In these stories, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. A new couple navigates a tightrope walk toward love. And on a trip to a Texas water park with their son, two fathers each confront a personal fear. With sentences that crackle and spark and showcase her trademark wit, McCracken traces how our closely held desires – for intimacy, atonement, comfort – bloom and wither against the indifferent passing of time.
From ‘Best of the Booker’ winner Salman Rushdie, an incisive and inspiring collection of non-fiction essays, criticism and speeches that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the evolution of language and culture. Gathering pieces written between 2003 and 2020, including several never previously in print, ‘Languages of Truth’ chronicles a period of momentous cultural shifts.
We love animals, but our relationship with them is laced with self-doubt. We watch nature documentaries and cat videos, and pamper our pets. Yet we also know that most farm animals lead miserable lives and many wild animals are losing their homes. We reluctantly accept this as the price for human progress; no one wants a philosophical debate every time they buy a sandwich. The truth is that the way we treat animals is not only irrational and unethical – it’s unsustainable. Henry Mance sets out on a personal quest to see if there is a fairer way to share our planet with the other species who enrich our lives. He goes to work in an abattoir and on a pig farm, and meets chefs, hunters, activists, scientists and conservationists who want to redefine how we think about animals.Even on a planet shaped by human activity, we can find the space to allow other sentient beings to thrive – to put our love for animals into practice.
Love was the final consolation, would set ablaze the fields of my life in one go, leaving nothing behind. I thought of it as a force which would clean me and by its presence make me worthy of it. There was no religion in my life after early childhood, and a great faith in love was what I had cultivated instead. Oh, don’t laugh at me for this, for being a woman who says this to you. I hear myself speak. Even now, even after all that took place between us, I can still feel how moved I am by him. Ciaran was that downy, darkening blond of a baby just leaving its infancy. He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. None of it mattered in the end; what he looked like, who he was, the things he would do to me. To make a beautiful man love and live with me had seemed – obviously, intuitively – the entire point of life.