For Picador’s 40th anniversary we asked 40 writers to respond to the idea of 40 in whatever way they liked. The results are spectacular: thoughtful, funny, poignant, as brilliantly diverse as the Picador list. Pieces include the temporal (what I was doing 40 years ago; the mid-life crisis of a 40-year-old whose lifespan coincides with Picador’s), the quirky (gifts I’d like to receive for my 40th birthday; 40 things to do before I die; what it’s like never to have been on any of those Best Under 40 lists), and the downright clever (40-word synopses of great works of literature), along with some astonishingly good short stories and poems touching on mortality and ageing. The authors range from great established writers on the list, like Alice Sebold, John Banville and Graham Swift, to new stars, such as Emma Straub, Belinda McKeon and Megan Abbott, and 33 more!
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