Yokosuka blue line
‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’
Turn the River
‘Backtrack / to the bones of the matter, which are the bones themselves.’
I Will Never See the World Again
‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.
The Swallow’s Nest
Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.
Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft
‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.
‘I Am Going to Speak to You about Anxiety’
‘Her mother was still sitting on the sofa, stroking the left armrest while she talked.’
Writing Like Degas Paints
Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’ nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence Is My Mother Tongue.
A coming-of-age story about an awkward roommate on Roosevelt Island, ordering bisexual porn tapes from catalogues and writing summaries of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for a living.
Slip of a Fish
‘Charlie’s swimming. Six strokes then she turns to breathe, six more and all the way to the end of the length. She’s a swimmer, Charlie. She’s a bit of a fish, a slip of a fish.’
Reflections on shame in sacred spaces
‘At sunset the light is both nasty and nice / in my robe.’
Lucia Berlin Writes Home
Nina Ellis on the life and writing of Lucia Berlin. ‘If Berlin's collections were houses, their hallways would change direction without warning, and their rooms would be bright and dark at the same time.’
Full Moon on a Dark Night
A new photo-essay by Soumya Sankar Bose that recreates the dreams of his LGBT friends in India.
Breasts: A History
‘My breasts are shrinking. As my fat redistributes it settles in my belly and leaves my chest.’
Cowboys and Angels
‘I had me a cowboy once on a hot steam Friday night.’ New fiction from Chelsea Bieker.
Cassiopeia (three back-to-front songs)
‘Anyway, I did not die. / I lined the sky, inside-out.’ Translated from the Georgian by Jean Sprackland and Natalia Bukia-Peters.
Of Donuts I Have Loved
‘Krispy Kremes melt at the touch, are tender and loving, are used by my family to perform a wholeness we do not always feel’
Every Day Was Ordinary
‘A life is an open thing / leaking out into / the air around it.’
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
‘You repeat this over and over. You pinch your nipples harder. Then harder and harder still. You twist them. You dare them to say Mercy. You stare into your own eyes that are watching you from the mirror.’
A Summer of Japanese Literature
From manga to crime fiction, contemporary literature to Nobel-Prize-winning classics, here are ten works of Japanese literature worth spending your summer on
I Bite My Friends
‘The Easter Parade is winding down, when I spot Him. Her. Them. The Apparition.’
Telling My Story
‘I wonder if they could all smell the queer on me, the queer in me, the burgeoning sexuality that I had no words for at the time.’
I’ve Seen the Future, Baby; It Is Murder
‘It was not very comfortable, but the appeal of it was that we did not like each other.’
‘days I talked with Zeus / I ate only ice / felt the blood trouble and burn / under my skin’
What Do Women Want?
‘What we’re arguing about turns out to be how to speak to each other at all.’
‘In terms of aspiration, leaving London was the new moving to London. You slogged it out, made a name for yourself, then decamped to the sticks and devoted yourself to trashing city life on Twitter while roaming the fields in pursuit of your tweedy ideals.’
‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti
‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’
Shirley from a Small Place
‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’
since feeling is first
‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’
The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman
Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.