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All the Caged Things

Chinelo Okparanta

‘All that thought of home gave the girl a sickly feeling, the longing of something so out of reach, something she wasn’t even sure she could any longer truly remember.’

Blameless

Claudio Magris

‘People think they’re destroying, but it’s hard work, nearly impossible; building is easy, illusory but easy.’

Blue Self-Portrait

Noémi Lefebvre

‘One piece of luck: I didn’t explain to the pianist how to play the piano.’ Translated from the French by Sophie Lewis.

Bright Circle

Ben Lerner

‘Things he dreamt began to show up in the bushes, the plastic figurine from a parachute firework, the small dull rusted circular saw blade he thought of as a throwing star, and he pocketed those things.’

Brom

Ottessa Moshfegh

‘I stay mostly in my bedroom chambers, examining what has found its way into my pores or the mucoid crook of my eye.’

Chanel Nº 5

Victor Lodato

‘The liquid tingled, a subtle electrification, as the scent changed, bloomed, became an extension of the boy himself.’

Chekhov’s Ladies

Edna O’Brien

‘Malachi is brushing her hair, long, dark brown and with russet glints. She likes it, as he can tell from her smile in the mirror.’

Cold Mountain

Andrée A. Michaud

What came after was the stuff of madness, the madness of warring winds, the madness of the man these winds had delivered up to me.

Cold Mountain: Premières esquisses

Andrée A. Michaud

Ce qui s’est passé par la suite relève de la folie, folie des vents s’entredéchirant, folie de l’homme que ces vents avaient poussé chez moi.

Consolata

Nuala O’Connor

‘Daddy always said our apples were blessed because the order lived beside us. He liked to gift crates of Egremont Russets, the sweetest of all his fruit, to the sisters.’

From the Left Bank of the Flu

Misumi Kubo

‘The big road looked to me like a river, the cars rushing by as if carried along on its current.’

Lagomorph

Alexander MacLeod

‘It is important to establish, before this begins, that I never thought of myself as an animal person.’

Lipari

Anthony Marra

‘Frank Laganà stood on the cliff suited in black, as straight as an exclamation point, poised to leap to his death once again.’

My Heart Hemmed In

Marie NDiaye

‘I stagger from the shock. I feel the corners of my mouth turning down. My jaw begins to tremble. Yes, yes, yes, I say to myself, get ahold of yourself.’

Naugahyde

Gordon Lish

A story of ageing infidelity: ‘He would seek to remember and she would seek to remember – each succeeding a little differently from the other.’

Qualitative Leaps

Sana Krasikov

‘Breaking your family’s heart was the price you paid for rescuing your own.’

Remembering Westgate

Sana Krasikov

‘I wonder if the only way to grasp what is terrifying and unimaginable for those of us who haven’t experienced it is to feel around the contours of inescapability, the boundary of its negative space.’

Roma

Deborah Levy

‘Her husband who is going to betray her is standing inside the city of Roma.’ Dreams of infidelity from Deborah Levy.

The Alarming Palsy of James Orr

Tom Lee

‘As it was, this gave the impression of two different faces, two different people, welded savagely together.’

The Answers

Catherine Lacey

‘And each time I hit the tarmac I had this terrible feeling that the trip I’d just taken had never even happened, that I’d spent hundreds for a memory I could barely recall.’

The Anthology

Karan Mahajan

‘Long before terrorism became fashionable in the West and commonplace in the East, there was a bombing at the Sovereign Center in Delhi.’

The Death of Margaret Roe

Nat Newman

The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Pacific. ‘Every person has their own secrets, but Margaret Roe had Havilah Brown’s.’

The Fjord of Eternity

Lisa Moore

‘Insurance fraud of the sort Trisha investigated involved perps who were dentists with erectile malfunction, men who were scarfing anti-depressants and hit a wall.’

The Initials

Alex Leslie

‘There was no inquiry and no report either because we all have new names now.’

The Unmailed Letter

Kseniya Melnik

‘I was already suspicious of you before you were even born. You were Mama’s then, eating her up from the inside like a little cancer. She became yellow. She lost chunkfuls of hair.’

This Is Our Descent

Dinaw Mengestu

‘When it came to our son, her defensive instincts were well-developed and all the more necessary because it was hard from the outside to see why we were so protective.’

Three Friends in a Hammock

April Ayers Lawson

‘I could not decide if love was real as a thing or something that could never entirely be proven, like God’

Turbines

Claire Luchette

‘You can decide, whenever you like, that what you feel is no kind of love.’

White | State of Mind

Han Kang

‘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.