A Mischief of Rats
‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
The Bible As Literature, Literature As Scripture
'Literature and literary criticism took me away from the Church as a teenager, and literature and literary criticism brought me back to it later.'
‘She is luscious / and plump like marshmallow; part edible baby, / part nosy neighbour.’
‘Tryptamine skies and the forehand backhand falter / in earth’s revolutions’
‘Estuary English, the tongue of the river mouth, open vowels, clipped syllables that nonetheless spilled into one: I found it hard to listen to. The words snapped at my ears: malicious fish.’
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
Karl Ove Knausgaard | The Proust Questionnaire
'What is your most unappealing habit? Maybe all the brain-like chewing gums I leave behind everywhere I work.'
‘What’s wrong is that she cannot breathe.’ Samsun Knight’s ‘The Dive’ is the winner of the 2018 Disquiet Literary Prize
Brother in Ice
‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’
‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’
The Rat Snipers
‘When they stand on their hind legs, arms up, wrists limp, rats can take on a beguiling sort of personhood.’
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her - not even her biographers. April Ayers Lawson on Woolf's abuse, and her own.
‘I again told him I wasn’t ready to have sex, and his only response was to lean in and kiss me. The hallway in which we walked seemed to be shrinking, closing in on us.’ – April Ayers Lawson on intimacy after sexual abuse.
The Trouble With Rape
April Ayers Lawson on rape, trauma, and the difficulty of speaking out about sexual abuse.
En Route to The Promised Land
Ken Light revisits the photos he took of immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the US in the 1980s.
There Is No Light of the World But the World
‘The mountain rises and sleeps backward / into a cloud-captured sun’
No Machine Could Do It
‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’
Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.
A Not-So-Pretty History of Pet Care
‘One day after the next I would figure out what was needed, learn from my mistakes, pay attention to what worked.’
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
Fathers and Sons
‘For a while it wasn’t clear how good he would become, and then it was. He went up the rankings, stopped, and started going down.’
‘I made tea while the astronaut sat at our kitchen table and gazed out the window.’
The Woman Dies
‘The woman dies. She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her.’ Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton.
Best Book of 2013: Tom Drury’s Pacific
‘There is a remarkable flow to the novel, like that aimless but essential drunken chatter after your third pint.’ John Patrick McHugh on why Tom Drury’s Pacific is the best book of 2013.
Can infidelity make up for infidelity? New fiction from John Patrick McHugh.
‘I hadn’t / realised it possible / that I might grow into kinder / ownership of my own looks’
The Great Israeli novel of War and Doubt
Granta editor Anne Meadows writes about Khirbet Khizeh, the great Israeli novel of war and doubt.
Though I Have Never Been to Ostia, I Have Seen the Place Where Our Dreams Died
‘like pasolini’s dream of an african oresteia let us be ridiculous’