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The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence at Somerset House, 27 January – 3 April 2016 The Museum of Innocence offers the visitor a little corner of 1970s Istanbul, hidden in a wing of Somerset House. The exhibition takes its name from the novel by Orhan Pamuk, in whose works Istanbul is a near-constant presence: the Swedish Academy cited Pamuk’s ‘quest for the melancholic soul...

The London Magazine Short Story Competition 2015 | Winners

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this year's Short Story Competition. The standard of entries was extremely high but our judges have made their choices and we a delighted to announce the winners are as follows: 1st place: 'Fascicle 41' by Anna McGrail 2nd place: 'Icarus' by Robert Hawkins 3rd place: 'Mother's Ruin' by Lynn Bushell Each of these stories will...

Caries by Fiona Sampson

Little hole little well of dark staining the lacquer of my tooth little confessor coming close and coming close why are you pursuing me interrogator of the nerve in its garden of blood and moisture its long sleep what secrets can my nerve confess to you what do you want of us your drill and file still thrillingly in play and how shall I appease you a god’s dark eye going to and...

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

In keeping with the current vogue for entwining fact and fiction, Julian Barnes’s latest novel is a fictionalised account of Dmitri Shostakovich’s un-easy relations with the Russian state in the days of the USSR. The tentacles of Soviet tyranny would come for the composer at twelve-year intervals: in 1936, in 1948 and 1960; The Noise of Time is split...

Auerbach’s Intimitable Magic

When Frank Auerbach first came to public notice – emerged rather than burst – in the 1950s he was noted as a “British Expressionist” in the white hot enthusiasm for the American abstract colourists Clement Greenberg (not to mention the American government) was punting around the world with spectacular success. It was a gross misreading of his work. Auerbach was...

My London by Tristram Fane Saunders

Home is a box on Coppermill Lane, caught in the crosshairs of Walthamstow High Street and Blackhorse Road. It’s a one-bed flat on two floors, too small to live alone in. Two people generate less clutter than one: with someone else about, we have a reason to live neatly. We supervise each other. My current supervisor is Henry, a playwright tending...

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

The American West has always been home to grifters and thieves, dreamers and doers. It has been a destination for the misfits, for the ones who don’t quite fit and need space to plan their schemes or make their fortune. With each new generation comes a new reason to go west. In her new book, Gold Fame Citrus, author...

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

The American West has always been home to grifters and thieves, dreamers and doers. It has been a destination for the misfits, for the ones who don’t quite fit and need space to plan their schemes or make their fortune. With each new generation comes a new reason to go west. In her new book, Gold Fame Citrus, author...

Faber New Poets: in conversation

Faber New Poets . Photograph © Thea Hawlin The Faber New Poets scheme, now in its fourth incarnation, provides a platform for new voices and has launched the careers of poets such as Jack Underwood, Rachael Allen, Sam Riviere and Will Burns. This year’s poets are Rachel Curzon, Elaine Beckett, Sam Buchan-Watts and Crispin Best, all of whom will have...

Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hogarth Shakespeare has commissioned a series of novels from high-profile authors. The series was inaugurated by Jeanette Winterson’s reworking of The Winter’s Tale. It has now been gloriously complemented by Howard Jacobson’s re-visioning of The Merchant of Venice and is to be graced by an exciting panel of authors that include...

Human Acts by Han Kang

Buried in the middle of Han Kang's Human Acts is a play that, like Kang's book, dramatises the democratic uprisings in Gwangju, South Korea, and their merciless suppression. The play, performed in 1985, five years after the massacres of May 1980, was almost entirely erased by the government's censors, but the director would not be intimidated, and performed his...

UPDATE: Short Story Competition 2015

We know all our entrants have been waiting for news on the 2015 Short Story Competition and we're excited to have an update for you. We received a staggering number of entries and have enjoyed reading stories that have uplifted and saddened, perplexed and provoked, entertained and challenged. A shortlist of entries has been sent to our esteemed judges...

Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hogarth Shakespeare has commissioned a series of novels from high-profile authors. The series was inaugurated by Jeanette Winterson’s reworking of The Winter’s Tale. It has now been gloriously complemented by Howard Jacobson’s re-visioning of The Merchant of Venice and is to be graced by an exciting panel of authors that include...

Human Acts by Han Kang

Buried in the middle of Han Kang's Human Acts is a play that, like Kang's book, dramatises the democratic uprisings in Gwangju, South Korea, and their merciless suppression. The play, performed in 1985, five years after the massacres of May 1980, was almost entirely erased by the government's censors, but the director would not be intimidated, and performed his...

Home by Kate Miller

Even a London house must have its swifts, the roof should be a beacon in the western light to guide them. Now, at evening, midges rise in beams that sweep the warmed slates as they brim with offerings, a salver to the sky. Skimming the swifts perfect their loops and strokes with inkless nibs, incline, address their airy letters home.   Kate Miller's 2015 collection The Observences is published by Oxford Poets...

This Living and Immortal Thing by Austin Duffy

The somewhat neo-Yeatsian, almost mawkish-sounding title chosen for Austin Duffy's first novel is deceptively triumphalist. While the novel toys with the idea of the soul’s immortality, you’re in for a surprise if you expect a naïve championing of spiritualism in the material age. Although it is certainly a soulful novel with compelling love interest, there is nothing overly sentimental about...

Several Deer by Adam Crothers

On the first page of Several Deer, the debut collection from the Northern Irish poet Adam Crothers, appears an epigraph from As You Like It: ‘Sing it. ‘Tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.’ ‘Noise enough’ is the rallying cry that leads you through this collection, full to the brim with vibrant, urgent,...

Several Deer by Adam Crothers

On the first page of Several Deer, the debut collection from the Northern Irish poet Adam Crothers, appears an epigraph from As You Like It: ‘Sing it. ‘Tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.’ ‘Noise enough’ is the rallying cry that leads you through this collection, full to the brim with vibrant, urgent,...

This Living and Immortal Thing by Austin Duffy

The somewhat neo-Yeatsian, almost mawkish-sounding title chosen for Austin Duffy's first novel is deceptively triumphalist. While the novel toys with the idea of the soul’s immortality, you’re in for a surprise if you expect a naïve championing of spiritualism in the material age. Although it is certainly a soulful novel with compelling love interest, there is nothing overly sentimental about...

An interview with Emily Berry

Emily Berry's 2013 debut Dear Boy established her as a poet of 'sinful inventiveness' and 'startling gifts'. As the editor of Salt Publishing's Best British Poetry 2015 she brought her poetic skill to bear on the challenge of curating a selection of the most engaging, challenging and diverse poetry that has appeared in the last year. Ralf Webb spoke to her about the...

The Curtain Blown by the Breeze by Muriel Spark

From The London Magazine January 1961 It is always when a curtain at an open window flutters in the breeze that I think of that frail white curtain, a piece of fine gauze, which was drawn across the bedroom windows of Mrs Van der Merwe. I never saw the original curtains, which were so carelessly arranged as to leave a gap...

We Wait for Poets by Manash Bhattacharjee

prophets have retired so do not wait for yours to come to you ~ Ashraf Fayadh (translated by Mona Kareem) In our country, a prince, Dara Shikoh, had his head severed, He translated the name Of another god, and after him, Sarmad, beheaded too, For his tongue refused to go Beyond the “No” Yes, there is god, no, there isn’t, Between this and that Lie many heads, below the earth, Separated from...

Public Library by Ali Smith

It seems somehow wrong that I now ‘own’ my copy of Public Library, Ali Smith’s fifth collection of short stories. For Smith, books are found, borrowed, chanced upon, stolen; temporarily yours, but no more so than a visiting friend or a lover. Like spouses, our long-term paper-backed partners (such as Katherine Mansfield who, in one story, is an ever...

Public Library by Ali Smith

It seems somehow wrong that I now ‘own’ my copy of Public Library, Ali Smith’s fifth collection of short stories. For Smith, books are found, borrowed, chanced upon, stolen; temporarily yours, but no more so than a visiting friend or a lover. Like spouses, our long-term paper-backed partners (such as Katherine Mansfield who, in one story, is an ever...

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