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Outside the Whale

Salman Rushdie

‘For a man as truthful, direct, intelligent, passionate and sane as Orwell, ‘politics’ had come to represent the antithesis of his own world-view.’

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.’

If You Were a Bluebird

Juliana Spahr

‘So the dolphins talks, talks, over thirty distinguishable sounds.’

Pause

Mary Ruefle

‘Nothing can prepare you for this.’ Mary Ruefle on menopause.

Lessons

Justin Torres

‘We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.’

Tommy

Donald Ray Pollock

‘I began working at the Mead Paper Company in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the summer of 1973.’

The Buddhist

Alan Rossi

‘Loneliness is the extra, the part that’s unnecessary.’

Jim Magee’s Hill

Pamela Petro

‘No one who’s seen The Hill has been able to describe it to me without visceral discomfort. Actually, no one’s been able to describe it at all.’

How to be Gay and Indian

Manil Suri

‘This was supposed to be my great in-your-face coming-out campaign, which I’d fretted over for months beforehand. Had India suddenly lost its conservativeness, turned enlightened, even hip?’

Famished Eels

Mary Rokonadravu

‘After one hundred years, this is what I have: a daguerreotype of her in bridal finery; a few stories told and retold in plantations, kitchens, hospitals, airport lounges.’

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.’

The New World Order

Harold Pinter

‘He hasn’t got any idea at all of what we’re going to do to him.’

The Barn at The End of Our Term

Karen Russell

‘Eleven of the stabled horses are, as far as Rutherford can ascertain, former presidents of the United States of America.’

Election Night in Nicaragua

Sergio Ramirez

‘There was no room in our dreams for another war.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

‘The thing about a circular walk is that you end up where you started’

From The Abstract Humanities

Sandra Simonds

‘let us / build the openwork fabric of our garden / on the fear in the body’

Scarp | New Voices

Nick Papadimitriou

‘His imagination lingers in the woods and fields like a slowly drifting plant community and then dissolves into ditches lined with black waterlogged leaves – a residue of previous summers – and the ghosts of dead insects.’

Cold Storage

Oliver Sacks

‘Uncle Toby was alive, but suspended, apparently, in some strange icy stupor.’

A Few Words on the Life Cycle of Frogs

Patricio Pron

‘I wasn’t going to abandon the dream of literature, I was going to keep dreaming.’

Kashmir’s Forever War

Basharat Peer

‘Yes, the gun was from Pakistan, but the stones are our own. That is our only weapon against the occupation.’

Numb

Lauren Schenkman

‘She felt things under the skin: scars where the body had torn during childbirth, clumps of cellulite, lobules and ducts.’

West

Caryl Phillips

‘Curling herself into a tight fist against the cold, Martha huddled in the doorway and wondered if tonight she might see snow.‘

The Boys of Karachay Lake

Angela Pelster

‘When the fish in Karachay Lake, south of the Ural Mountains, Russia, went blind, not everyone stopped eating them.’

The Road to Abyei

John Ryle

‘Bor is a long way from Khartoum – more than 700 miles. There were other hostile groups on the way and precious little food.’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

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

A Guide to the City of Beirut

Fawwaz Traboulsi

‘In Beirut, a well reveals layer upon layer, generation after generation, of ruins.’

When Skateboards Will Be Free

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘My mother and father believe that the United States is destined one day to be engulfed in a socialist revolution.’

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

‘Everyone I met in West Kalimantan had tales of Dayak magic’.

To Zagreb

Yoko Tawada

‘You didn’t know where you wanted to end up, had never considered how much time you had left.’

The White Hole of Bombay

Nicholas Shakespeare

‘If you like people who hate each other, it’s paradise.’

Other Women

Francine Prose

‘Feminism is as basic to my sense of self as the fact that I have brown eyes.’

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

Destiny

Tim Parks

‘Destiny: there are those who still believe this word has meaning’.

Cinema’s Invisible Art

Jeremy Sheldon

‘Audiences don’t know somebody sits down and writes a picture.’

Put Not Thy Trust In Chariots

Jonathan Tel

'David had nothing against Arabs personally.This despite the fact he was religious (he wore a blue-and-white kippa which had been knitted by his wife, Devorah, as an engagement present.'

Going Abroad

W.G. Sebald

‘In Vienna I visited none of the sights and spoke not a word to a soul’.