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Ghillie’s Mum

Lynda Clark

‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’

The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti

Alex Andriesse

‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’

Shirley from a Small Place

Alexia Arthurs

‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’

since feeling is first

Nuar Alsadir

‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’

The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman

Sagnik Datta

Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

Matalasi

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa’s ‘Matalasi’ is the Pacific winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

Ways of Looking

Lulah Ellender

‘He is like a mantling hawk, his heft and body spreading over his prey as he tears off pieces of her with his eyes.’ Lulah Ellender on the male gaze.

The Break-up of the Ice

Lucie Elven

‘Deeper in the port, a woman was speaking, a knitting process in which letters were picked and drawn out of loops of sound, detaching in part and rejoining, like a sort of memory.’ New fiction by Lucie Elven

West

Carys Davies

‘All I can say is that the only thing in the world I want to do now, is to go out there, into the west, and find them.’

Amy Bloom | Five Things Right Now

Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Acts of Infidelity

Lena Andersson

‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.

Snow Job

Brian Allen Carr

‘I like to think the ones who are worst at coloring will remember me the longest.’

Mall Camp, Seasons 1 & 2

Joshua Cohen

‘Each turn he took, there’d be another face. Each concourse held a voice, importuning, beckoning.’

Karl Kraus and Veza

Elias Canetti

‘It was natural that the rumors about both these people should reach me at the same time; they came from the same source, from which everything new for me came at that time.’

Carys Davies | Notes on Craft

Carys Davies

‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’

Rosses Point

John Connell

‘I’m going to die out here he thought, I’m going to die trying to save this beast in front of my boy.’

Kudos

Rachel Cusk

An extract from Kudos, the final novel in Rachel Cusk’s trilogy, following Outline and Transit.

Who Killed Tolstoy?

Elif Batuman

‘I walked along the birch-lined alleys of Yasnaya Polyana, looking for clues. Snakes were swimming in the pond, making a rippling pattern. Everything here was a museum.’

Danny Denton | Notes on Craft

Danny Denton

‘My tuppence on craft is this: as a writer, you must give your reader space to experience the world of your story (whatever form it takes)’

Poppy

Caroline Criado-Perez

'I never worried about my flat catching fire before Poppy came along.' Caroline Criado-Perez on her pet Poppy.

It’s Only Skin

Lily Dunn

‘I knew what it was to be an object of desire, and to be submissive.’ Lily Dunn on being a painter's model as a girl.

Brother

David Chariandy

An excerpt from David Chariandy's novel Brother

The Infinite Goldfish

Sara Baume

In the beginning, there was the goldfish.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Escape

Will Boast

Will Boast on how Bernini's Apollo and Daphne helped him write his latest novel

The Taxidermy Museum

Steven Dunn

‘Even dying is an attempt to approach life. That’s how I perceive taxidermy.’

Home

Emily Critchley

‘to understand life / how to possibly / live in it / break it’

On Coyotes

Diane Cook

‘There is something about the presence of coyotes that makes any place feel wilder than it is.’

Dog

Nadeem Aslam

‘More than once the new dog was aggressive, a stab of fire, but I did not tell the grown-ups. I feared they would take him away.’

The Farmer’s Son

John Connell

‘I’m twenty-nine and I’ve never delivered a calf myself. But that’s all about to change’

The Falconer and the Hawks

Ben Crane

‘A fine balance of precision and coiled unsparing instinct, all contained within a gossamer skein of feather, skin, muscle and bone.’

Typing Practice

Barbara Ehrenreich

‘I didn’t start my journal with the idea of recording my progress toward the ultimate truth.’

Kent Will Tear Us Apart

Neil Belton

All the Devils Are Here was cursed with the status of a cult classic. It’s a book that people who’ve read it, especially writers, can never forget.

Our Lady of Mercy

André Alexis

‘I was engaged in a battle of politeness, those kindly – but ferocious – skirmishes that are so common in our country.’

Faltering Song

Danny Denton

‘Didn’t we remember lyrics fine before we had the internet in our pockets?’ Danny Denton on the lost art of sing-songing.

Best Book of 1996: The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Natalie Eilbert

‘Mina Loy has been a preferred voice in my head, echoing with a signature delirious chant as a kind of primordial poetry mother.’

Judges

Natalie Eilbert

‘I was thick dough when you ran us away. I never / knew you.’