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.’
‘The time of the Perseids never varied. That was why Dante’s mother had taught him the stars.’
Painter to the King
‘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.
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’
'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
The Last Children of Tokyo
‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
Hôtel Valencia Palace
Ce jour-là, comme chaque jour, des poissons avaient nagé au-dessus des têtes.
Valencia Palace Hotel
A story by Annie Perreault, translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins, for the online edition of Granta 141: Canada.
‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.
‘The history of human thought, she would sigh despairingly, was nothing more, after all, than an arduous dream.’
Of Roses and Insects
‘The insects dissect the layers of my father’s life, our lives and my mother’s life that have collected in this sad house.’ Translated from the French by Neil Smith.
‘If you’ve come all this way here to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I’m here to warn you, not to reassure you.’
How to Pronounce Knife
‘She thought of what else he didn’t know. What else she would have to find out for herself.’
De roses et d’insectes
C’est une des premières choses que je lui ai dites, J’ai des daddy issues.
The Headless Woman
‘The mother advances, already headless, looking for her three children.’ Filial horror from Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated by Francisco Vilhena.
‘Waking is now worse than falling asleep, I didn’t think that was possible.’ Translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook.
‘Your virginity guarantees your happiness, my mother had explained numerous times.’ New fiction from Geeta Tewari.
A Suburban Weekend
‘The facts. Fern was skinnier than Liv, but Liv was blonde and tall and her breasts were enormous and thrillingly spaced.’
The Sweet Sop
‘The memory of chocolate made the man crazy to see me. I became Reggie’s dealer. A voice on the phone would whisper, ‘Two Kit Kat’ and hang up.’
‘Like all roads, this one too comes to an end.’ A Swedish novel that looks at the realities of the immigrant experience.
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
‘They gazed at us calmly, as if we had caught them in the middle of performing some ritual whose meaning we could not fathom.’
Lincoln in the Bardo
‘Must I deny my predilection, and marry, and doom myself to a certain, shall we say, dearth of fulfillment?’
‘Michelle had learned a valuable lesson: Do not leave the house unless you look ready to meet Matt Dillon.’ From the novel Black Wave.
The Book of the Dead
A gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth century Japan, translated by Jeffrey Angles.
Hilditch & Key
A Syrian refugee visits London’s oldest houses of fashion. ‘The contemplation of the perfection of a craft, worn by a man who knew its worth, and his own.’
‘The Armadillo Man is watching her. She gives him a good show – the best she has to offer.’
What’s Not There Can’t Hurt You
‘A shadow gained body and grew, looming over the bed, and he caught the impression of long teeth and many limbs, smelled something claylike and vegetal.’
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
‘I was perfectly content with my new life until I began to write my autobiography.’
‘She feels the wildness enter her and keeps her eyes shut.’ New fiction from Eliza Robertson.