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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?’

How Things End

Ann Beattie

‘As I began to flip through a literary magazine, I was stopped by a photograph of myself as a young girl, standing beside my college professor.’

Burnt Sugar

Avni Doshi

‘I would be lying if I said my mother’s misery has never given me pleasure.’


Colwill Brown

‘They’d practiced it ont bus into town: to mek sure Kel gorrin, they’d go past bouncer together, talking reyt loud about periods, so he wouldn’t even bother asking Kel her date of birth.’

This Happy

Niamh Campbell

‘How does a person waste her twenties like that? The answer of course being easily indeed. As easy as can be.’


Magalí Etchebarne

‘A man, my mother once told me, is a small animal that looks immense.’

Learning to Sing

Lydia Davis

‘You discover during your very first lessons that the problem of singing better involves overcoming many other problems you had not ever imagined.’

Diminishing Returns

Fatin Abbas

‘Alex had been sent to this remote district between north and south Sudan to update maps. It was an information-gathering project run by an American NGO based in the capital, Khartoum, nine hundred kilometers to the north.’

Exciting Times

Naoise Dolan

‘There was something Shakespearean about imperious men going down on you: the mighty have fallen.’

An extract from Naoise Dolan’s debut novel Exciting Times.

Some Rivers Meet

James Clarke

‘What a thing it must be to lose your marbles on your own, with not even enough milk in the fridge for a proper brew.’

Fiction by James Clarke.