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The Mother of All Sins

Hanan al-Shaykh

‘Loving life is the mother of all sins.’

Light

Lesley Nneka Arimah

‘When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters.’ 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for Africa.

The Gentlest Village

Jesse Ball

‘You are learning – learning a great deal. It is too much for you, so your body bows out. Then you wake up and you can continue.’

Lady Neptune

Ann Beattie

‘The word money popped up like a bit of the ocean’s detritus riding in on a wave, but her lips formed the words ‘Merry Christmas’.’

Five Parties

Ned Beauman

‘The second year, I noticed before anyone else that the Coelophysis was trying to escape.’

This is New

Marc Bojanowski

‘None of this would have happened if I’d just taken a deep breath, suppressed my emotions and said to the young woman, “Leave. Now.”‘

The Florida Motel

Kevin Canty

‘Suddenly she understood what she was doing here. She was among strangers, the place where Bill had chosen to spend his life.’

Krapp Hour (Act 2)

Anne Carson

‘this is my theory of her awake all night worrying about little wild animals active in the dark’

Othello Sucks

Upamanyu Chatterjee

Younger Daughter’s declaration that ‘Othello sucks’ prompts a conflicted response from Father.

Robertus Heimric, Welcome Back

Upamanyu Chatterjee

‘He was the one survivor who remembered nothing.’

English Summer

Amit Chaudhuri

‘What am I doing in London? And what’ll I do once I’m back in India?' Amit Chaudhuri on identity, youth and nostalgia.

Honk Honk to Udvada

Chandrahas Choudhury

‘Oh Uncle, it’s such a historical day,’ said Zahra. ‘The eight hundredth anniversary of our arrival in India after we faced so much persecution in Iran, and we’re going to such a big bash, and all you can think about is emus. What will Dr Billimoria think of our family?’

Lucy the Liar

Patrick deWitt

‘Tell me it’s a lie, now. Will you say that it is?’

The Instant of Passage

Mathias Énard

‘Praying for the unknown dead, for the vague remains of the existences of total strangers, was sadly abstract.’

The Intoxicated Years

Mariana Enríquez

‘They cried as if they weren’t to blame for any of it. We hated innocent people.’

Dreamed in Stone

Jon Fosse

’You were a chasm that cracked and turned into stones, and then the stones lay there, beautifully laid, in a wall.‘

Portia’s Choice

Lorna Gibb

‘There were rules to the game. I could not lose my virginity and I had to be careful not to let a boy go further than I wanted to.’

Sisters

Anjum Hasan

The sick and the healthy have nothing in common, thinks Jaan. She’s been dreaming of...

Every Person’s Little Treasure

Liliana Heker

‘It occurred to Ana that this was a woman who often left things hanging.’

Users Manual

Julián Herbert

‘If you require further specifications, please consult your local supplier. They will be happy to help.’

Sex Life

Daisy Hildyard

‘The sexual activity was dense and rapid everywhere that he was not.’

Substitutes

Ben Hoffman

‘Did you notice our daughter is not our daughter anymore?’

Epithalamium

Greg Jackson

‘Hara had stumbled on a kind of play, as if they were sisters left alone by their parents for the first time to explore the different ways a day could be deconstructed.‘

Old-Age Rage

Daisy Jacobs

‘He’s not himself’, Mum says in the kitchen. Well, who is he then? Is he 40 per cent of his young self? Ten? Do I still have to love him as much as ever, this 90 per cent stranger?

Shoes

Anjali Joseph

‘Like scraps of leather, oddly shaped, things from life, people and sayings and objects, found themselves spliced together.’

The Archive

Sebastià Jovani

‘The aim of this study is to visualise a means of understanding the essential aspects of a literary text’

Delira

Hitomi Kanehara

‘I steadied my trembling legs and yelled, “Welcome to Delira!” ’

A Double-Income Family

Deepti Kapoor

When Mrs Mehra leaves Delhi she retires in one of ‘the vast new satellite townships on the eastern fringes of the metropolis’.

About Her and the Memories That Belong to Her

Mieko Kawakami

‘If I were to forget, then it would be the same as it never having existed at all.’

Sticky Fingers

Arun Kolatkar

‘Selecting the right kind of a tomato was crucial for the scam to work.’

Drone

Hari Kunzru

‘Rich men have been building tall on this hill for centuries.’

Blade Culture

Atticus Lish

‘As a kid, he played video games and roughhoused on the beach and joined a gang.’

Los Angeles

Ling Ma

‘My 100 ex-boyfriends and I hang out every day.’

Horror Story

Carmen Maria Machado

‘The strangeness fed our discontent.’

Item Girls

Kuzhali Manickavel

‘I have heard the item girls singing each to each. / I do not think they will sing to me.’

George and Elizabeth

Ben Marcus

‘She could see, or was starting to, that someone out there was seeing him, watching him.’