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Our Lady of Mercy

André Alexis

‘I was engaged in a battle of politeness, those kindly – but ferocious – skirmishes that are so common in our country.’

Acts of Infidelity

Lena Andersson

‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.

Shirley from a Small Place

Alexia Arthurs

‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’

Matalasi

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa’s ‘Matalasi’ is the Pacific winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

I’ve Seen the Future, Baby; It Is Murder

Tara Isabella Burton

‘It was not very comfortable, but the appeal of it was that we did not like each other.’

Perfidious Albion

Sam Byers

‘In terms of aspiration, leaving London was the new moving to London. You slogged it out, made a name for yourself, then decamped to the sticks and devoted yourself to trashing city life on Twitter while roaming the fields in pursuit of your tweedy ideals.’

Snow Job

Brian Allen Carr

‘I like to think the ones who are worst at coloring will remember me the longest.’

Brother

David Chariandy

An excerpt from David Chariandy's novel Brother

Ghillie’s Mum

Lynda Clark

‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’

Mall Camp, Seasons 1 & 2

Joshua Cohen

‘Each turn he took, there’d be another face. Each concourse held a voice, importuning, beckoning.’

Kudos

Rachel Cusk

An extract from Kudos, the final novel in Rachel Cusk’s trilogy, following Outline and Transit.

The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman

Sagnik Datta

Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

West

Carys Davies

‘All I can say is that the only thing in the world I want to do now, is to go out there, into the west, and find them.’

The Taxidermy Museum

Steven Dunn

‘Even dying is an attempt to approach life. That’s how I perceive taxidermy.’

The Break-up of the Ice

Lucie Elven

‘Deeper in the port, a woman was speaking, a knitting process in which letters were picked and drawn out of loops of sound, detaching in part and rejoining, like a sort of memory.’ New fiction by Lucie Elven

Lake Like a Mirror

Ho Sok Fong

‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.

Now, Now, Louison

Jean Frémon

Jean Frémon on the artist Louise Bourgeois and her fascination with spiders. Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.

Occupation

Julián Fuks

‘They tell me you write about exile, about lives adrift, about trees whose roots are buried thousands of kilometres away, he said in his harsh accent, his hoarseness aggravated by the static on the telephone line.’

Felix Culpa

Jeremy Gavron

‘This writer does not write among these men who are here because they have lost the plot, lost the thread of their own lives.’

Asymmetry

Lisa Halliday

An excerpt from Lisa Halliday's Asymmetry

Days of Awe

A.M. Homes

‘He is the War Correspondent, she is the Transgressive Novelist. They have been flown in for the summit on Genocide(S).’

Passage

Kevin Jared Hosein

Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean. 

Prime

Caoilinn Hughes

‘Miss Lynch teaches us such things. Things that are difficult to know.’

Challenger Deep

Ashley Hutson

‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’

Ersatz Panda

Lucy Ives

‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’

Issue

Cormac James

‘I want you to close your eyes. I want you to relax, let go. I want you to let your mind see as vividly as possible the images my words conjure up. And above all, no matter what I say, I want you to trust me.’

How Much Heart

Mieko Kawakami

A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.

Parfait

Hiromi Kawakami

‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Stratford Marsh

Esther Kinsky

‘Estuary English, the tongue of the river mouth, open vowels, clipped syllables that nonetheless spilled into one: I found it hard to listen to. The words snapped at my ears: malicious fish.’

A Time for Everything

Karl Ove Knausgaard

‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.

The Dive

Samsun Knight

‘What’s wrong is that she cannot breathe.’ Samsun Knight’s ‘The Dive’ is the winner of the 2018 Disquiet Literary Prize

Brother in Ice

Alicia Kopf

‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’

Jennifer

Amitava Kumar

‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’

The Rat Snipers

Ben Lasman

‘When they stand on their hind legs, arms up, wrists limp, rats can take on a beguiling sort of personhood.’

The Swimmer

Tom Lee

‘I wondered what an onlooker might make of this man, this scene.’

Fathers and Sons

Benjamin Markovits

‘For a while it wasn’t clear how good he would become, and then it was. He went up the rankings, stopped, and started going down.’