Showing posts with tag: America


Weekend Archives: Trees by Anthony Doerr

Trees, by Anthony Doerr, was first published in Litro Magazine: Jul 2012. He stops at the supply room window, a floor-to-ceiling sheet of glass, double-paned, six feet wide. The best window in the entire building. Third storey, forty feet up. He has been in here maybe three thousand times and hasn’t noticed this window once. Maybe they’ve stripped it of blinds, or hauled some obscuring shelf away. Read more →
Photo courtesy of Nancy Crampton

The Three Horsemen: Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Sir Salman Rushdie at 92Y, New York

Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie were figureheads of late twentieth-century literary London - the last great era of British fiction. So what happened when the three of them got together in 2013 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan? Luke Maxted went to find out. Read more →

The Hollywood

Last year, a new shopping centre opened on the outskirts of London. There's something for everyone: expensive shit, cheap shit, mid-priced shit, all laid out in a sort of class system—the shitty shops and shitty restaurants in the east wing, the classy ones in the west, and the OK ones in between. You’ll find The Hollywood, a 1950s-style American diner, right in the middle. “Thousands of new jobs!” cried the centre’s press release. I took one of them at The Hollywood. Read more →

For the Love of Leftovers

This blog series has been about my discovery of UK culture, but this particular article is inspired by a recent trip home to the States – a trip that showed me I have lived in London long enough to view aspects of American culture, once normal and unobserved, in an entirely new light.

How could you waste any of this?

It happened at a restaurant.

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Are You Posh?

Stand-up comedian John Bishop

Accents fascinate me. I’m guilty of half-listening to people, half trying to figure out their accent. If we watch John Bishop’s stand-up routines, my husband has to translate, since I understand maybe only every other word.

While I was in England for a gap year programme, I became aware of how accents are linked to the class system.

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Remex and Rectrix

‘That’s what girls with powerful fathers do.’ A slave for ever dilutes with dignity the fiction of love. The truth of this is spectacular. That even the mechanism of nature carries in its chaos an evanescent integrity. As I have been rent from these senses; none preserved, the right to have at chaos. We fester. We, when realized, will ways to destroy. And there, think nothing of order’s lamentations. Someone unheard is waiting to name love, again. Read more →

A Backwards Story of a Backwards Man

The night A.W. thought he won the megabucks he flicked on a small lamp in the corner of the room and rushed a Yuengling from the fridge. After a clack, fizz and slurp, after a warm flood through the gut that settled the tremble in his arms somehow, he turned on the TV: numbered ping-pong balls shot through a tubular cage like popcorn, as though popcorn could be what was, after all these years, summoning his fate – he chuckled. Read more →

Litro #117: America—Editors’ Letter

America, that slippery beast. One nation, one constitution, one currency: a framework for arguably the most diverse, remarkable and undefinable country in the world. But short stories are something of an American specialty; in 1962 Frank O’Connor described them as America’s national art form, and the roll call—from Cheever, Carver, and Yates to Yiyun Li, ZZ Packer, and Jhumpa Lahiri—is as much an illustration of the changing American imagination as anything else.

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So I was a counselor at a summer camp. Not the kind of camp you see in the movies. It was on an island; stranger still, an island smack in the middle of Boston Harbor. In the nineteenth century it had been an orphanage. There was a quadrangle of old brick buildings, athletic fields, patches of woods, tidal swamp. There was a ropes course and a nature trail and a campfire circle and even a dock with sailboats and canoes. Though no swimming. You can’t have kids swimming in Boston. The summer I worked there three corpses washed up on the beach: one whole, one decapitated, one just a human torso, headless, armless, an oblong chunk of flesh. Read more →

The Night Ridge

I love you. These simple words knock against the inside of his head the same way police knock. Hard. Loveless. I love you. He sits in a backward chair by the window and watches the wide cold river run, trying like hell to remember what it means. The winter sun’s fallen low across the water over Jersey, and soon the sad pastels will bloom behind her skyline. Dusk on these cities, colors of evening, I love you, misplaced colors come to seal, like a fierce rosy paste in the sky, one more day’s end in the life of this thin misplaced soul we’ve found, this stranger at the window. Read more →

A Trip to America

‘Excuse me. Does this train go to Ames?’ Taeko Endo asked a woman reading a newspaper in one of the seats near the door.‘Yes, it does,’ the woman answered, smiling.Taeko thanked her and took the seat across the aisle. She put down her bag of presents and the flowers she’d bought inside the station and relaxed. She was on her way to visit Edward Hunt. He’d been her English teacher at the junior college in Tokyo and she’d been secretly in love with him ever since. Two years earlier, the year she’d graduated, he’d returned to Massachusetts; now she was there to get her bachelor’s degree and to see if she could make him fall in love with her. Read more →