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Year of the Monkey

Fan Wu

‘I stood in front of the roller coaster, whose winding tracks looked like intestines in a demon's stomach.’

The Last Thing We Need

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘I think there will be lightning tonight; the air has that feel.’

Hawk

Joy Williams

‘As regards to life it is much the best to think that the experiences we have are necessary for us.’

A Lovely and Terrible Thing

Chris Womersley

‘For a moment I could not speak. I looked off into the bleak distance, then at this man, and there was something about the sad shake of his head and the way his hair flapped about on his scalp that filled me with unreasonable warmth.’

Give it up for Billy

Edmund White

‘Were there moral cataracts that one could remove?’

Frogs

Mo Yan

‘Once the preposterous reality set in, we were overcome by sadness.’

In The Tunnel

John Wray

‘It was a question of not thinking about what you were doing.’

Wheels of Progress

Gemini Wahhaj

‘Now Bangladesh survives only on aid, on other people feeding its people.’

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Lina Wolff

‘No one here is normal except you, and you’re not even from Spain.’

Orion

Jeanette Winterson

‘Every 200,000 years or so, the individual stars within each constellation shift position. That is, they are shifting all the time, but more subtly than any tracker dog of ours can follow. One day, if the earth has not voluntarily opted out of the solar system, we will wake up to a new heaven whose dome will again confound us.’

The Barracks Thief

Tobias Wolff

‘My father was in Southern California, looking for work. Keith was still missing. The last time I'd spoken to her, my mother's voice had been cold, as if I were somehow to blame.’

In Lana Turner’s Bedroom

Gaby Wood

‘It was because it was night-time and raining that I decided to drive up to Lana Turner's old house in Beverly Hills.’

Tomorrow, upon Awakening

Antônio Xerxenesky

‘He more than anybody else needs to define his symbols for the year to com.’

Beachcombing

Lucy Wood

‘He was stamped darkly onto the wide stretch of sea like a single footprint.’

A Brief History of Fire

Jennifer Vanderbes

‘My happiness was so deep I was afraid to speak of it.’

The Penitenitary

Tim Willocks

‘A million man-years of confinement had burnished the surface of the granite flags to a greasy smoothness ingrained deeply with filth and despair.’

Down in Front

Colson Whitehead

‘This is the part where we find our seats. Step on toes, suck in gut, make yourself flat as a movie screen.’

Tree Thieves

Josh Weil

‘The jungle was all stillness, time kept only by the markings of his breath.’

What Remains

Christa Wolf

‘The coffee has to be strong and hot, filtered; the egg not too soft; home-made preserves; black bread.’

The Cells, Tissues, Systems and Cavities of the Body

Jeanette Winterson

‘You were a coat of many colours wrestled into the dirt.’

Scandal

A. N. Wilson

‘His father had visited a prostitute and had been a spy. It was quite obvious to Julian that this was true. He was almost pleased to read it, for it justified his sense, never admitted to himself before, that Daddy Spoilt Everything.’

The Poetics of Sex

Jeanette Winterson

‘My lover Picasso is going through her Blue Period.‘

Brass

Joy Williams

‘You’re the low-hanging fruit.’

Helen and Julia

Sarah Waters

‘She felt exhausted, emptied out; she thought of the day that had passed—it was astonishing to her, that a single set of hours could contain so many separate states of violent feeling.’

The Lens Factory

John Updike

‘It made him feel lopsided, this sense of being plucked at by nervousness and dread.’

Safety Catch

Lauren Wilkinson

Nothing dies because you can’t destroy energy.’

Seltz

Carlos Yushimito

‘I thought I’d found the answer to many of life’s mysteries, but I had no words to share with the world.’

Final Dispatch: End in Pizza

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘Those are not prisons, they are condominiums for rich people. Or at least that is what rich people think.’

Herself in Love

Marianne Wiggins

‘She thought, Love is a Revelation, like a religion, some religions; like Islam.’

Brazil: A User’s Guide

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘The Brazilian banking system was created by a Czech writer called Franz Kafka.’

Second Dispatches from Ambassador to Brazil, Earth

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘Forget about football: queuing and stamping are Brazil’s national sports.’

A Child’s Book of Death and Dying

Abraham Verghese

‘A fine morning mist had rolled down over Addis Ababa from the Entoto mountains, leaving a sheen on the lawn between the apartment buildings'.

Skinned Alive

Edmund White

‘Once in a very great while he referred to me playfully as his ‘husband’, despite his revulsion against camp.’

The Little Winter

Joy Williams

‘She remembered being happy off and on that day, and then looking at things and finding it all unkind.’

The Deadman’s Pedal

Alan Warner

‘Each man’s right hand was stained black with glossy wet muck.’

Ways of Going Home

Alejandro Zambra

‘It was hard for me to understand how someone could live alone.’