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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.’

Hawk

Joy Williams

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

The Last Thing We Need

Claire Vaye Watkins

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

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.’

Give it up for Billy

Edmund White

‘Were there moral cataracts that one could remove?’

Frogs

Mo Yan

‘Once the preposterous reality set in, we were overcome by sadness.’

In The Tunnel

John Wray

‘It was a question of not thinking about what you were doing.’

After Ida

Elise Winn

‘The year I turned seventeen, the cicada chorus was deafening, as if they were impatient for the real beginning of summer and didn’t realize they were it.’

Beachcombing

Lucy Wood

‘He was stamped darkly onto the wide stretch of sea like a single footprint.’

Mirage

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘He had a mind to surf through all crises and shortages and conflicts past and present.’

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Lina Wolff

‘No one here is normal except you, and you’re not even from Spain.’

Wheels of Progress

Gemini Wahhaj

‘Now Bangladesh survives only on aid, on other people feeding its people.’

Orion

Jeanette Winterson

‘Every 200,000 years or so, the individual stars within each constellation shift position. That is, they are shifting all the time, but more subtly than any tracker dog of ours can follow. One day, if the earth has not voluntarily opted out of the solar system, we will wake up to a new heaven whose dome will again confound us.’

The Barracks Thief

Tobias Wolff

‘My father was in Southern California, looking for work. Keith was still missing. The last time I'd spoken to her, my mother's voice had been cold, as if I were somehow to blame.’

Tomorrow, upon Awakening

Antônio Xerxenesky

‘He more than anybody else needs to define his symbols for the year to com.’

Once Was Dark

Josh Weil

‘When he opened his eyes, she was looking out at the rooster, the sun-blasted concrete, the railing thinned to brittle by the brightness.’

In Lana Turner’s Bedroom

Gaby Wood

‘It was because it was night-time and raining that I decided to drive up to Lana Turner's old house in Beverly Hills.’

Aquifer

Tim Winton

‘Through the open window I smelt dead lupin and for a long time forgot my age.’

Vacuum

Brad Watson

‘The mother told the boys that she was much unappreciated in this house.’

The Dreamed

Robert McLiam Wilson

‘His life needed more magic. Or more God.’

Gifted

Richard Williams

‘The interim report filed by the investigator from the coroner's bureau listed him as a black male, 5ft 7in tall, weighing 1351b‘.

The Assassin

Henk van Woerden

‘On 11 February 1955 a man could be seen wandering about the streets of Hamburg ’.

Dangerous

Joy Williams

‘Grief knows how to love them because we don’t know how to do it any more.’

Escapes

Joy Williams

‘We went directly out of the theatre and into the streets, my mother weeping on the little usher's arm.’

The Penitenitary

Tim Willocks

‘A million man-years of confinement had burnished the surface of the granite flags to a greasy smoothness ingrained deeply with filth and despair.’

Something Close to Heaven

Evie Wyld

‘It was just past nine when the fuel ran out.’

Brass

Joy Williams

‘You’re the low-hanging fruit.’

Scandal

A. N. Wilson

‘His father had visited a prostitute and had been a spy. It was quite obvious to Julian that this was true. He was almost pleased to read it, for it justified his sense, never admitted to himself before, that Daddy Spoilt Everything.’

Down in Front

Colson Whitehead

‘This is the part where we find our seats. Step on toes, suck in gut, make yourself flat as a movie screen.’

Safety Catch

Lauren Wilkinson

Nothing dies because you can’t destroy energy.’

What Remains

Christa Wolf

‘The coffee has to be strong and hot, filtered; the egg not too soft; home-made preserves; black bread.’

The Cells, Tissues, Systems and Cavities of the Body

Jeanette Winterson

‘You were a coat of many colours wrestled into the dirt.’

The Lens Factory

John Updike

‘It made him feel lopsided, this sense of being plucked at by nervousness and dread.’

The Poetics of Sex

Jeanette Winterson

‘My lover Picasso is going through her Blue Period.‘

Helen and Julia

Sarah Waters

‘She felt exhausted, emptied out; she thought of the day that had passed—it was astonishing to her, that a single set of hours could contain so many separate states of violent feeling.’

Herself in Love

Marianne Wiggins

‘She thought, Love is a Revelation, like a religion, some religions; like Islam.’