An extract from The Ghostwriter’s Notebook

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Dubinsky’s front door opened and a girl came out, turning to say something to the doorman before trotting down the steps. I saw her the other day, leaving the house as I was going in: pale, red hair. Andy called out to her. “Sally! Come and say hello sweetheart!” “Sally Dunbar,” she said, holding her hand out. “You must be …

Os Capitães de Abril

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The Captains had paid their dues for years in Africa. They had acquired the skills they needed to change the world – to rebuild it closer to the heart’s desire – at great personal expense, at the cost of many deaths, of many friends, in a pointless war.

MATTHEW 8 . 28

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28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29  And, behold, they cried out, saying, art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30  And there was …

More from the Notebook

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At Walthamstow Central a red balloon is blowing and bobbing along the electric rails, trailing a ribbon, driven on the hot wind of the underground, disappearing into the tunnel at the end of the station. The wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London. In Hyde Park Court the white mansions are turned around, backs to the road, the grand …

From The Ghostwriter’s Notebook

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While I was writing “Waking Nightmares” I got interested in the Russian writer Varlam Shalamov, perhaps the greatest artist to have survived the Gulag, if ‘survive’ is the right word. Sadly, he got cut down to a couple of footnotes in the end; maybe I’ll come back to him one day. I read him in translation, of course, but his …

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London, July 16th

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To London: “spread out in the sun, It’s postal districts packed like squares of wheat.” “London was gritty with stale heat and swept with the whoop and shriek of police sirens, patrol cars racing down the Edgware Road. There was a message on the answer-phone in his flat, a wrong number; an old man’s voice, speaking in a papery vibrato: I …

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Take Any Shape

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In the morning there were sky-larks flying high and out of sight, releasing trills and spirals of silver notes into the blue air. Jack left early; from the back bedroom window I watched the Mercedes as he eased it up the lane between parked cars and wheely-bins, exhausts bubbling. At the junction with the main road he paused, an indicator …

ROLL UP

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BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE! FLIRTING AT THE FUNERAL THE PAGE TO GO TO:   http://www.hayfestival.com/p-5822-chris-keil-and-julian-preece.aspx  

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Memories of 2009

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La Torre de Dalt I spent the last days of the summer in a literary residency at La Torre de Dalt, in Catalunya; a beautiful medieval building, a little palace of marble floors, elaborate dark mirrors and vaulted ceilings, on the first slopes of the hills above Girona. La Torre looks down on a landscape that is both benign and …