Natasha Soobramanien & Luke Williams’s Diego Garcia
              Orit Gat
              The narrator of Diego Garcia, a novel written collaboratively by Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams, is sometimes a he, sometimes a she, always a we. When its two speakers, Oliver and Damaris, are not together, the narrative can fracture into separate columns. They live in Edinburgh. It’s 2014. “We” walk to the library; “he” makes coffee in the morning; “she” loves the cardamom buns at the Swedish café. The city is a backdrop to their conversations about Theodor Adorno and James Baldwin, the Velvet Underground, writing, and money; they discuss their debts in numbers, their credit scores in terms of unavailable futures. On the streets are posters for the Scottish Independence referendum. Their life feels detached until one day they meet Diego. Diego is Chagossian, from the community exiled to Mauritius and the Seychelles by the British government between 1967 and 1973 so that the island of Diego Garcia could be turned into a US military base. Diego—the name he adopted in acknowledgement of his lost homeland—meets them one night for a drink. They never see Diego again, but before he leaves he tells Damaris his life story: how he grew up in Mauritius and ended up undocumented in the …
              Moyra Davey’s Index Cards
              Filipa Ramos
              During the lockdown, I found solace in books that took me to places beyond my reach. I visited the atemporal lands of the Kesh civilization, brought to life by Ursula K. Le Guin in Always Coming Home (1985); I discovered the outlandish urban bestiary of Shaun Tan’s Tales from the Inner City (2018); I fled to that ancient epoch when animals were gods and humans were animals which Roberto Calasso describes in The Celestial Hunter (2016). In between, I compulsively watched the animal videos posted by the Canadian-born, New York-based artist Moyra Davey on her Instagram feed. Between March and May, Davey filmed a photogenic bird feeder, an aquamarine box that looked like a vintage television monitor attached to a tree branch, through the lens of a telescope. First came the birds: blackcaps, blue jays, coal tits, goldfinches, and other, less familiar North American passerines. Next came the wild turkeys, then a family of black bears, a mother and two cubs playing in Davey’s porch and on the screen right before my eyes. These snippets made my silent spring. So when Davey’s Index Cards—a compilation of essays written between 2003 and 2019, collected by Nicolas Linnert and published by Fitzcarraldo …

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