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Girl Games

Makena Onjerika

‘There, behind glass panes separating you from the good children, from life itself, you are kept company by your dread.’

The Hole

Hiroko Oyamada

‘The hole felt as though it was exactly my size – a trap made just for me.’

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.

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.

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.’

The Fearful Summer

Adam Nicolson

‘I saw the bodies. They were blotched under the skin where the blood had clotted & pooled. I have never seen the dead so dead.’

Clementine, Carmelita, Dog

David Means

‘Here I should stress that dog memory is not at all like human memory, and that human memory, from a dog’s point of view, would seem strange, clunky, unnatural and deceptive.’

The Skylight

Penelope Mortimer

‘Her body poured away inside the too-tight cotton suit and only her bloodshot feet, almost purple in the torturing sandals, had any kind of substance.’


Guadalupe Nettel

‘Bonsai have always prompted a kind of fear in me, or at least a puzzling discomfort.’