4 3 2 1: Overture
‘According to family legend, Ferguson’s grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket’
A Scale Model of Gull Point
Trapped in a revolving restaurant during an American revolution, Shel VanRybroek turns to tin-foil sculpture.
A Suburban Weekend
‘The facts. Fern was skinnier than Liv, but Liv was blonde and tall and her breasts were enormous and thrillingly spaced.’
A Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word For
‘My friends, what I mean is, this life is shallow like a plate. It goes no further.’
All the Caged Things
‘All that thought of home gave the girl a sickly feeling, the longing of something so out of reach, something she wasn’t even sure she could any longer truly remember.’
‘My eyes were way too large. They appeared, if this is possible, independently scandalized.’
‘Like all roads, this one too comes to an end.’ A Swedish novel that looks at the realities of the immigrant experience.
‘The Armadillo Man is watching her. She gives him a good show – the best she has to offer.’
Better Protect America
Padma Viswanathan on the absurdities of the US Border Patrol Agency. ‘The new security was going to be unpredictable, by design.’
‘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.’
‘People think they’re destroying, but it’s hard work, nearly impossible; building is easy, illusory but easy.’
‘One piece of luck: I didn’t explain to the pianist how to play the piano.’ Translated from the French by Sophie Lewis.
‘It was this summer that the restlessness came over me.’ Translated from the Norwegian by May-Brit Akerholt.
‘The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity.’
‘Things he dreamt began to show up in the bushes, the plastic figurine from a parachute firework, the small dull rusted circular saw blade he thought of as a throwing star, and he pocketed those things.’
‘I stay mostly in my bedroom chambers, examining what has found its way into my pores or the mucoid crook of my eye.’
‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.
Chanel Nº 5
‘The liquid tingled, a subtle electrification, as the scent changed, bloomed, became an extension of the boy himself.’
‘Malachi is brushing her hair, long, dark brown and with russet glints. She likes it, as he can tell from her smile in the mirror.’
‘Daddy always said our apples were blessed because the order lived beside us. He liked to gift crates of Egremont Russets, the sweetest of all his fruit, to the sisters.’
Country & Eastern
‘Anyone could find courage when the World-Historical Spirit had selected you to enact your martyrdom on the Six O’Clock News. But in the shadows, in secret, unrecognized?’
‘She sat sweating on the curb as her mother’s narrow face hovered over the parking lot like a hologram.’
De roses et d’insectes
C’est une des premières choses que je lui ai dites, J’ai des daddy issues.
‘Your virginity guarantees your happiness, my mother had explained numerous times.’ New fiction from Geeta Tewari.
‘All colours are hurt spectacles, I think, and say aloud without intention.’ The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner for Asia.
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
‘They gazed at us calmly, as if we had caught them in the middle of performing some ritual whose meaning we could not fathom.’
‘Six feet of man, muscled up perfect, game to the heart.’ New fiction from Jeffery Renard Allen.
Flash at Home
‘Flash Gordon, home from the terrible emptiness of space, has to make up stories for fear of worldwide despair.’
From the Left Bank of the Flu
‘The big road looked to me like a river, the cars rushing by as if carried along on its current.’
‘Given played football with single-minded purpose his senior year, the fall before he died.’
The day was ending in a fiery and glorious way. The ships on the Sound looked like paper silhouettes being sucked up into the sun.