‘The words are just dribbling out of my mouth. I can’t stop them. They’re like tears.’
A Conversation with the Head of Orpheus
‘Far, far away in the night are live human beings whose breathing can be heard as they speak, and they're looking at their illuminated dials as I look at mine at this end of the darkness that curves with the night miles to the heave and swell of the ocean dawn.’
A House in the Country
‘The nights had always been noisy: frogs, drums, bottles, dogs barking at the moon.’
A Letter From Wales
‘Believe me – it will be impossible for you not to wonder – when I vow I am entirely sane.’
A Scale Model of Gull Point
Trapped in a revolving restaurant during an American revolution, Shel VanRybroek turns to tin-foil sculpture.
A World Intact
‘His life, unexciting as it may have been so far, was still a detailed, complicated thing.’
Subha Prasad Sanyal’s translation of ‘After Half-Time’ by Shamik Ghosh is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2018.
‘They have created stage sets, backdrops, candy-coloured scenarios, Kodacolor bright landscapes onto which you can project your fantasies.’
After the War
‘My antipathy to military culture started early and it wasn't helped by living in a garrison town.’
‘My eyes were way too large. They appeared, if this is possible, independently scandalized.’
‘I could make you promise much worse things.’ Daniel Galera muses on unknown family histories.
‘He remembered the new, fresh, orchard country of his youth and the rows of apple trees his father had planted on the east bank of the Columbia River.’
‘At nine o’clock the man leaves the flat dressed in an elegant salmon-pink dress’.
Bastard Alias the Romantic
‘Can you imagine what it would be like if instead of killing we cuddled?’
Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black
‘Once there were blacks wanting to be white. Now there are whites wanting to be black.’
‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’
‘It was this summer that the restlessness came over me.’ Translated from the Norwegian by May-Brit Akerholt.
Buckets of Blood
‘I’m miscarrying a pregnancy, she said, when the spasm seemed to have passed.—It’s a fine mess.’
Butt and Bhatti
‘Teddy is one of those people who are only articulate when they talk about cricket.’
‘Natalia picks at the frayed black lace of her dress while the photograph of her American penpal loads into the computer.’
‘All through winter and another summer we wait, but time passes more quickly now that we have a purpose. I feel it flowing.’
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
City of the Dead, City of the Living
‘While I'm ironing, he cleans the gun. I saw he needed another rag and I gave it to him.‘
‘She shifts, half in shadow. Whatever else, she's certainly a child. No one is with her.’
Country & Eastern
‘Anyone could find courage when the World-Historical Spirit had selected you to enact your martyrdom on the Six O’Clock News. But in the shadows, in secret, unrecognized?’
‘In a world in which coercion is the norm, a human trafficker must have underlings as well.’
‘It just seemed like the right thing to want, the right thing to do.’
‘She sat sweating on the curb as her mother’s narrow face hovered over the parking lot like a hologram.’
Days of Awe
Read the title story from AM Homes' dazzling new collection of short stories, Days of Awe, available now from Granta Books.