Three Tales

I’ve reached an age when anything accomplished invites the pleasingly macabre thought that it might be the last, and it is with something of this feeling I publish my new book. [Read more]

Rivers

The methods and the tools would have been recognisable to Gutenberg and Caxton. Slugs and leading, furniture and quoins, composing sticks, a small hand-cranked platen press for proofs, a big motor-driven one (ker-plunk, ker-plunk) for print runs. [Read more]

Sour desert

I have been corresponding with Katia Kelly, the blogger in Brooklyn who uncovered Paul Manafort’s fiddle in Carroll Gardens. Not about that; rather about the fate of a church building at 297–299 Carroll Street. [Read more]

Plot

Nothing is spared and nothing is explained. No motive, no reason. Eventually we will get there but not now, and anyway these are not really very important. What is important is that we are pitched headlong into the story. Propelled by pity and terror. [Read more]

A gentleman

“To be honourable and courteous and brave,” he says. What is wrong with that? Why is that useless? Perhaps because Lewis does not wish to persuade us to be gentlemen; he wishes to persuade us to be Christians. [Read more]

Ambush

You don’t see praying mantises much any more. They’ve disappeared, along with grasshoppers and crickets. I remember them from my childhood in Brooklyn. On hot summer days occupying a place on the sidewalk, indifferent to everything, waiting and still, a little frightening in their composure. [Read more]