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Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris

What is ‘home’? A person? A place? A feeling of belonging? These are the questions that run through Barney Norris’s debut novel like a finely spun thread, drawing the disparate lives of his five protagonists together as they experience everything that defines a life: love, loss, disappointment, rejection, grief, illness, fortitude and forgiveness. From the first prologue-style chapter—a phantasmagoric rendering of...

Painting with Light

There is a scene in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited in which the odious Boy Mulcaster interrogates Charles Ryder, painter and protagonist, as to why he paints pictures. Why, Mulcaster asks, doesn’t Charles simply go out and buy a camera? Charles replies: ‘a camera is a mechanical device which records a moment in time, but not what that moment means...

Cathedral by Raymond Carver

The first story written after his acclaimed collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver was included in the Best American Short Stories 1982. It then appeared in his next collection as the title story. Originally published in America in 1983, in February 1984 The London Magazine published Carver's unnerving story about sight for its readers...

Home from Greece by Robert Selby

Above whitewashed, tabby-haunted Kamari, I wearied of the incessant inversions in Pope’s Homer, and left my self-improvement’s cooling terrace to the night, now drawing in here too, across May sycamores and beeches my holidayed eyes devour. Home taught me nothing of heat, nor the muscular gods who, through heat’s haze, I climbed the Propylaea and felt among. My schooling was Brutalist, its floors linoleum, waxed to an ethos, and...

What You Call Your ‘Winter Mode’ by Patri Wright

On the wicker chair I wait for the duvet’s rise: you’re just a mound, breath, as I worry over why, again, you’ve overslept. Could it be early effects of menopause? ----Mid afternoon again, Sunday shrieks of five-a-side across the park; your shade’s rise and fall, minus it seems the astral part; through the newsfeed tingle on your phone, morning show, radio — one that never sleeps — my...

Men by Belinda Rule

I only like imaginary men, the ones who think my art is the most transporting thing they have ever seen, and I am exactly as hilarious as I actually, actually am. Even then, even then not really. Maybe I’d rather walk off into the dark, chew the trees, burrow, make a hat of yellow fireweed big as a child (that I won’t have). Perhaps in the end forget my own name, which might, actually, be for the...

Fractals by Sudeep Sen | An Introduction by Fiona Sampson

Ahead of the launch of Sudeep Sen's Fractals, read a few words on Sudeep Sen's new collection by poet Fiona Sampson.   Sudeep Sen is a truly international poet.  In the era of globalisation, he has responded to the challenges of the connected world with a unique poetic synthesis. No other poet writing in English today manages to balance the steely...

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The outer layer of your skin, the epidermis, replaces itself every 35 days. Become a vegetarian, better yet a vegan, and soon enough your body will be formed almost completely from plant matter. This beguiling conceit lies at the heart of Han Kang’s extraordinary novel The Vegetarian, where a seemingly trivial change in the life of a young woman...

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The outer layer of your skin, the epidermis, replaces itself every 35 days. Become a vegetarian, better yet a vegan, and soon enough your body will be formed almost completely from plant matter. This beguiling conceit lies at the heart of Han Kang’s extraordinary novel The Vegetarian, where a seemingly trivial change in the life of a young woman...

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

What do we think of when we think of myths? For children, myths are something unquestionable and magical. They present a world removed from our own, a sacred place where Gods and Goddesses control the events of ordinary people’s lives, and heroes and villains fight the dramatic battles of good versus evil. For this reason, the word ‘myth’ usually...

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

What do we think of when we think of myths? For children, myths are something unquestionable and magical. They present a world removed from our own, a sacred place where Gods and Goddesses control the events of ordinary people’s lives, and heroes and villains fight the dramatic battles of good versus evil. For this reason, the word ‘myth’ usually...

The Sun Shines on Opera by Tom Sutcliffe

I will always remember my first visit to Glyndebourne. It was a Sunday and I was the countertenor in Westminster Cathedral choir, so I must have somehow managed to get off singing vespers and benediction that day - the second after Pentecost (only three copes, but no doubt a fair waft of incense and quite a lot of camping...

Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo said in a 2012 interview with Zannab Sheikh that ‘poetry is a form of concentration’. Her latest collection, Measures of Expatriation, puts this principle to work. Comprised primarily of prose-poems, the book’s non-linear, associative narratives require the attention of poetry, yet float across the watery expanse of prose. This technique suffuses both the form and content of...

Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo said in a 2012 interview with Zannab Sheikh that ‘poetry is a form of concentration’. Her latest collection, Measures of Expatriation, puts this principle to work. Comprised primarily of prose-poems, the book’s non-linear, associative narratives require the attention of poetry, yet float across the watery expanse of prose. This technique suffuses both the form and content of...

Forthcoming from TLM Editions | Fractals by Sudeep Sen

We are pleased to announce that the next publication from TLM Editions will be Fractals, the new collection by Sudeep Sen. 'Poised, elegantly constructed poems which provide calm spaces for the reader to inhabit.' - Carol Ann Duffy Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 by Sudeep Sen UK: The London Magazine Editions, 2016 Pages 390 | Price £19.99 | ISBN 978-0-9926061-8-3   'One of international...

Poetry Prize | An interview with Andrew McMillan

Ahead of our Poetry Prize, which opens 1st May, we caught up with one of our two esteemed judges to get his perspective on prizes, publication and what he'll be looking for from this year's entries.   You’re a very active figure in the contemporary poetry world, as well as a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. How do you juggle your...

Alas for the Egg by Hilary Mantel

First published in The London Magazine, Dec/Jan 1986/87   On Sunday, they went to Nicosia. On their right as they drove, but far in the distance, was the faint blue line of the sea. Nearer at hand, pylons were slung across the landscape between the outcrops of white chalk; knolls and tumuli arose from flat green fields. The road began to...

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri’s life has been marked by a sense of ‘suspension’. Born to Bengali immigrants but brought up in America, she feels ‘without a homeland, and without a true mother tongue’, caught between two worlds and cultures. Her desire to shake off the languages tarnished by personal history leads her to move to Rome and commence writing only in...

The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016 | An Update

This competition is now closed. Thank you so much to all entrants. The longlist, shortlist and winners will be announced over the next few months. Keep checking our 'Competitions' section here on our website for more details. 'Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance' - Carl Sandburg The London Magazine has been home to some of the most prestigious poets in...

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

The opening pages of The Blade Artist read like the antithetical yoking of a delicate and diaphanous Stephen Daedalus-like epiphany and a sinister crime novel sequence. The location is an Edenic beach in sun-soaked California, the focal consciousness an apparently ideal Jim Francis holding up his equally Edenic daughter Eve to the sunlight. Even before the serpent enters the scene...

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

The opening pages of The Blade Artist read like the antithetical yoking of a delicate and diaphanous Stephen Daedalus-like epiphany and a sinister crime novel sequence. The location is an Edenic beach in sun-soaked California, the focal consciousness an apparently ideal Jim Francis holding up his equally Edenic daughter Eve to the sunlight. Even before the serpent enters the scene...

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Fascicle 41 by Anna McGrail

Winner of The London Magazine Short Story Competition 2015. Sometime between 1858 and 1864, Emily Dickinson embarked upon her self-publishing career. She copied out in her best handwriting about half of the poems she had written thus far (around eight hundred of them). She wrote them onto sheets of embossed, cream and blue-ruled stationery which she folded and sewed together...

Two Poems by Sean Borodale

Response to Finding a Fossil at Writhlington Coal Batches: A Fossil (a Fern) on Writhlington Batches Re-Take (Pt.II) Time not as we know it but another time quite skilled in losing things. Time pressed flat in a thousand directions; in which the fern’s delicate gap persists; a small leaf-sleeve of paper, a message meaning nothing; a small cough in the brittle stillness of earth floating on rock; a...

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