her on several occasions. Her figurative paintings of family and friends are rooted in a gritty, observed reality which makes her unusual in an art world full of insouciant irony. She’s interested in people, their inner landscapes and what makes them tick....

Review | Absolute Hell – Pissed In Purgatory

Rodney Ackland’s play ‘Absolute Hell’ (at the National Theatre until 16 June) is like spying on a drunken party through a club door. The first hour is intoxicating, in a salacious sort of way, but then it all starts to feel a bit maudlin and you just want them to drink up so you can go home. The play...

Review | The Inheritance at The Young Vic

The Inheritance stands at almost seven hours long: Matthew Lopez’s two-part, self-aware epic on the legacy of gay men past-and present. Treating everything from the devastation of a post-AIDs generation and the LGBT reaction to the Trump-era, The Inheritance paints a vivid image what it means to be homosexual and living in modern day New York. Openly narrated, a cast...

Review | Three Women at The Trafalgar Studios

Katy Brand’s Three Women at the Trafalgar Studios offers a representation of the title across respective and somewhat stereotypical generations.  Suzanne, a crystal-loving 40-year old played by Debbie Chazen, is facing trauma stemming from her childhood, which surfaces throughout the evening. Chazen perfectly executes a bitter rivalry between her and mother Eleanor, played by Anita Dobson, and reveals just the right amount...

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