“In some ways it’s a failure of liberal thought,” she says, “this idea of constant progression, perfectibility. History tells you that it’s not the case, yet in Britain, and certainly in America, people are still inclined to think that way. That things will get better . . .
“A bomb exploded in the courtyard of my primary school,” writes Jessica in a story about the war. In another piece about pain — experiencing it, remembering it, unpacking it like the worst-ever time capsule — she explains, “We don’t write about suffering enough… We socially compartmentalize it until it becomes an old chatty neighbor we avoid every morning as we walk to work.” She uses words like tiny headlamps, illuminating all the internal cobwebs.