September 2015


Our new online issue has - by accident rather than design - a strong focus on the themes of place and identity. Patrick deWitt's Undermajordomo Minor begins with a young man's escape from the small town of his childhood. A surreal, funny and surprisingly poignant tale of love and the transition to adulthood, the novel is deWitt's first since The Sisters Brothers, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. His writing process he summarises as follows: 'I know if I'm bored the reader will also be bored.'   Described as an 'artist of immense stature' by László Krasznahorkai, Wolfgang Hilbig was among the great chroniclers of the postwar German experience. Here we publish an excerpt from The Sleep of the Righteous on a subject to which he returned many times in his poetry and prose: the relationship of individual identity to place. 'How can one demand of a shadow that he describe the image of a shadow town?' The half-German, half-American, part-Christian, part-Jewish writer Benjamin Markovits, meanwhile, considers what it means to be an immigrant in Britain and the freedom of non-belonging.   Katrina Palmer, described by the Guardian's Miranda Sawyer as 'a sculptor who builds sculptures using words', is at the vanguard of a new generation of British artists. She was recently awarded the prestigious BBC/Artangel Open, and used the commission to document her stay on the remote Isle of Portland through a book, an audiowalk, and other literary constructions. In our September issue she talks to Jamie Sutcliffe about the 'relationship between writing and making'.   In an essay touching on the possibility of art and language to express landscape, Gareth Evans travels to the English countryside to experience the 'terrain transformed' by the historic American artist of light and space, James Turrell. We are pleased too, to present a selection of paintings by Allison Katz, accompanied by her conversation with curator Frances Loeffler on the subject of puns, the possibilities of painting, and El Chapo's bid for freedom. Finally we are excited to publish poems by Natalia Litvinova, translated by Daniela Camozzi.