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from The Franchiser

Stanley Elkin

‘In sickness he understood what he never had in health, that his body, anyone’s, everyone’s, was something for the public record.’

A Day in the Life in El Salvador

Manlio Argueta

‘I have not failed you, José. I understand that you were saying goodbye when you opened your eye, and that, besides greeting me, you were expressing your pride in me, seeing me standing with my arm around the shoulders of your granddaughter.’

A Sentence of Love

Assia Djebar

‘I met Annie for the first time in 1995, in Algiers. A friend of my sister's, she came from Paris and stayed with me for one night.’

A Wedding

Anita Brookner

‘The bride and groom were there all the time, in the centre, as they should be. A good-looking couple. But lifeless, figures from stock.’

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

‘Your problem is not that you misread signs; it’s that you see them everywhere.’

After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac

Rachel Cusk

‘It was right after he was born that I started looking at paintings.’

After Effects

Oliverio Coelho

‘Iván tried not to keep still.’

Agamemnon’s Truth

Javier Cercas

‘My name is Javier Cercas, just like you.’

All That Follows

Jim Crace

‘Leonard Lessing does not dream of Maxie Lemon, Maxim Lermontov, the hostage­-taker.’

Alpes Maritimes

William Boyd

‘From the small terrace at Cherry's villa there is a perfect view of Villefranche and its bay, edged by the bright beads of the harbour lights and headlamps of cars on the coast road.’

And Yet

Brian Evenson

‘She had waited expectantly for him to tell her a story to illustrate this, and to explain what those values were, but as with so many other things he had left it at that. It lingered in the air, waiting for her to pluck it up, but she had simply let it hang.’

Anecdotes

Ann Beattie

‘Christine’s hair had begun to dry, and she looked different, with her hair down and her glasses on. Her earnestness made her look younger, and took me back to the bar where we’d sat in Pennsylvania years ago.’

Anwar Gets Everything

Tahmima Anam

‘Two ways a man can go here, in the direction of God or the direction of believing there is nothing up there but a sun that will kill you whether you pray five times or not.’