The Great Wall
‘They've been making every imaginable special case for him for all eternity, they even sing hymns in his honour’.
The Gorilla’s Apprentice
‘Real life was the thin couch he slept on at home. Real life was his mother screaming that he needed to face Real Life.’
‘She was both scared about what it meant – a terrible raid; everyone sensed it – and furious with herself for not planning better.’
Startled In The Dark
‘Morning and dusk are by far the best times of day in Africa. The sun is scorching, but these times allow you to live.'
Here Comes the Sun | New Voices
‘It’s more love than anyone has ever felt, I’m sure. I have an urge to donate it to children in Africa, or give it to the girl that works the kiosk in the mall. I’ll give it to a lonely continent.’
‘Whale arrived at work a little after seven with black circles round his eyes’.
‘She was living as herself, in herself, without ever thinking about what that meant.’
The Moon and the Batteries
‘His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him ‘Sensei’. Not ‘Mr’ or ‘Sir’, just ‘Sensei’.’
God Bless You, 2011
‘If the god of uranium really exists, then what must he be thinking? Were this a fairy tale of old, what would happen when humans broke the laws of nature to turn gods into minions?’ Hiromi Kawakami on the nature gods of Japan.
You Go When You Can No Longer Stay
‘It is not so much that we are splitting up that is really worrying me, it is the fact that she keeps quoting Martin Amis.’
In Between Talking about The Elephant
‘I discover some rough skin on her elbow. I run my tongue along it’.
Man Walks Into A Bar
‘I had been living abroad for twelve years and I was gaun hame, maybe forever, maybe a month.‘
Failing to Fall
‘This is the one thing I know from the minute I lift the receiver and slip that voice inside my ear: it will happen.‘
’Thirty years I’m a cabbie,’ the small guy sitting behind the wheel tells me, ’thirty years and not one accident.’
‘It was eating oysters, four hundred of the bivalve sons-of-bitches, that finally killed my father, in a theatre-bar off St Martin's Lane.‘
’On the day my career at Fireplace Mutual began, six of us recruits filed into the smoke-filled office of the Supervisor of Adjusters, Mr Kreisky.’
The Last Place on Earth
‘The living-room windows begin to reflect the lights on the plastic Christmas tree, and the view through those windows is fading, the woods growing thicker, the birches glowing in the dusk.’
‘Being able to read obituaries in advance gives a man an extraordinary sense of power.’
‘The lottery to choose her next husband was to take place at the Imperial Palace.’
In Goats’ Eyes is the Sky Blue?
‘The people locked up in Administrative Camp 16 weren’t allowed clocks. In fact there wasn’t a single clock to be found, even in communal areas.’
‘A few months later I was strapped up, M4 in condition 1, surrounded by 03s, backpack full of cash, twitchiest guy in Iraq.’
Don’t Forsake Me
'Bára went to the church on the advice of her friend Ivana. She had been suffering from occasional bouts of depression', Ivan Klíma in 'Don't Forsake Me' in Granta 59: France: The Outsider.
The Night of the Railwaymen’s Ball
‘The season of ballroom dancing was upon us and crime was on the increase. I have little interest in ballroom dancing – I don't dance.’