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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.’

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 Buddhist

Alan Rossi

‘Loneliness is the extra, the part that’s unnecessary.’

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.’

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.‘

Nothing Ever Happens Here

Ottessa Moshfegh

‘I was broke, and I was a nobody, but I was happy.’

The Instant of Passage

Mathias Énard

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

Lucy the Liar

Patrick deWitt

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

Numb

Lauren Schenkman

‘She felt things under the skin: scars where the body had torn during childbirth, clumps of cellulite, lobules and ducts.’

Dark Air

Lincoln Michel

‘There must have been a dozen ways for us to be crushed or torn apart.’

Item Girls

Kuzhali Manickavel

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

To Zagreb

Yoko Tawada

‘You didn’t know where you wanted to end up, had never considered how much time you had left.’

To Rio de Janeiro

Gonçalo M. Tavares

‘In the end, what one understands in Rio de Janeiro is that joy is the only coherence of a living being.’

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.’