Glimpses of a totally different system
‘This old circuit, which had been partly dormant, connected to an earlier memory. It was warm and fizzy and sharp. Then he stepped away, and the current was broken.’
New fiction from Rebekah Frumkin, featuring psychiatrists brandishing DSM–5, delusions, transference and the menacing voice of Alex Trebek.
for Shy Brides
‘The husband, when we are introduced, will already be the husband.’
The Biggest House on Earth
‘What is happiness? Nothing other than pausing at the bottom of the stairs to admire the portrait of a beautiful queen from some distant, foreign land.’
‘The sister has a headful of fine hair down to the small of her back. The golden colour of maize silk, her weave is not stiff and waxy like Chipo’s, but moves in the breeze.’
Harley Hern’s ‘Screaming’ is the Pacific regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
‘The bro has a pair of plump dogs over which he deploys nauseating quantities of ketchup.’
The Summer After the War
‘As it was, my grandfather began helping me to paint without my having to ask him.’
Ten Thousand Feet
‘I go up and watch the avenue through the window. Noise and more noise. An avenue of insects, stray bullets and snipers sprawled on the rooftops.’
My Biggest Insecurity About the Garden
‘Pathos is suffering. But is it suffering to realize a dream, however puny?’ New fiction by Caoilinn Hughes.
‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’
‘On the rampage, he truly did become a devil; it was impossible to restrain him.’ Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.
Horror from David Hayden. ‘A shuddering, wordless voice rose in the distance, and another, and another; a chorus, a lament, which ended in a low grunt. There was a coda of sobbing. There was silence.’
‘All through winter and another summer we wait, but time passes more quickly now that we have a purpose. I feel it flowing.’
Sharing the same bed, dreaming different dreams
Ma Jian shows the excess and corruption of the Chinese Communist party in this excerpt from his new novel, China Dream, translated from the Chinese by Flora Drew.
I’ll Go On
‘Swish-swish, swish-swish. The sound fills the large space around them, and Nana finds this deeply satisfying.’
Subha Prasad Sanyal’s translation of ‘After Half-Time’ by Shamik Ghosh is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2018.
The Seafood Buffet
‘Things that felt like cold stones began to be piled around her ankles. Lemon halves.’
Now, Now, Louison
Jean Frémon on the artist Louise Bourgeois and her fascination with spiders. Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘They tell me you write about exile, about lives adrift, about trees whose roots are buried thousands of kilometres away, he said in his harsh accent, his hoarseness aggravated by the static on the telephone line.’
Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean.
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
Days of Awe
Read the title story from AM Homes' dazzling new collection of short stories, Days of Awe, available now from Granta Books.
Lake Like a Mirror
‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.
‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’
‘I want you to close your eyes. I want you to relax, let go. I want you to let your mind see as vividly as possible the images my words conjure up. And above all, no matter what I say, I want you to trust me.’
‘This writer does not write among these men who are here because they have lost the plot, lost the thread of their own lives.’
‘For years, you have been passing through my life; like a comet, disappearing as quickly as you come.’ Translated by Rhonda Mullins.
‘He was at home in the water, and it was from here that he would find ways to live, reasons to live.’
Life of the Father
‘Two times is a repetition. Three times is a tradition, or a curse.’ Translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler.