A Clean Marriage
‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.
‘I walk out of the theatre in a daze. I’ve glimpsed something. But a glimpse, as it turns out, is not enough.’
A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me
‘It took longer and longer for the next one to come, and then there wasn’t a next one.’
A Hebrew Sibyl
‘And so began what I was to become. To all these things – the admonitions and the testimonies, the rites and the annunciations – I had easily acquiesced.’
COKE SMELLS COLD AND CHEMICAL LIKE THE INSIDE OF A REFRIGERATOR. It’s what back then smells like, now when she thinks of it.
A Meeting of Minds with Henry David Thoreau
‘What am I doing here more than looking – / which I would stop / only to help things through their vanishing’
A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War
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’.
‘Me always untorn and enslaved / Weird notions of gender and ground / Nothing but you between me and god.’
‘The year I turned seventeen, the cicada chorus was deafening, as if they were impatient for the real beginning of summer and didn’t realize they were it.’
Akhil Sharma | Five Things Right Now
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.
Alan Warner | Five Things Right Now
Granta Best Young British Novelist, Alan Warner, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Ann Beattie | First Sentence
‘Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea.’
‘an orange plastic basket of compost / down from the top of the garden – sweet dark, / fibrous rot, promising’
‘It was like trying to go back to before the earthquake, to before knowledge.’
‘Bakamonotako felt she didn’t need all eight of her appendages. Four would do.’
Be Careful with that Fan
‘I was stuck in Texas for a month. The days passed like slow-motion films.
‘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.’
‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.
The tourists are gone. They’ve fled to Islamabad, along with the landlords and the hoteliers and the battalions of police that used to defend them, and certainty has left with them.
Blood Is Usually Red
‘A lot of babies were born in skiffs during storms, their umbilical cords cut with rusty pocketknives.’
‘Rather than death itself, it is the disappearance of traces that seems unbearable and sad. The disappearance of all signs that I existed.’
Books and Roses
‘A golden chain was fastened around her neck, and on that chain was a key.’
‘If I had known she were heading for Tokyo then, and if I had known she thought of Tokyo as a city of zombies, I would have wanted to know, of course, whether she saw me that way, too.’
Bucket of Eels
‘I was gazing into my empty bowl and realizing how little time it takes to eat when you’re not carrying on a conversation.’
An investigation of how historical racial factors shape memory, heritage and political and interpersonal relations in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Chasing Wolves in the American West
‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’