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.’
Bucket of Eels
‘I was gazing into my empty bowl and realizing how little time it takes to eat when you’re not carrying on a conversation.’
‘She was both scared about what it meant – a terrible raid; everyone sensed it – and furious with herself for not planning better.’
Rules for Visiting
‘It wasn’t until the end of dinner, when my aunt started clearing and my grandmother demanded another bottle of wine, that I began to understand.’
White | State of Mind
‘I was told that she was a girl, with a face as white as a crescent-moon rice cake.’ New writing from Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith.
A Double-Income Family
When Mrs Mehra leaves Delhi she retires in one of ‘the vast new satellite townships on the eastern fringes of the metropolis’.
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.’
An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
About Her and the Memories That Belong to Her
‘If I were to forget, then it would be the same as it never having existed at all.’
The Moon and the Batteries
‘His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him ‘Sensei’. Not ‘Mr’ or ‘Sir’, just ‘Sensei’.’
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
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.‘
In the not-so-distant future, middle-class underachievers are faced with a difficult choice: prison or motivational business classes.
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.‘