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Sweet Truth

Walter Abish

‘I believe in the harmony of my friendship to Gisela rather than in the binding force that the institution of marriage is said to represent.’

Furniture of Desire

Walter Abish

‘It took him only a moment to eliminate all doubt. The opportunity was ripe.’

Missing Out

Leila Aboulela

‘She had held the day up with pegs; not only her day but his too.’

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

‘Your problem is not that you misread signs; it’s that you see them everywhere.’

On Monday Last Week

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Kamara had always resented the glamour of half-castes.’

The Master

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘The Master was a little crazy; he had spent too many years reading books overseas’

Jumping Monkey Hill

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘His accent was what the British called posh, the kind some rich Nigerians tried to mimic and ended up sounding unintentionally funny.’

The Grief of Strangers

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Chinechelum said little as her mother drove her to the airport.’

Last Man in Tower

Aravind Adiga

‘Perhaps that calm was all he had ever had’

Grand Rounds

Chris Adrian

‘I am more of a practice person than a theory person. Not that there’s anything wrong with theory people.’

Gifted

Segun Afolabi

‘The boys' eyes grazed the carpet and then each other guiltily. The youngest tried not to smile with shame.’

What Happened to Us

Humera Afridi

‘Trouble. There’s always trouble of some kind or other bringing the city to a standstill.’

Teresa

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘They rise up into the sky, like vultures.’

The Sins of the Mother

Jamil Ahmad

‘They are after us. I feel it in the air.’

The Provincials

Daniel Alarcón

‘I'd been out of the Conservatory for about a year when my great-uncle Raúl died.’

The Bridge

Daniel Alarcón

‘There was no question we were underwater.’

The King is Always Above the People

Daniel Alarcón

‘It was the year I left my parents, a few useless friends, and a girl who liked to tell everyone we were married, and moved two hundred kilometres downstream to the capital.’

Soon and in Our Days

Naomi Alderman

‘It is not often, even in Hendon, that one witnesses a miracle.’

Integration

Sherman Alexie

‘Anonymous cries up and down the hallways. Linoleum floors swabbed with gray water. Mop smelling like old sex.’

Dinner with Dr Azad

Monica Ali

‘Six months now since she'd been sent away to London. Every morning before she opened her eyes she thought, if I were the wishing type, I know what I would wish.’

The Judge’s Wife

Isabel Allende

‘Nicolas Vidal always knew he would lose his head over a woman.’

Gift for a Sweetheart

Isabel Allende

‘Horacio Fortunato was forty-six when the languid Jewish woman who was to change his roguish ways and deflate his fanfaronade entered his life.’

The Unknown Known

Martin Amis

A satire on fundamentalism in this extract from an unpublished manuscript.

Money

Martin Amis

‘How did I get like this? It can't just be the booze and all the junk food I put away. I must have been booked in for this a long time ago.’

The Coincidence of the Arts

Martin Amis

‘Round about, a thousand conversations missed a beat, gulped, and then hungrily resumed’.

Northanger Abbey

Martin Amis

Jane Austen’s novel ‘Northanger Abbey’ was published posthumously in 1818. Martin Amis adapted it for Miramax Pictures in 2001. The film has yet to be made. This is how it begins.

Let Me Count The Times

Martin Amis

‘Vernon made love to his wife three and a half times a week, and this was all right.’

The Time Sickness

Martin Amis

‘Before me through the restraining bars, the sunset sprawls in its polluted pomp, full of genies, cloaked ghosts, crimson demons of the middle sky.’

The Murderee

Martin Amis

‘This is a true story, but I can't believe it's really happening. It's a murder story, too. I can't believe my luck.’

Time’s Arrow

Martin Amis

‘I came rushing upward out of the blackest sleep to find myself surrounded by doctors.’

Time’s Arrow (Part Two)

Martin Amis

‘Nine nights later we woke up in the small hours and lay there coldly. “Shtib,” he grunted.’

Time’s Arrow (Part Three): The Conclusion

Martin Amis

‘Your shoulder blades still jolted to the artillery of the Russians as they scurried eastward.’

Author, Author

Martin Amis

‘Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing.’

Anwar Gets Everything

Tahmima Anam

‘Two ways a man can go here, in the direction of God or the direction of believing there is nothing up there but a sun that will kill you whether you pray five times or not.’

Saving the World

Tahmima Anam

‘Today, my brothers, Mohammed and Rubel, are going to foreign.’

The Courthouse

Tahmima Anam

‘If I had known it would put a continent between me and my children I would have killed that map-maker myself.’