‘She draws from her mind the image of a giant steel girder, pictures it smashing through the wall of the bar, obliterating everything, legs and arms reaching and waving.’
Sorry to Disturb You
The only thing scarier than ghosts are the ghosts working at a call center.
‘The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity.’
Better Protect America
Padma Viswanathan on the absurdities of the US Border Patrol Agency. ‘The new security was going to be unpredictable, by design.’
‘I’m too tired she said / to be this happy / & we laughed without / moving our hands’
Since Everything Was Suddening Into A Hurricane
After a sudden stroke, Binyavanga Wainaina and his lover travel to Nairobi to reconcile with his father.
‘We do not understand why, nor did we covet such long life, but here we are, our respective addictions and madness with us to the end.’
Stillness | State of Mind
‘It is half twelve and I am labouring over the word Stillen. My laptop is open on the coffee table, pushed up against baby wipes and a row of empties.’
What Terrible Thing It Was
‘Dennis with his bespectacled eyes on his phone, performing the act of emotional multitasking. While I’ve been psychotic, he’s been phone banking.’
‘Given played football with single-minded purpose his senior year, the fall before he died.’
I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness
‘The uncooperative cadence of the phrase my myspace page perfectly encapsulates the awkwardness of the early oughts when our story begins.’
Jillian Weise | Five Things Right Now
Jillian Weise is a poet, performance artist and disability rights activist. She shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Sara Wheeler | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘Mass travel has liberated the form. No amount of package tours will stop ordinary life quietly continuing everywhere on earth.’
‘here we come / with our living // fruit baskets and / soon to wilt white flowers’
Night of the Gnomes
‘The plan was quite simple: Güendolina would invite him into the bedroom and persuade him to make love to her until he was utterly exhausted.’
In This Heart You Burn
‘Years later, broken-chested beneath the axle of a Ford Mustang, he’ll dream back to a night on the shores of Mimeer Lake when he amphetamined through till dawn and cracked some asshat’s nose with his elbow and gave his virginity to Isabel Crease.’
‘May it not be / that they owe their fleshiness / to the cumulative effect?’
Alexis Wright | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world.’
Seven People with the Same Name and their Discrete Moments
Erica Chung’s translation of ‘Seven People with the Same Name and their Discrete Moments’ by Han Yujoo is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2017.