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The Seventh Man

Haruki Murakami

‘I looked up at the sky. A few grey cotton chunks of cloud hung there, motionless.’

Clara

Janice Galloway

‘She shifts, half in shadow. Whatever else, she's certainly a child. No one is with her.’

Envy

Kathryn Chetkovich

‘Why does it hurt only to read good work by the living?’

Jubilee

Carys Davies

‘His name was Arthur Pritt, he said, and he was sorry for the day.’

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.’

Human Moments in World War III

Don DeLillo

‘Happiness is not a fact of this experience, at least not to the extent that one is bold enough to speak of it.’

Lessons

Justin Torres

‘We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.’

Empire

Richard Ford

‘Outside on the cold air, flames moved and divided and swarmed the sky. And Sims felt alone in a wide empire, removed and afloat, calmed, as if life was far away now, as if blackness was all around.’

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.’

Mungo Among the Moors

T. Coraghessan Boyle

‘At an age when most young Scotsmen were lifting skirts, ploughing furrows and spreading seed, Mungo Park was displaying his bare buttocks to al-haff Ali Ibn Fatoudi, Emir of Ludamar.’

Some Other Katherine

Sam Byers

‘There were days when it seemed sordid and doomed; days which, oddly, Katherine found more romantic than the days of hope.’

Rock Springs

Richard Ford

‘But as I read on a napkin once, between the idea and the act a whole kingdom lies. And I had a hard time with my acts, which were oftentimes offender's acts.’

Runs Girl | New Voices

Chinelo Okparanta

‘The year Mama fell sick was the year Njideka confessed to me that she was a runs girl.’

Thailand

Haruki Murakami

‘Living and dying are, in a sense, things of equal value.’

Year of the Monkey

Fan Wu

‘I stood in front of the roller coaster, whose winding tracks looked like intestines in a demon's stomach.’

The Last Thing We Need

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘I think there will be lightning tonight; the air has that feel.’

Dance Cadaverous

Uzodinma Iweala

‘It just seemed like the right thing to want, the right thing to do.’

A Lovely and Terrible Thing

Chris Womersley

‘For a moment I could not speak. I looked off into the bleak distance, then at this man, and there was something about the sad shake of his head and the way his hair flapped about on his scalp that filled me with unreasonable warmth.’

Hawk

Joy Williams

‘As regards to life it is much the best to think that the experiences we have are necessary for us.’

The Dune

Stephen King

‘Being able to read obituaries in advance gives a man an extraordinary sense of power.’

A Few Words on the Life Cycle of Frogs

Patricio Pron

‘I wasn’t going to abandon the dream of literature, I was going to keep dreaming.’

Morrison Okoli (1955-2010)

Jekwu Anyaegbuna

‘It is always an honour to have women cry during someone’s burial, but yours is too silent for comfort.’

The Barn at The End of Our Term

Karen Russell

‘Eleven of the stabled horses are, as far as Rutherford can ascertain, former presidents of the United States of America.’

Remission

Adam Mars-Jones

‘There's an awkward interval, when you're ill but not yet conditioned by illness.’

Look-Alikes

Nadine Gordimer

‘It was scarcely worth noticing at first; an out-of-work lying under one of the rare indigenous shrubs cultivated by the Botany Department on the campus.’

The New World Order

Harold Pinter

‘He hasn’t got any idea at all of what we’re going to do to him.’

The Third Mate

Adam Johnson

‘Please translate that this man is about to get shot.’

Diem Perdidi

Julie Otsuka

‘When you ask her your name, she does not remember what it is.’

In a Blue Time

Hanif Kureishi

‘When the phone rings, who do you most want it to be?’

The Boys of Karachay Lake

Angela Pelster

‘When the fish in Karachay Lake, south of the Ural Mountains, Russia, went blind, not everyone stopped eating them.’

The Bridge

David Mamet

‘Surely the world was going to end. And probably in fire - in nuclear destruction, by mistake, or at the hands of madmen.’

Lucky Pierre and the Coldwater Flat

Robert Coover

‘Projections run riot, mirrors tip and weave, there’s a blur of images like film jumping out of its sprockets.’

Extracts From The Journal Of Flying Officer J

William Boyd

‘The squadron left today for the city. The mess cold and sad, Verschoyle, with uncharacteristic generosity, said I could keep the monoplane.’

The Third Dumpster

Gish Jen

‘Finally, though, it couldn’t be helped; their parents came for a visit. They looked around stupefied.’

Accident

Etgar Keret

’Thirty years I’m a cabbie,’ the small guy sitting behind the wheel tells me, ’thirty years and not one accident.’

Put Not Thy Trust In Chariots

Jonathan Tel

'David had nothing against Arabs personally.This despite the fact he was religious (he wore a blue-and-white kippa which had been knitted by his wife, Devorah, as an engagement present.'