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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.’

Black Car

Will Boast

‘It got into you. How many scrapes had he seen? How many wrecks?’ New fiction from Will Boast.

Borderland

Olga Tokarczuk

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

Camelot

Caleb Klaces

‘A typical child feels dangerously.’ New fiction from Caleb Kraces.

Careless

Hiroko Oyamada

‘As I lay on the mattress, the white toe pads of the gecko floated up before me, against the vastness of the blue-black night. Rather than a presence, it seemed to me more like a trace, a barely discernible odour that flooded in on the air.’

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 winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

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.’

Don’t Look at Me Like That

Diana Athill

‘When I was at school I used to think that everyone disliked me, and it wasn’t far from true.’

Evensong

Todd McEwen

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

Facsimiles

Linda Mannheim

‘There is nothing where the Towers should be but smoke. There are no buildings.’

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.’

Fugato

Rebekah Frumkin

New fiction from Rebekah Frumkin, featuring psychiatrists brandishing DSM–5, delusions, transference and the menacing voice of Alex Trebek.

Glimpses of a totally different system

William Ghosh

‘This old circuit, which had been partly dormant, connected to an earlier memory. It was warm and fizzy and sharp. Then he stepped away, and the current was broken.’

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.

Grief in Moderation

Diane Williams

‘The tiny daisies were scored by the shadows of the slats of the venetian blinds and the stripes were shivering.’ Diane Williams.

Grief’s Garden

Caroline Albertine Minor

‘I imagined his journey out of the coma as an increasingly painful ascent through dark water.’ Translated from the Danish by Caroline Waight.

Hammer

Adrian Van Young

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

Homeland

Walter Kempowski

‘I was suckled by Mother Earth, he would reflect on occasion, and he would stretch, feeling new strength in his veins.’

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.’