“What is this? A curfew?” “No, it’s just autumn, the time of year,” Irimiás noted sadly: “People sit by their stoves and don’t get up till spring. They spend hours by the window until it grows dark. They eat, they … Continue reading
The cook was an Indian, engaged by the hospitable al-Kafs to make British travellers feel at home with their own familiar dishes : he had been brought to Tarim with the news of my coming, and I realised what a … Continue reading
There is a cheerful quality in the neat brisk sound of trotting donkey feet on hard ground. And it is pleasant too, to sit on a donkey pack, when you know how to do it, without rigidity, meeting the jolts … Continue reading
I have often wondered why a ship appears to be on the whole a more satisfactory possession than a woman. It is probably because, being so frail an object, precariously and visibly balanced between the elements, even the most obtuse … Continue reading
The inside of Husain’s house was cold and dark. We climbed three flights of steep stone stairs to a bare little sitting-room furnished with a single rug and a few cushions. Puffing my way up, I thought how odd it … Continue reading
From A Chinese-English Dictionary, 1982.
A life on the road. The Highway Code, 1930 digested by Jim Crace
Dragon Dormant Commissioner Qu, of Wuling County, was reading in an upper room when a heavy rain began to fall. In the deepening gloom he caught sight of a little creature, bright as a glow-worm, wriggling its way on to … Continue reading
If language may be regarded as an old city full of streets and squares, nooks and crannies, with some quarters dating from far back in time while others have been torn down, cleaned up and rebuilt, and with suburbs reaching … Continue reading
A series of family photos, with text, inspired by a workshop led by Shaun Levin.
‘Well,’ said Eva, ‘that sounds like interesting reading.’ And she asked whether he still liked as much onion as before. ‘Yes, lots of onion.’ Something else he had read the other day: If you have discovered your rational faculties, then … Continue reading
Duck justice A peasant living in the Bai Family Village to the west of our county town stole one of his neighbour’s ducks, cooked it and ate it. That night, his entire body was consumed by an intense itching, and … Continue reading