Primo Levi, 1975
The real Casanova
His name is synonymous with serial seduction but Casanova's memoirs reveal a man greater than the sum of his ‘conquests’
Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union tell inconsistent stories. What does this say about the nature of memory?
This is your morning
I left the US, the land of my birth, sickened by racial injustice. But the return to a homeland is not a simple matter
For the love of stuff
I am my things and my things are me. I don’t want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life
Right on track
If there is a greater thrill of travelling than the discovery of unfamiliar places, for me it’s getting there by train
The migrant’s tale
Sure it’s progressive to sympathise with young undocumented migrants, but it also locks them into a victimhood narrative
Riding the wind
Hot and bothersome or exhilarating and wild: winds blow through the mind as strongly as they blow through the landscape
‘Take a photo of the spread,’ my mother says. ‘This way you can remember what to arrange when I’m dead.’
I mourn my beloved uncle’s death in Ethiopia as I mourn my exile. I cannot bury him, but can I bury my loss?
A remote island, an Arctic expedition, a one-way trip to Mars – what drives our urge to explore the farthest reaches?
Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive, so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?
Happily never after
Messy plots, audience participation and uncertain endings: how digital storytelling revives the ancient art of gossip
A conscientious objector
Jacob Bridge is a popular lieutenant in the US Marines who woke up one day with an urgent need to leave the military. Why?
A sense of Chuck
In memory of Charles Bowden, hard-nosed reporter and avid sensualist, who loved every sight, feel and sip of being alive
Like a prayer
Even secular people need time out to meditate, reflect, and give thanks. Is prayer the answer?
The genius and hubris of plastic has been absorbed by every living thing. Is it a curse or evolution’s next step?
Beyond the churn
Junk news is like junk food – a quick bite that fails to nourish. Are slow-burning stories what we really want, and need?
My husband got the death threat, but I went into hiding. Are some brains wired for courage and others for fear?
If you have a mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty, don’t go knocking on the door of American privilege