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Messrs. External & Bodily

Helen Marten

‘Space is marked and people do their best, but somewhere somebody made a false prophecy for the land’.

Pinky Agarwalia: Biography of a Child Saint in Ten Parts

Bhanu Kapil

‘Every person who travelled here is unsteady, I can feel that.’


Ukamaka Olisakwe

‘She began to count; it was easier this way, counting, because she would not have to remember how she felt. She only had to remember how long she had counted.’


Marie-Hélène Lafon

‘He was long and white; his hands especially were long and white, and he sewed; he looked after the linen; he worked as a woman would; he lived in the house; he didn’t speak, he was rarely spoken to.’

Translated from the French by Stephanie Smee.

The Appointment

Katharina Volckmer

‘I know that I can trust you, and that death is silent. It’s never the loud things that kill us, the things that make us vomit and scream and cry. Those things are just looking for attention.’

That Time of Year

Marie NDiaye

‘The fact was that outside of summertime they knew nothing about the place at all.’

Translated from the French by Jordan Stump.

People From My Neighbourhood

Hiromi Kawakami

‘First prize went to the dog school principal, who of course had submitted a cartoon dog.’ Translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen.


Carys Davies

‘I would explain to you then, if I could, the theory that in the case of hairline shape, there are two possible variants or alleles: straight, or widow’s peak.’

In the Beginning

Diane Cook

‘They flavored their early stews with bacon. None of that stuff lasted long, though. That first day felt like a vacation in a wondrous new place. That feeling didn’t last long either.’


Sindya Bhanoo

‘She appeals to the fisherman, the rickshaw driver, the bricklayer. Her devotees are of all types’

The Mistake

Peter Cameron

‘Yes, I was sick, she said. You’re very observant. She raised her hand and wiped the back of her leather glove across her lips.’


Emma Cline

‘It was the afternoons that did it, three o’clock like a kind of death knell, the house seeming too still, too many hours of sunlight left in the day. How had Thora even started going to the chat rooms?’

The Perfect Companion

Joanna Kavenna

‘She was so understanding, so interesting, such an intellectual. She was also a wristwatch, but this hardly mattered.’

Golden Vulture

Jason Ockert

‘Last summer, the boy still believed in miracles. That’s why he disobeyed his father and crossed the bridge. He wondered, back then, if his mother might be over there.’