Nuala O’Connor’s short story about Nora Barnacle, and her first meetings with James Joyce.
The Break-up of the Ice
‘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
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
‘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.’
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.’
Acts of Infidelity
‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.
Oh, the Obvious
‘A wizened spring, the sickly prickly pear and organ pipe cacti were so riddled with holes they might have been targets.’
The Duchess of Albany
‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’
Days of Awe
‘He is the War Correspondent, she is the Transgressive Novelist. They have been flown in for the summit on Genocide(S).’
‘I like to think the ones who are worst at coloring will remember me the longest.’
Lake Like a Mirror
‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.
‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’
Mall Camp, Seasons 1 & 2
‘Each turn he took, there’d be another face. Each concourse held a voice, importuning, beckoning.’
Painter to the King
‘There are many facets to being a king; and yet all edges must appear burnished to a perfect smooth orb, shining at the centre of his empire.’ An extract from Painter to the King by Amy Sackville.
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.’
An extract from Kudos, the final novel in Rachel Cusk’s trilogy, following Outline and Transit.
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
'Childhood felt like a waiting room, a transitory phase between birth and the life we wanted.'
‘All those appetizing vessels exposed and available, O how delightfully vulnerable they are, it brings a tear to the eye.’
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’
'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers
‘This journey around the outskirts of the Jungle went in a little and came out wondering, well that is not what I would have called a jungle.’
‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’
The Taxidermy Museum
‘Even dying is an attempt to approach life. That’s how I perceive taxidermy.’
‘I made tea while the astronaut sat at our kitchen table and gazed out the window.’
The Last Children of Tokyo
‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.
‘I want you to close your eyes. I want you to relax, let go. I want you to let your mind see as vividly as possible the images my words conjure up. And above all, no matter what I say, I want you to trust me.’
The Rat Snipers
‘When they stand on their hind legs, arms up, wrists limp, rats can take on a beguiling sort of personhood.’
The Kabul Markhor
‘He felt very lonely after spending the winter holed up in his cabin eating Doritos.’
‘She was Some Pig. Her eggs easily incorporated the human genetic code. All her piglets were star patents.’
Our Lady of Mercy
‘I was engaged in a battle of politeness, those kindly – but ferocious – skirmishes that are so common in our country.’