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Ghillie’s Mum

Lynda Clark

‘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.’

The Swimmer

Tom Lee

‘I wondered what an onlooker might make of this man, this scene.’

True Happiness

Efua Traoré

‘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

Alexia Arthurs

‘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

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

Aaron Thier

‘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.’

Matalasi

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa

Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa’s ‘Matalasi’ is the Pacific winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

The Dive

Samsun Knight

‘What’s wrong is that she cannot breathe.’ Samsun Knight’s ‘The Dive’ is the winner of the 2018 Disquiet Literary Prize

Gooseen

Nuala O’Connor

Nuala O’Connor’s short story about Nora Barnacle, and her first meetings with James Joyce.

The Break-up of the Ice

Lucie Elven

‘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

Challenger Deep

Ashley Hutson

‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’

West

Carys Davies

‘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

Benjamin Markovits

‘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

Lena Andersson

‘Anticipation made it difficult for Ester to swallow.’ Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.

Oh, the Obvious

Christine Schutt

‘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

Christine Schutt

‘The permanence of his absence is a noise she hears when she listens to how quiet.’

Days of Awe

A.M. Homes

‘He is the War Correspondent, she is the Transgressive Novelist. They have been flown in for the summit on Genocide(S).’

Snow Job

Brian Allen Carr

‘I like to think the ones who are worst at coloring will remember me the longest.’

Lake Like a Mirror

Ho Sok Fong

‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.

The Perseids

Susan Straight

‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’

Mall Camp, Seasons 1 & 2

Joshua Cohen

‘Each turn he took, there’d be another face. Each concourse held a voice, importuning, beckoning.’

Painter to the King

Amy Sackville

‘There are many facets to being a king; and yet all edges must appear burnished to a perfect smooth orb, shining at the centre of his empire.’ An extract from Painter to the King by Amy Sackville.

Brother in Ice

Alicia Kopf

‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’

Kudos

Rachel Cusk

An extract from Kudos, the final novel in Rachel Cusk’s trilogy, following Outline and Transit.

Fishes and Dragons

Undinė Radzevičiūtė

An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.

A Time for Everything

Karl Ove Knausgaard

‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.

The Wanderers

Guadalupe Nettel

'Childhood felt like a waiting room, a transitory phase between birth and the life we wanted.'

Brother

David Chariandy

An excerpt from David Chariandy's novel Brother

American Journal

Christine Montalbetti

‘All those appetizing vessels exposed and available, O how delightfully vulnerable they are, it brings a tear to the eye.’

Prime

Caoilinn Hughes

‘Miss Lynch teaches us such things. Things that are difficult to know.’

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Wells Tower

‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’

Johnny Kingdom

Chris Power

'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers

Rainbow People

Nicholas Mosley

‘This journey around the outskirts of the Jungle went in a little and came out wondering, well that is not what I would have called a jungle.’

Ersatz Panda

Lucy Ives

‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’

The Taxidermy Museum

Steven Dunn

‘Even dying is an attempt to approach life. That’s how I perceive taxidermy.’

The Astronaut

Christina Wood Martinez

‘I made tea while the astronaut sat at our kitchen table and gazed out the window.’