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Asylum Road

Olivia Sudjic

‘She’d blinked at me kindly and said it must be sad when your country no longer exists, then returned to pulverising her asparagus.’

Night as It Falls

Jakuta Alikavazovic

‘There wasn’t much money. His father had been blunt: the classes were fine, the rest wasn’t.’

Ways of Knowing

Lauren Wallach

‘Maybe I was born with this face the way moths are born with the ability to blend in with bark, to survive.’

Creep

Caoilinn Hughes

‘She hadn’t been skiing since her master’s in Iceland, back when glaciers had some heft to them, though slackened and fast-diminishing as the legs of a retired cyclist.’

The High House

Jessie Greengrass

‘All those who might have lived instead of us are gone, or they are starving, while we stay on here at the high house, pulling potatoes from soft earth.’

Faith

Sayaka Murata

‘Hey, Nagaoka, wanna start a new cult with me?’

New fiction by Sayaka Murata, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

Dancing for the Avatar

Kō Machida

‘If I let myself sink down into this I’m never coming back up.’

Pretty Polly

Shinichi Hoshi

‘Compared to all of you, I’m not the handsomest guy or the smartest, which might’ve caused me all sorts of grief if I was a landlubber. But I spent my life at sea, so I got by.’

One Hundred Years and a Day

Tomoka Shibasaki

‘After a while people’s faces began to fade, and they came to seem like hoards of noppera-bō, faceless spirits gliding by.’

Two stories by Tomoka Shibasaki.

Shame

Mieko Kawakami

‘During sex, Narumi would picture herself as steamed rice being turned into mochi rice cakes.’

North Winds Blow the Leaves From the Trees

Yu Miri

‘I liked her quiet regard, the way it gave me a sense of loneliness.’

Nightingale

Marina Kemp

‘She knew it was a trick of the lonely to favour the rude to the simply unmoved; that the loneliest thing in these villages and in this most tucked-away of professions was to elicit no response at all.’

Marina Kemp’s debut novel Nightingale is shortlisted for the 2020 Young Writer of the Year Award.

An Unnecessary Man

Maha Harada

‘I’d lived for half a century, but I had no sense of what that meant; no particular reaction.’