‘There’s a strange disease killing people in Kikyo,’ Kisembo tells me, a frown spreading across his face. Whenever I go in to pay my bill at his drug shop – the one with a black and white fence a few houses down from Nyahuka Health Centre – if I settle onto a bench and lean my head against the wall, I know I’ll get more than just a receipt. This morning I hadn’t intended to stay.
‘A strange disease? What could it be?’ Crossing my legs, I notice… Read More »
At Death’s Door
Someone was ill… very ill indeed. I could hear voices – doctors’ voices, low and concerned, whispering.
I knew I was in the ICU. I also knew it was night-time, but not because it was dark. Day and the night were the same in the ICU… Read More »
East Riding of Yorkshire, early spring 1349
A few spluttering and stinking tallow candles added little light to the meagre glow of smouldering damp logs in the fireplace of the Warren Horesby tavern. A seated figure in coarse travel robes sat with hands tucked in wide sleeves to keep warm. His hood flopped forward, deeply shadowing his eyes. Around him huddled the men of the village… Read More »
Sermons go to work on us in strange, almost inexpressible, ways. Sometimes, what we recall years after the event are not specific words or illustrations, or even the identity of the speaker. Instead, what lingers is an impression made upon us, a feeling of conviction or excitement which remains even if the detail of what was said has not stayed in our long-term memory… Read More »
One of the strangest parts of growing up was always getting the strangest look when I gave my name when introducing myself. I guess back then there were many confused British people who couldn’t put a Pakistani together with an English name. Born in London in 1984… Read More »
Losing Things, One by One
In the first year after Shoko’s diagnosis, life continued much as normal. She could still manage day-to-day activities – looking after the house, cooking, sewing, writing letters, cycling here and there… Read More »
Who is this book by?
When I started writing this book, the very first question I asked myself was not the usual Who is this book aimed at? but Who is this book by? Not because I’m having some sort of identity crisis, but more because there are a number of different perspectives from which… Read More »
My great-grandmother is a remarkable woman. Everyone says so: her daughter (who is my grandmother), Gramps (who is my grandfather and her son-in-law), Dad (who is her grandson), Mom and all her friends and everyone else who knows her. So it must be true… Read More »
Matthew Gold woke with a start at four o’clock on the morning of the 11th March. His body was bathed in a cold sweat and his heart was beating rapidly.
There were three pages missing. The last three pages. The pages that made sense of the story… Read More »
ENGLAND, MAY 1950
Mum looked odd, kind of pasty, as she opened the front door. I slung my heavy, half-term satchel with my dirty sports kit in it onto the hall floor. I hung my panama hat and blazer on the coat stand as usual, but instead of heading for the kitchen with promises of supper, Mum tugged at the hem of my skirt, fiddled with my tie and plaits and looked me up and down. Read More »