New Times by Rehana Rossouw

NEW-TIMES-COV– African time strolls at a leisurely pace, meandering down a time zone that’s several hours behind the rest of the globe, pausing to meet and greet everyone in its path as it makes its tardy way to the next appointment. It can be so very charming…It can also hold people back – when you are oppressed and going nowhere you never rush. –

– Newsrooms are the last refuge of society’s weirdos. –

– Sometimes it is hard to understand the choices people make when they’re finally free to have what they want. –

– People don’t greet at The New Times, the white people in particular. They drop their heads and stare at the floor like the answer to the meaning of life is carved there when they hear my hello. –

– Deadlines aggravate me; especially the ones that creep up fast and force me to file my stories before I’m convinced there’s nothing more I can do to improve them. –

– How are we supposed to build a better life for all when we’re all so fucked up? When all we know is killing and torture and racial oppression? It’s only been a year but I can already see this government is making some of the same mistakes. –

– When will people realise they can’t eat reconciliation? –

New Times via Jacana


Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

35994620– Sometimes the dead were friendly presences, but today the dead were only dead and every chiselled slab was a marker of someone’s sorrow. –

– The 7/7 terrorists were never described by the media as “British terrorists”. Even when the word “British” was used it was always “British of Pakistani descent” or “British Muslim” or, my favourite, “British passport-holders, always something interposed between their Britishness and terrorism. –

– It didn’t matter if they were on this or that side of the political spectrum, or whether the fathers were absent or present, or if someone else had loved them better, loved them more: in the end they were always their fathers’ sons. –

– He didn’t know how to break out of these currents of history, how to shake free of the demons he had attached to his own heels. –

– Grief heard its death sentence the morning you both woke up and one was singing and the other caught the song. –

– She held [rage] to her breast, she fed it, she stroked its mane, she whispered love to it under the starless sky, and sharpened her teeth on its gleaming claws. –


Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

34377041– Being Anna’s boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season. –

– The men whispered with the confidence of experienced soldiers, which they were, not like twenty-two-year-old boys, which they also were. –

– Her roommates had come to view her as an unexorcised poltergeist, one that had to be negotiated around. Then again, they were not really her roommates but her hosts, making Sue feel as welcome as an abdominal parasite. –

– She was not looking to buy an old typewriter. She needed nothing and wanted no more possessions––new, used, antique––not a thing. She had vowed to weather her recent personal setbacks with an era of Spartan living; a new minimalism, a life she could fit in her car. –

– Bert was not buckling his seat belt for landing. He owned the plane. Screw the FAA. –


Koolaids by Rabih Alameddine

24945414.jpg– Death comes in many shapes and sizes, but it always comes.
No one escapes the little tag on the big toe. –

– Whether it was sunset, sunrise, cloudy day, or sunny day, Ben’s skies were always cerulean blue. –

– Man is nothing more than giant genitalia for viruses. –

– What if I told you that life has no unity? It is a series of nonlinear vignettes leading nowhere, a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It makes no sense, enjoy it. –

– Do you realize if antidepressants were available fifty years ago, the existentialists could have been happy? We would have been spared reading so many dull books. –

– Many people remember past lives clearly. How is that possible, you ask.
Drugs is one possibility. Schizophrenia is another. –

– I wanted to write a poem on my deathbed. –

– In the cosmic circularity of the doctrine of the eternal return, Nietzsche forces together times and eternity. What is, has been, and will be innumerable times at immense intervals. Who gives a shit, I ask you? –

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

18665033– After all, words are what remain when all the deeds have been done. Words can shatter faith; start a war; change the course of history. A story can make your heart beat faster; topple walls; scale mountains – hey, a story can even raise the dead. –

– And so I went through fatherhood like a grain of wheat through a goose, unscathed and unremembered. And if there ever was a time when I wondered what it might have been like to play a game of catch with my sons, or teach them to fly, or shift Aspects, or educate them in such essential life skills as lying, cheating and treachery, I wisely kept the thought to myself. –

– Who wanders through the woods during the hunting season disguised as lunch for gods’ sakes? –

– Whoever said names can’t hurt you was either drunk or stupid. All words have power, of course, but names are the most potent of all, which is why the gods had so many. –

– Time works differently so close to Dream, and a few moments in the waking world can seem like an eternity. But Pain is also a country where Time works in a different way… –

Peter Grant 1-3 by Ben Aaronovitch

9317452.jpg– I find it helpful to quote the wisdom of my father who once told me, ‘Who knows why the fuck anything happens?’

– The flats were solidly built, so at least I didn’t grow up listening to next door’s live docusoap, but they were built on a the dubious assumption, so beloved of post-war planners, that the London working class was composed entirely of hobbits. –

– Every male driver in the world thinks they’re an excellent driver. Every copper who’s ever had to pick an eyeball out of a puddle knows that most of them are kidding themselves. –

– For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call. –

– ‘Do you think this is funny?’…’Do you find the murder of American citizens funny?’
I was tempted to tell her it was because we were British and actually had a sense of humour, but I try not to be cruel to foreigners. –

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

10335308.jpg– One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about. –

– When we graduated high school, she went to Cooper Union in Manhattan to peruse her love of set design, and I went to Dartmouth to pursue my love of white people and North Face parkas. –

– My inappropriate, unfunny remarks were getting us special treatment rather than fired. I felt like Ferris Bueller. –

– I simply regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world created therein has different rules than my regular human world. Then I lap it up. –

– [On Hollywood’s tenancy to hire actresses to play “mom” to actors barely younger than themselves.] If you think about the backstory of a typical mother character…you realize this: when “Mom” was an adolescent, the very month she started to menstruate she was impregnated with a baby who would grow up to be the movie’s likeable brown-haired leading man. I am fascinated by Mom’s sordid early life. I would rather see this movie than the one I bought a ticket for. –

– As my mom has said, when one person is unhappy, it usually means two people are unhappy but that one has not come to terms with it yet. –

TSSF Journal, Issue 1

21557634_1659386047418854_6416383593060390209_n.jpgThe first issue of The Single Story Foundation‘s Journal is now live.

I strongly recommend downloading it and reading it on your computer or e-reader. The layout is stunning. (I can say that, because I’m not the one who formatted it.):

For those that cannot do so, you can read it in blog form here:

Many thanks to my fellow editors Tolu Daniel and Genna Gardini. Also thank you to TSSF founder Murewa Olatodera Olubela and our volunteers, Husband, Julie Keeton Bracker and Moira Richards.

We hope you enjoy.

Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi

36242923– My real names, dear. Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo. –

– In a way, the rape of some women and children in exile debunks the heroic narrative of the struggle. It also debunks dominant patters of self-glorification. The ruling party has, largely, been in denial about this, choosing instead a narrative that speaks only of the heroism and sacrifices of so many gallant comrades – a narrative that is true, but incomplete. –

–It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict. –

– Society should do its own introspection and ask why it was, and is, eager to accept the version of a man who can state, in a court of law, that he has consensual sex with a child. Our societal mores have enabled this.
It is shameful. –

– The rules of the cultural beliefs that Zuma claims to hold dear dictate that your friends’ children are your children. –

Publisher’s Link

House of Spies (Gabriel Allon #17) by Daniel Silva

34120187– “The enemy is determined,” he declared, “but so are we.” –

– A few terrorism analysts expressed surprise over the fact that the statement made no mention of anyone named Saladin. The savvier ones did not. Saladin, they said, was a master. And like many masters, he preferred to leave his work unsigned. –

– Mainly, he wondered how Chiara managed to care for the children alone, day after day, without collapsing with exhaustion or losing her mind. Running one of the world’s most formidable intelligence services suddenly seemed a rather trivial pursuit by comparison. –

– The Jewish people had drained the malarial swamps, watered the deserts, and prevailed in three existential conflicts against an enemy far greater in number. And yet a Palestinian with a pack of matches could bring the northwest corner of the country to a standstill and threaten its third-largest city. –

– The notion that a modern England might not be a cultural paradise appeared to come as a shock to Brady Boswell. He was one of those Americans who formed their impressions of life in the United Kingdom by watching reruns of Masterpiece Theater. –

Review for the Sunday Times: