‘I put the breast milk in the fridge and lie down on the bed. I pretend I am dead, underneath the earth with a bag of Cheetos.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace’.
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.
‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens is shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018.
‘I looked back and there was something wrong about his hand – how it cupped her bottom, how it probed.’
‘It was a red-light district and a plywood market and a town of hoodlums in one. I’ll add one more thing: The whole place stunk of sewage.’
A new story from Terese Svoboda about love, money and power in the hands of an aging parent.
‘When we have liberated ourselves, we will have to ask ourselves who we are.’
‘After the first time they had sex, Marianne stayed the night in his house.’ New fiction from Sally Rooney.
‘Because I spent a large amount of time convincing people to buy clothing they would never actually wear, it was easy to convince myself the same.’
‘Even in a year in which Brazilians are not that excited about the competition, once the ref whistles and the match kicks off, an entire nation is frozen, hypnotised before their television screens. It’s the great truce, the great anaesthetic.’
‘Papa suddenly appears inside the door and sits down after three months of no-show-face and my happiness just vamoose.’
The World Is a Narrow Bridge
‘They’re back on I-95, northbound this time, the city disappearing behind them, the sun setting like a piece of pink candy over the Everglades.’
Oh, the Obvious
‘A wizened spring, the sickly prickly pear and organ pipe cacti were so riddled with holes they might have been targets.’
The Duchess of Albany
‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’
‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’
Painter to the King
This is an excerpt from Painter to the King, Amy Sackville's account of the life of Diego Velázquez. Now available from Granta Books.
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’
'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers
The Last Children of Tokyo
‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
Hôtel Valencia Palace
Ce jour-là, comme chaque jour, des poissons avaient nagé au-dessus des têtes.
Valencia Palace Hotel
A story by Annie Perreault, translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins, for the online edition of Granta 141: Canada.
‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.
‘The history of human thought, she would sigh despairingly, was nothing more, after all, than an arduous dream.’
Of Roses and Insects
‘The insects dissect the layers of my father’s life, our lives and my mother’s life that have collected in this sad house.’ Translated from the French by Neil Smith.
‘If you’ve come all this way here to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I’m here to warn you, not to reassure you.’
How to Pronounce Knife
‘She thought of what else he didn’t know. What else she would have to find out for herself.’
De roses et d’insectes
C’est une des premières choses que je lui ai dites, J’ai des daddy issues.
The Headless Woman
‘The mother advances, already headless, looking for her three children.’ Filial horror from Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated by Francisco Vilhena.
‘Waking is now worse than falling asleep, I didn’t think that was possible.’ Translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook.