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A Man’s Life

Pajtim Statovci

‘I wished my family would die, my friends too, everybody I knew, because only that way could they never follow me wherever I went.’

A Mother’s Dilemma

Victor Lodato

‘I can hear the girl scratching a pencil inside a notebook. I don’t like it. I’ve asked her not to write about me.’

A Season on Earth

Gerald Murnane

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

Agnes of Iowa

Lorrie Moore

‘Through college she had been a feminist – more or less. She shaved her legs, but just not often enough, she liked to say.’

All silky and wonderful

Ben Pester

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

Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle

Herta Müller

‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’

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?’

Animalia

Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

An excerpt from Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

At the Edge of Night

Friedo Lampe

An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.

At Yankee Stadium

Don DeLillo

‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time.’

Beetle

Joanna Kavenna

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

Bitter Tennis

Lucy Ives

‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’

Borderland

Olga Tokarczuk

New fiction from Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft.

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.

Cousins

Angela Carter

‘It sounded like the birth of tragedy.’

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.

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.’

Evensong

Todd McEwen

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

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.’

Fixation

Patty Yumi Cottrell

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

Go, Local Sports Team, Go!

Nicola Barker

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

Good Progress

Jem Calder

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

Granma’s Porch

Alexia Tolas

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

Hammer

Adrian Van Young

‘I shift my weight right, where the hammer hangs down. Then left, then right, then left again.’

Hulk

Robert Coover

Robert Coover envisions a Trumpian Hulk for a modern America.

If You Start Breathing

Thea Lim

‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’

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.’

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.’

Longshore Drift

Julia Armfield

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

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.’

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.’

Maid Marian

Lisa Taddeo

‘It had taken Noni many years to stop wishing she’d been a woman like that.’

Menudo

Raymond Carver

‘Vicky says I’m crazy. She said worse things too last night. But who could blame her?’

My Biggest Insecurity About the Garden

Caoilinn Hughes

‘Pathos is suffering. But is it suffering to realize a dream, however puny?’ New fiction by Caoilinn Hughes.

My Enemy’s Cherry Tree

Wang Ting-Kuo

‘And the truth is, my heart was tied in knots, and pain bored into the marrow of my bones when I heard about his illness.’