When the utopian state imposes a schedule on your love life, it will claim it’s all for your own good. Socially mandated sex is not only the stuff of fiction, writes WILL SELF, and it comes with the danger of performance anxiety.
Hello! Everyone loves a talking, squawking parrot, right? Actually, discovers YELENA MOSKOVICH, these brilliant featherbrains have a long history not only of charming but of betraying their loyal owners. Pretty strange!
Few foods come more heavily laden with psychological baggage than a jar of home-made pickles or preserves. A shelf of these multicoloured memory-caskets, says food writer BEE WILSON, can be either twee or punk, and can speak of both old-fashioned survivalism and modish sophistication.
Few books have changed anyone’s life more directly than Mrs Dalloway did for MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, whose Dalloway-inspired novel The Hours went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. It was Woolf’s novel, he tells us, that opened his eyes to literature’s possibilities.
Over the centuries, the Swedish wilderness has been somewhat tamed: where the wild things once were, they tend to not be any more. But in recent decades something unexpected happened — the wolves came back. And our subconscious, writes ELIN UNNES, is only too familiar with their howl.
The emergence of the Parisian department store coincided with the city securing its place as the pre-eminent centre of world fashion. One woman, writes ALICE CAVANAGH, wore clothes so sensational that, over a century later, we’re still discussing them.
In 1902 a volcanic eruption in Martinique killed a town’s entire population, minus one man. CHARLIE CONNELLY peers into the strange history of (geologically) recent volcanic events.
Thank heavens for web research when planning a holiday, right? Not so fast. Many of Granite Island’s best bits would never have happened had our author just weighed up a bunch of user reviews. Brilliant travel stories, writes JEAN HANNAH EDELSTEIN, are possible only when we stop being obsessed with five stars out of boring five.
Before becoming a writer, NOEL ‘RAZOR’ SMITH spent a long time in prison. There are few places, he explains, where the tea is of worse quality — and fewer still where it is taken more seriously.
Ah, the unflinching joy of monochrome dressing. But to what effect? Author EMILY KING looks into single-colour outfits in art and discovers women being pigeonholed and men revealing their identity.