Andrew Blackman portrait

Ten years ago: Why I Protest

This post is part of a series of stories and articles I wrote exactly ten years ago, on this day in 2003. Here I talk about my reasons for protesting against the Iraq war, which had just started at that…

“A Pale View of Hills” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Most of this novel is memory: a woman thinking about her daughter’s suicide and remembering an earlier summer in post-War Nagasaki. Almost nothing happens in the present day. The whole story of A Pale View of Hills takes place in…

“Afterwards” by Rachel Seiffert

The style of writing is very conversational. No beauty, not even many full sentences. The sort of writing with not many verbs. Just reportage,and not always very grammatical, like you were hearing someone tell you it on the phone. That…

The crime of compassion

Sometimes I think I have become so cynical that I am no longer capable of feeling true outrage. I have come to expect fascism, brutality and heartlessness from my elected leaders as a matter of course. But every now and…

How about a little humanity?

Does this sound familiar? A war in the Middle East launched for obscure reasons. The justification changing constantly according to what ministers think can “sell” it to the people at any particular time. Disregarding the United Nations. Bombing people in…