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Sirens

Jorge Consiglio

‘A knock-off Conrad. He’d drive us to school in his car.’

Longshore Drift

Julia Armfield

‘She has never been very keen on the thought of herself as other people see her.’

Field Notes on a Marriage

Te-Ping Chen

‘I tell myself it doesn’t do to fixate too much on the dead: apart from everything else, they can’t answer you.’

Good Progress

Jem Calder

‘I released the picture of my mother’s breast, which resized itself to auto-fit my smartphone’s display.’

Insurrecto

Gina Apostol

‘She does not go home for her mother's funeral because the prospect of return gives her insomnia. She splurges on a coat from Miu Miu instead.’

Go, Local Sports Team, Go!

Nicola Barker

‘This is his Toxic Super-Ego at work. Surely?’

The Wind That Lays Waste

Selva Almada

‘Leni’s last image of her mother is from the rear window of the car.’

Fixation

Patty Yumi Cottrell

‘It began with the ant farm in second grade.’

Dolores

Lauren Aimee Curtis

‘There she is: Dolores. Newly named. Sitting at the kitchen table inside the convent, conscious of how bad she must smell.’

The Girls and the Dogs

Kevin Barry

‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’

Hulk

Robert Coover

Robert Coover envisions a Trumpian Hulk for a modern America.

Cousins

Angela Carter

‘It sounded like the birth of tragedy.’

Menudo

Raymond Carver

‘Vicky says I’m crazy. She said worse things too last night. But who could blame her?’

At Yankee Stadium

Don DeLillo

‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time.’

The Dreadful Mucamas

Lydia Davis

‘We do not believe they are sincerely trying to please us.’

Our Agent At Dawn

Nina Ellis

‘After I kill him I’ll go to Graceland.’

Animalia

Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

An excerpt from Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

The Main Thing Is to Keep the Front Garden Immaculate

Simone Buchholz

An extract from Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz, translated from the German by Rachel Ward.

The Most Common State of Matter

Cara Blue Adams

‘She was quietly awed by her own panic.’

The Silk Road

Kathryn Davis

‘The choice of starting point wasn’t important; the important thing was to cycle through the same sequence of edges.’

Man of Principle

Roy Chicky Arad

A novelette by Roy Chicky Arad, written after one of the wars of Israel in Gaza. Translated from the Hebrew by Maayan Eitan and Oded Even Or.

Susan and Miffy

Jane Campbell

‘The lust of an old man is disgusting but the lust of an old woman is worse. Everyone knows that.’

Yokosuka blue line

Steven Dunn

‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’

Ardor (Aghast)

Anne Carson

‘I taught you what you know, I never taught you what I know.’

The Swallow’s Nest

John Boyne

Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.

E.E.G.

Daša Drndić

‘A threatening soundlessness falls like a breeze onto our stone floor.’

Freshwater

Akwaeke Emezi

‘We came from somewhere – everything does.’

‘I Am Going to Speak to You about Anxiety’

Hernán Díaz

‘Her mother was still sitting on the sofa, stroking the left armrest while she talked.’

Regan

Brian Booker

A coming-of-age story about an awkward roommate on Roosevelt Island, ordering bisexual porn tapes from catalogues and writing summaries of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for a living.

Slip of a Fish

Amy Arnold

‘Charlie’s swimming. Six strokes then she turns to breathe, six more and all the way to the end of the length. She’s a swimmer, Charlie. She’s a bit of a fish, a slip of a fish.’

Cowboys and Angels

Chelsea Bieker

‘I had me a cowboy once on a hot steam Friday night.’ New fiction from Chelsea Bieker.

I’ve Seen the Future, Baby; It Is Murder

Tara Isabella Burton

‘It was not very comfortable, but the appeal of it was that we did not like each other.’

Perfidious Albion

Sam Byers

‘In terms of aspiration, leaving London was the new moving to London. You slogged it out, made a name for yourself, then decamped to the sticks and devoted yourself to trashing city life on Twitter while roaming the fields in pursuit of your tweedy ideals.’

Ghillie’s Mum

Lynda Clark

‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’

Shirley from a Small Place

Alexia Arthurs

‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’

The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman

Sagnik Datta

Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.