The Fucking Lake
New short fiction from Diane Williams. ‘The major events of my life are done with, except, of course, for my final downfall.’
Now, Now, Louison
Jean Frémon on the artist Louise Bourgeois and her fascination with spiders. Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘I looked back and there was something wrong about his hand – how it cupped her bottom, how it probed.’
‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
The Restaurant of Many Orders
‘Two young gentlemen dressed just like British military men, with gleaming guns on their shoulders and two dogs like great white bears at their heels, were walking in the mountains where the leaves rustled dry underfoot.’
‘It was a red-light district and a plywood market and a town of hoodlums in one. I’ll add one more thing: The whole place stunk of sewage.’
A new story from Terese Svoboda about love, money and power in the hands of an aging parent.
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘When we have liberated ourselves, we will have to ask ourselves who we are.’
‘After the first time they had sex, Marianne stayed the night in his house.’ New fiction from Sally Rooney.
‘Because I spent a large amount of time convincing people to buy clothing they would never actually wear, it was easy to convince myself the same.’
I’ve Seen the Future, Baby; It Is Murder
‘It was not very comfortable, but the appeal of it was that we did not like each other.’
‘Members of the committee, I am bitter, it’s true. But this doesn’t change the facts.’
‘Even in a year in which Brazilians are not that excited about the competition, once the ref whistles and the match kicks off, an entire nation is frozen, hypnotised before their television screens. It’s the great truce, the great anaesthetic.’
‘They tell me you write about exile, about lives adrift, about trees whose roots are buried thousands of kilometres away, he said in his harsh accent, his hoarseness aggravated by the static on the telephone line.’
Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean.
‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’
‘In terms of aspiration, leaving London was the new moving to London. You slogged it out, made a name for yourself, then decamped to the sticks and devoted yourself to trashing city life on Twitter while roaming the fields in pursuit of your tweedy ideals.’
‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’
‘Papa suddenly appears inside the door and sits down after three months of no-show-face and my happiness just vamoose.’
Shirley from a Small Place
‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’
The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman
Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
The World Is a Narrow Bridge
‘They’re back on I-95, northbound this time, the city disappearing behind them, the sun setting like a piece of pink candy over the Everglades.’
Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa’s ‘Matalasi’ is the Pacific winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
‘What’s wrong is that she cannot breathe.’ Samsun Knight’s ‘The Dive’ is the winner of the 2018 Disquiet Literary Prize
Nuala O’Connor’s short story about Nora Barnacle, and her first meetings with James Joyce.
The Break-up of the Ice
‘Deeper in the port, a woman was speaking, a knitting process in which letters were picked and drawn out of loops of sound, detaching in part and rejoining, like a sort of memory.’ New fiction by Lucie Elven
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
‘All I can say is that the only thing in the world I want to do now, is to go out there, into the west, and find them.’
Fathers and Sons
‘For a while it wasn’t clear how good he would become, and then it was. He went up the rankings, stopped, and started going down.’
Acts of Infidelity
‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.
Oh, the Obvious
‘A wizened spring, the sickly prickly pear and organ pipe cacti were so riddled with holes they might have been targets.’
The Duchess of Albany
‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’