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A Clean Marriage

Sayaka Murata

‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.

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.’

A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me

David Gates

‘It took longer and longer for the next one to come, and then there wasn’t a next one.’

A Hebrew Sibyl

Cynthia Ozick

‘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.’

A Killing

Katherine Faw Morris

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

Andrew Motion

‘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

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’.

Advice Column

Kazim Ali

‘Me always untorn and enslaved / Weird notions of gender and ground / Nothing but you between me and god.’

After Ida

Elise Winn

‘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.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

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

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.

Alan Warner | Five Things Right Now

Alan Warner

Granta Best Young British Novelist, Alan Warner, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

Ann Beattie | First Sentence

Ann Beattie

‘Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea.’

Apparition

Mark Doty

‘an orange plastic basket of compost / down from the top of the garden – sweet dark, / fibrous rot, promising’

Aracelis Girmay | First Sentence

Aracelis Girmay

‘For me, it happens most with early 90s R&B.’

Arrival Gates

Rebecca Solnit

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

Bad Seeds

Masatsugu Ono

‘Evil, she told herself. That was the name of the flower.’

Bakamonotako

Brenda Shaughnessy

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

Be Careful with that Fan

Andre Perry

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

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.’

Biographical Detail

Ángel González Muñiz

‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.

Birdie

Ann DeWitt

‘By the end of the summer, the city was fed up with our antics.’

Blasphemy

Fatima Bhutto

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

Katherine Faw Morris

‘A lot of babies were born in skiffs during storms, their umbilical cords cut with rusty pocketknives.’

Blue Moon

Hiromi Kawakami

‘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

Helen Oyeyemi

‘A golden chain was fastened around her neck, and on that chain was a key.’

Breakfast

Toshiki Okada

‘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.’

Brigitte Grignet | Interview

Brigitte Grignet & Daniela Silva

‘Places sitting at the edges of the world are often destroyed in the name of so-called development.’

Bucket of Eels

Mitsuyo Kakuta

‘I was gazing into my empty bowl and realizing how little time it takes to eat when you’re not carrying on a conversation.’

Car Concentrate

Etgar Keret

‘Women mostly touch it tentatively with the backs of their hands.’

Casta

Nicola Lo Calzo

An investigation of how historical racial factors shape memory, heritage and political and interpersonal relations in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Catherine Lacey | Interview

Catherine Lacey & Louise Scothern

‘It's uncomfortable, at times, to be alive, so I see no reason why a voice in fiction shouldn't be also.’

Chasing Wolves in the American West

Adam Nicolson

‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

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

Cooley High: 1991

Aracelis Girmay

‘Please stay with me as I / replay the last touch.’