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A Battle

Patrick Süskind

‘Early one August evening, when most people had already left the park, two men sat confronting one another across a chessboard.’

A Conversation Piece

George Steiner

‘No. Listen to me. God's confidence in Abraham was not total. Let me hammer out my meaning.’

A Discourse on the Elephant

Richard Rayner

‘This is not the story of my life, at least not the story of all of it, but it is the story of my father.’

A Few Words on the Life Cycle of Frogs

Patricio Pron

‘I wasn’t going to abandon the dream of literature, I was going to keep dreaming.’

A New World

V. S. Pritchett

‘What was this new world? It was their love for each other.’

A Play on Mothering

David Rakoff

‘His hands are a jewel box and I lean forward and peer in.’

A Religious Conversation

Orhan Pamuk

‘"Hello, sir. Do you recognize me?" "No, I'm afraid I don't."’

A Scream of Toys

Alan Sillitoe

‘Edie looked a long time at blue sky in a pool of water after rain before dipping her finger down for a taste.’

A Short History of Coronation Ale

Graham Swift

‘Rest assured, it was no ordinary ale that they drank by the Ouse while in Westminster crowds thronged.’

A Soap Opera From Hell

Clive Sinclair

‘It comes as no surprise when an ophthalmist informs him that the tears he does produce–the consequence of various allergies–are deficient, poor-quality facsimiles of the real thing.’

A Suburban Weekend

Lisa Taddeo

‘The facts. Fern was skinnier than Liv, but Liv was blonde and tall and her breasts were enormous and thrillingly spaced.’

A Visit to the Zoo

Colm Tóibín

‘The two chameleons in a glass case appeared to interest all of them, Heinrich thought, because of their beauty and their stillness. They looked like a pale painting.’

About the Eel

Graham Swift

‘We have not yet come to the most remarkable episode in this quasi-mythological quest for the genesis of the eel.’

After That, We Are Ignorant

Bilal Tanweer

‘He used to see things in his dreams and made them his policies. Yup, Americans loved his dreams because he was screwing the Soviets and Comrades in them.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

‘At last, at last. His first steps, on Chinese soil.’

Alice fell

Emma Tennant

‘Agony belonged to night and would take advantage of the union, increase the whirligig of pain.’

All We Shall Know

Donal Ryan

‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’

American Subsidiary

William Pierce

‘He was typing up another proposal for robots that would replace human workers in an engine factory.’

An Occupation

Adam Stumacher

‘All those years of manipulating the tuning crank have given him the patience to settle in for these more involved jobs, and patience is perhaps the most important quality in a human shield.’

Antics

Clive Sinclair

'My nubile companion, assuredly no intellectual, continued to masturbate in front of me.'

Araben

Pooneh Rohi

‘Like all roads, this one too comes to an end.’ A Swedish novel that looks at the realities of the immigrant experience.

Armadillo Man

Julianne Pachico

‘The Armadillo Man is watching her. She gives him a good show – the best she has to offer.’

Arrivals

Sunjeev Sahota

‘But he couldn’t lose the sense that this was a turning point in his life, that she’d been delivered to him for a reason.’

At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers

Salman Rushdie

‘The bidders who have assembled for the auction of the magic slippers bear little resemblance to your usual saleroom.’

At The Villa Cockroft

Dan Rhodes

‘In Bosnia, it seemed, a deal was a deal and the Bosnian was ready to pay his rent.’

At The Villa Moro

Paul Theroux

‘This is my only story. Now that I am sixty I can tell it’.

Athena Sees Good Things for You

Patrick Ryan

‘Dear X1, the first document began, On X2, as X3 moves into X4, I want you to turn X5 years into golden wealth.’

Bakamonotako

Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Bakamonotako felt she didn’t need all eight of her appendages. Four would do.’

Beginning, End | New Voices

Jessica Soffer

‘I walked behind you. You led the rallies. I lost my mother. You rubbed my back.’

Bina

Anakana Schofield

‘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.’

Blood Money

Miroslav Penkov

‘At first the Gypsies didn’t know how to answer their cellphone.’

Buddy Carmody

Jayne Anne Phillips

‘No one was safe walking to church in the dark, but Buddy knew better than to beg not to go'.

Buffalo Soldiers

ZZ Packer

‘No bullet, no recoil, no shot.’

Canopy

Naben Ruthnum

‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.

Cat

Katy Simpson Smith

‘I didn’t dream because I had no memories.’

Centre of Gravity

Victoria Tokareva

‘For reasons I don’t want to go into, I decided to commit suicide.’