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Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’

Key Stroke

Will Self

Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.

The Ferryman Is Dead

Saša Stanišić

Here, more die than are born. There’s a refrigerator at the bottom of the lake. The ferryman is dead. No one is coming to take his place.

A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War

Anjan Sundaram

Dense forest and formless roads lead Sundaram to the most recent sites of conflict, burnt-out villages where pigs have taken over their former owner’s homes in an ‘inversion of man and beast, of civilization and nature’.

The Atlantic Wall

Ianthe Ruthven

This chain of Nazi fortifications stretching from the Norwegian Arctic to France’s western frontier with Spain is one of Europe’s least acknowledged monuments.

Salad Days

Barbara Ras

‘nothing in those early evenings free / of care could have prepared you’

Tourist

Andrea Stuart

‘My curiosity about lesbianism was an accomplice of my feminism: a path that allowed me to be sexual and free.’

Living Goddess

Isabella Tree

‘I longed to know what she was thinking, what she did all day when she wasn’t performing rituals.’

The Argentine Episcopate

Bernard Quiriny

‘I started working for the Bishop of San Julián in 1939, not long after the death of my husband.’

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

Zoraida

Tanya Rey

‘Desire was a slapping, bone-chilling wind the likes of which did not exist this close to the equator.’

Five Things Right Now: Darcey Steinke

Darcey Steinke

Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

‘Certain moments send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue’

Mona Simpson | First Sentence

Mona Simpson

‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’

Five Things Right Now: Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton, author of 33 Artists, 3 Acts, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Jill

Darcey Steinke

‘I had a new persona I’d been planning to introduce the first day of school: a girl wise beyond her years who was not at all nerdy or spastic or prone to crying jags.’

The Fighters

David Treuer

‘When he stepped into the cage he was doing battle with a disease. The disease was the feeling of powerlessness that takes hold of even the most powerful.’

A Confession

Jess Row

‘I walk out of the theatre in a daze. I’ve glimpsed something. But a glimpse, as it turns out, is not enough.’

Beyond Sunset

Mary Ruefle

‘Red sadness never appears sad . . . it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside down penny concealed beneath a tea cosy.’

Holiday

Mona Simpson

‘‘I have a body now,’ I whisper.’

Be Careful with that Fan

Andre Perry

‘I was stuck in Texas for a month. The days passed like slow-motion films.

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

Einstein on the Beach

Hugh Seidman

‘So many thugs in any century how crush them all? / All passports stamped for the underworld’

Akhil Sharma | Five Things Right Now

Akhil Sharma

Akhil Sharma, a Granta Best Young American Novelist and author of new novel Family Life, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about.

Filling Up With Sugar

Yuten Sawanishi

‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’

Pig Skin

Andrés Felipe Solano

‘A perfect impostor.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

‘At last, at last. His first steps, on Chinese soil.’

Arrival Gates

Rebecca Solnit

‘It was like trying to go back to before the earthquake, to before knowledge.’

Bakamonotako

Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Bakamonotako felt she didn’t need all eight of her appendages. Four would do.’

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

‘My wife and I were both the children of Pakistanis, immigrants, Muslims, and we had faith that our union was of things greater than ourselves.’

Teenage Wastelands

Jim Ruland

‘It took me seven years of marriage to figure out that my wife is a hardcore Pearl Jam fan.’

The Defeated

Jonny Steinberg

‘Peter Mitchell died on a frontier, not so much between black and white, or between the landed and the landless, as between the past and the future.’

Nudity

Norman Rush

‘I nursed a precocious rage at the stratagems society was employing to keep me from seeing naked women.’