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The Colour Brown

Renu Sabherwal

‘It was, she thought, like trying on made-to-measure garments that have been tailored for someone bigger, smaller, rounder, thinner than you could ever hope to be.’

The Celebration

Cathy Sweeney

‘I had just come home from boarding school when Father took me aside and told me that Mother was up to her old antics, letting the whole family down, and that if she continued, we’d have to act.’

Mr A

Stephanie Soileau

‘At the front of the line, Jabowen and Mr A are talking. Or, more than talking, really. Julie has noticed this before – it’s impossible to miss – but today it worries her more deeply than she can quite admit.’

The Great Indian Tee and Snakes

Kritika Pandey

Kritika Pandey’s ‘The Great Indian Tee and Snakes’ is the overall winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize as well as the regional winner from Asia.

Wretchedness

Andrzej Tichý

‘we’re better equipped for the future than you could ever be’

Thick Legs

Natalia Borges Polesso

‘Was soccer a sign? I don’t think so, nearly all the girls had boyfriends, except for Greice and Kelli, and I didn’t have one because I was a puta, as they used to say, I hooked up with everybody.’

Hair

Mahreen Sohail

‘The first person he tells is his girlfriend of one year. I’m going to donate my hair to my mother, he says, and is worried to see tears rise in her eyes.’

Fable

Kathryn Scanlan

‘The girl’s curiosity often led her into troublesome situations, but she considered it part of the pact her soul had made in order to gain entrance to the world, and did not worry much over what befell her.’

New fiction from Kathryn Scanlan.

Farm Tennis

Rob Magnuson Smith

‘Nobody bothered him when he was playing tennis. No matter how long he stayed out there, the door never took breaks.’

Fiction by Rob Magnuson Smith.

The Dialectic

Zadie Smith

A story from Zadie Smith’s collection Grand Union, which has recently shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020.

Solo

Ingrid Persaud

‘I wanted her to see me as a real man, with a little swagger, cool as this fall evening.’

An excerpt from Ingrid Persaud’s Love After Love.

The Shop

Anthony Veasna So

‘I am not saying you cannot be gay. How hard is it to be normal and gay?’

Low

Jeet Thayil

‘Quitting drugs – what an idea. How final and unaccommodating. Like being left without faith or protection in a pagan world.’ An extract from Jeet Thayil’s Low.

Real Men

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr

Anna Leader’s translation of ‘Real Men’ by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the winner of the 2019 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.