Category: Babel Itself

Extracts from Babel Itself

Second Sam Youd novel now available

Following the publication earlier this year of The Winter Swan, the first published novel by Sam Youd (who would later become better known as John Christopher, author of such classics as The Death of Grass...

Meet the artist!

Lulu said, fairly loudly: ‘He has a water-colour temperament of course – pastel shades with subtle nuances of depth. And a wonderful instinct for group patterns.’ ‘And how young is he?’ Piers asked. She quite...

In solitary dignity

Helen was sitting in her window-seat, knitting, and surprisingly was quite alone. I took the cheque out of the envelope in which I’d placed it and handed it to her. She caught my eye as...

Lunch at Maxard’s

I parked the car behind Leicester Square and wondered again why I bothered to keep it up. It would be as cheap, and far more convenient, to rely on taxis. Just habit, I recognized, buying...

Black out

I knocked at Piers’s door and entered. He was standing on a chair by the window, struggling with the black-out board. I helped him to lift it into place, and he climbed down, rubbing his...

In the swiftly plunging blackness

Having offered the invitation he stood on one side, watching with interested friendliness while the rest of us made the necessary preparations. Olivia and I pushed the carpet back, drew the four chairs up to...

Knock once for yes

Howard said softly: ‘Nothing much to-night.’ As though in answer the table jerked quickly, pushing against us, coming down again on the floorboards with a clatter of wooden feet. Jupiter had given way to Saturn....

ghosts séance in-the-dark

In the dark or with the lights on?

Leslie asked: ‘What does happen, anyway? Ghosts? Long white figures?’ Howard had found another chair for himself and carried it round to wedge himself in between Leslie and Helen. I saw Cynthia lean forward on...

You can tell it’s real

Leslie broke in: ‘Was he – a lover of the arts?’ The table rapped once. Olivia said, explaining: ‘You can put your questions directly.’ ‘Right,’ Leslie said. He paused briefly. ‘Did you know the painter,...