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Natural History

Eva Warrick

‘Vita thought she saw a handgun in her father’s underwear drawer.’

The Spread

Ben Lerner

‘He began to feel less like he was delivering a speech and more like a speech was delivering him.’

Innards

Magogodi oaMphela Makhene

‘To pick the right heart, the old man said, you had to look for depth in the ruby, to prize a raw intensity of colour and a bright gold fat blanketing the angry muscle.’

The Line

Amor Towles

‘It didn’t take long for the citizens of Moscow to realize that if you had no choice but to stand in line, then Pushkin was the man to stand next to.’

Longshore Drift

Julia Armfield

‘She has never been very keen on the thought of herself as other people see her.’

Charlie Parker
Plays Bossa Nova

Haruki Murakami

‘That was the setup for the review I wrote about this imaginary record.’ Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel.

Field Notes on a Marriage

Te-Ping Chen

‘I tell myself it doesn’t do to fixate too much on the dead: apart from everything else, they can’t answer you.’

Providence

Sara Majka

‘It’ll always come to this, I said, laying my head on your shoulder.’

Good Progress

Jem Calder

‘I released the picture of my mother’s breast, which resized itself to auto-fit my smartphone’s display.’

Visitors Welcome

Thomas Pierce

‘Our reasons for purchasing a reJesus no doubt require little explanation.’

Vows

David Means

‘True love is, when seen from afar, a big fat cliché.’

Schenectady

Adam O’Fallon Price

‘To be fair, it is near a waterfall; although, to be fair again, everything around here is near a waterfall.’

Insurrecto

Gina Apostol

‘She does not go home for her mother's funeral because the prospect of return gives her insomnia. She splurges on a coat from Miu Miu instead.’

Go, Local Sports Team, Go!

Nicola Barker

‘This is his Toxic Super-Ego at work. Surely?’

The Wind That Lays Waste

Selva Almada

‘Leni’s last image of her mother is from the rear window of the car.’

Granma’s Porch

Alexia Tolas

Alexia Tolas’ Granma’s Porch is the Caribbean regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

The Biggest House on Earth

Choi In-Ho

‘What is happiness? Nothing other than pausing at the bottom of the stairs to admire the portrait of a beautiful queen from some distant, foreign land.’

Fixation

Patty Yumi Cottrell

‘It began with the ant farm in second grade.’

Dolores

Lauren Aimee Curtis

‘There she is: Dolores. Newly named. Sitting at the kitchen table inside the convent, conscious of how bad she must smell.’

Beetle

Joanna Kavenna

An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.

Madam’s Sister

Mbozi Haimbe

‘The sister has a headful of fine hair down to the small of her back. The golden colour of maize silk, her weave is not stiff and waxy like Chipo’s, but moves in the breeze.’

The Girls and the Dogs

Kevin Barry

‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’

Death Customs

Constantia Soteriou

Constantia Soteriou’s ‘Death Customs’, translated from the Greek by Lina Protopapa, is the regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2018 for Canada and Europe.

All silky and wonderful

Ben Pester

A trip on a commuter train takes a surreal turn in new fiction by Ben Pester.

My Mother Pattu

Saraswathy M. Manickam

Saraswathy M. Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Hulk

Robert Coover

Robert Coover envisions a Trumpian Hulk for a modern America.

Screaming

Harley Hern

Harley Hern’s ‘Screaming’ is the Pacific regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

A Season on Earth

Gerald Murnane

‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’

The Sole Purveyor of Madame Bovary in Beijing circa 1989

Amanda Lee Koe

‘In the day, his bevy of besotted rustics were coached in maxims of libertarian socialism. By night: rice wine orgies and folk punk sing-alongs.’

Loudermilk

Lucy Ives

‘The bro has a pair of plump dogs over which he deploys nauseating quantities of ketchup.’

Lucy Ives and Niina Pollari In Conversation

Lucy Ives & Niina Pollari

‘For me, narratives are always tied to and emerging from other narratives; there is no single beginning, no origin.’

Rules for Visiting

Jessica Francis Kane

‘It wasn’t until the end of dinner, when my aunt started clearing and my grandmother demanded another bottle of wine, that I began to understand.’

American Girl and Boy from Shobrakheit

Noor Naga

‘Question: is romance just a father who never carried you to bed carrying you, at last, to bed?’

Cousins

Angela Carter

‘It sounded like the birth of tragedy.’

The Summer After the War

Kazuo Ishiguro

‘As it was, my grandfather began helping me to paint without my having to ask him.’

Evensong

Todd McEwen

‘Characteristically my wife refused to be drawn into the situation while I became obsessed with it.’