The Exorcism of Doctor Escudero
‘His body was like a rock. It wasn’t his. It was like he was possessed.’
Travel Notes About Death
‘The first notes I take are about a man who was born, grew up, worked, was married, had a daughter, grew old, and died in the same village.’
About Her and the Memories That Belong to Her
‘If I were to forget, then it would be the same as it never having existed at all.’
Nothing Ever Happens Here
‘I was broke, and I was a nobody, but I was happy.’ A story from Otessa Moshfegh about a young man moving to Hollywood.
‘I have heard the item girls singing each to each. / I do not think they will sing to me.’
Lagos Must Prosper
21 million people, $91 billion GDP, an ambitious governor whose term is up: Alexis Okeowo on the megacity of Lagos
Gandhi the Londoner
‘On 29 September 1888, an Indian teenager with a mild case of ringworm and a fine head of hair sailed into the Thames Estuary.’ Sam Miller on Ghandi's time in London.
‘Things started going wrong at my ten-year college reunion – or I guess I mean that I realized how wrong they had gone.’
‘Selecting the right kind of a tomato was crucial for the scam to work.’
‘My father has his own language for everything. When I finished my MFA, I was a NINJA: No Income, No Job, No Assets.’
The Wrong Square
‘Something as fundamental to intelligence as counting was eluding him.’
It was discovered that gut bacteria were responsible
‘Each bacterium was entitled to pay / a fee in the form of mitochondrial energy to purchase / a ‘dream token’ to be dropped into a Potential Well.’
Her Lousy Shoes
‘On good days, he could believe that that was exactly what he appeared to be: pedestrian, a pedestrian, a walker, walking, going places, on the ups, possessing two healthy feet at least.’
A Double-Income Family
When Mrs Mehra leaves Delhi she retires in one of ‘the vast new satellite townships on the eastern fringes of the metropolis’.
The Buzzard’s Egg
‘I can’t remember: did a young man destroy his miserable god, or did a god free its worshipper and take his blood and his bones?’
‘In more ways than one, the rituals of death had reminded me that I was an outsider.’
The Ghost in the Kimono
Deep in the dense volume of Delhi’s history Raghu Kardad investigates ‘the remarkable, untold story of the Japanese in the Old Fort’.
Three Prose Poems
‘And the evening wind from over the sea makes that threadbare self billow like a tattered sail, all that resisted it now become the air on which it rises.’
‘Oh, nothing, nothing is mine. / I am like the reflections of a gloomy lake / or the echo of voices at the bottom of a blue / well when it has rained.’