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Violets

Alex Hyde

‘There was the enamel pail of blood. She couldn’t think what she had done with it.’

An excerpt from Alex Hyde’s debut novel.

Earthlings

Sayaka Murata

An excerpt from Earthlings, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

First Rites

Anna Della Subin

An excerpt from Anna Della Subin’s Accidental Gods.

Notes on Craft

Alex Hyde

‘The scrubbing of floors or rugs. People down on their knees, “tamping” the stain.’ Alex Hyde on the everyday gestures that make a life.

Slime

Susanne Wedlich

‘We are all creatures of slime, but some of us are more creative than others’.

An excerpt from the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, Slime.

Appamma in London

Anuk Arudpragasam

An excerpt from A Passage North, longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Ceremony of Innocence

Madeleine Bunting

A journalist receives a troubling call about a friend in this excerpt from Madeleine Bunting’s new novel Ceremony of Innocence.

Comrade Aeon’s Field Guide to Bangkok

Emma Larkin

‘Comrade Aeon had been changed by his years in the jungle.’

The Child

Kjersti A. Skomsvold

Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken, an excerpt from The Child by Kjersti A. Skomsvold.

Lice

A. K. Blakemore

‘I often had head lice as a child. Outbreaks circulated around my primary school on a seasonal basis.’

A new essay from the author of The Manningtree Witches.

An Ounce of Gold and Máxima Acuña Atalaya

Joseph Zárate

‘To end up with an ounce of gold – enough to make a wedding ring – you need to extract fifty tonnes of earth, or the contents of forty removal lorries.’