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Two Poems

Miriam Bird Greenberg

‘Why wasn’t I better made / to refute assimilation’s maze’

The Swallow’s Nest

John Boyne

Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.

E.E.G.

Daša Drndić

‘A threatening soundlessness falls like a breeze onto our stone floor.’

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

‘I went to Ilford alone / was handed a pink laminated square’

Dividing Lines

Jack Losh

Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.

Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft

Mariana Enriquez

‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.

Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts

Tiffany Murray

Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.

Ali Fitzgerald | Notes on Craft

Ali Fitzgerald

Notes on crafting a graphic memoir from Ali Fitzgerald.

The Woman Dies

Aoko Matsuda

‘The woman dies. She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her.’ Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton.

Freshwater

Akwaeke Emezi

‘We came from somewhere – everything does.’

The Unspoken

David Hayden

Horror from David Hayden. ‘A shuddering, wordless voice rose in the distance, and another, and another; a chorus, a lament, which ended in a low grunt. There was a coda of sobbing. There was silence.’

I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be

Colin Grant

'Can the black author really write out of her or his colour? In writing about black characters can they ever escape race?' Colin Grant looks at the evolution of racial politics.

Common Whipping

Naben Ruthnum

A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.

‘I Am Going to Speak to You about Anxiety’

Hernán Díaz

‘Her mother was still sitting on the sofa, stroking the left armrest while she talked.’

Terrors

Kiese Laymon

An excerpt from Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Three Poems

Sophie Robinson

‘you can call my price by any name and she will come just the same’

Ghost Wall

Sarah Moss

An excerpt from Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall, published by Granta Books.

Nine Pints

Rose George

‘My blood is on its way to becoming something that even when given for free can be brokered and sold like ingots or wheat.’

Writing Like Degas Paints

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’ nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence Is My Mother Tongue.

Regan

Brian Booker

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

Amy Arnold

‘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.’

Tether Tennis

John Kinsella

‘Tryptamine skies and the forehand backhand falter / in earth’s revolutions’

Candidate

Jessie Greengrass

‘All through winter and another summer we wait, but time passes more quickly now that we have a purpose. I feel it flowing.’

I Wrote a Poem About a Fucking River

Samantha Walton

‘though I’ve sat where torrents recall no slush / I’m drawn by your ceramic explosions’

Sharing the same bed, dreaming different dreams

Ma Jian

Ma Jian shows the excess and corruption of the Chinese Communist party in this excerpt from his new novel, China Dream, translated from the Chinese by Flora Drew.

The Male Hearth

Ayşegül Savaş & Bekir Ormancı

‘In these miniature worlds lined with goods, filled with the tools and residues of labor, we experience the enclosure of hearths; of a unique domesticity within exclusively male spheres.’

Reflections on shame in sacred spaces

Kate Duckney

‘At sunset the light is both nasty and nice / in my robe.’

Lucia Berlin Writes Home

Nina Ellis

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.’

Hoarfrost

John Patrick McHugh

Can infidelity make up for infidelity? New fiction from John Patrick McHugh.

I’ll Go On

Hwang Jungeun

‘Swish-swish, swish-swish. The sound fills the large space around them, and Nana finds this deeply satisfying.’

Amy Sackville | The Proust Questionnaire

Amy Sackville

What is your guiltiest pleasure? Is it really a pleasure if you feel bad about it?’

Day of Awe

Diane Williams

New short fiction from Diane Williams' Collected Stories. ‘I fear I lack deep feelings, have flighty ideas, and am often irritable over trifles.’

Consolation Puppies

Amy Butcher & Martha Park

A graphic essay on dogs, adoption and Donald Trump.

After Half-Time

Shamik Ghosh

Subha Prasad Sanyal’s translation of ‘After Half-Time’ by Shamik Ghosh is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2018.

The Minutes

Nell Stevens

‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens is shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018.