A Bizarre Courtship
‘One morning, more golden than yellow, I went outside to our housefront and saw that the beggars had gone.‘
A Bosnian Alphabet
‘APOLOGY: A should be for Alphabet: the device I am resorting to in some desperation to structure my thoughts on this subject: my relations vis-à-vis two Yugoslavian wars.‘
A Childhood in Broadmoor Hospital
‘These were the friends of my early boyhood, men who twenty years earlier would still have been called ‘criminal lunatics’.‘
A Clean Marriage
‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.
A Cock Fight
‘And now, the night before the fight, with the moon high and nearing the full, came the final preparation: we were taking him to Auguste.’
A Dose of Winter Medicine
‘I looked at the carpet in her small living room. This is where she had fallen and lay for twenty-four hours before her younger sister, Auntie Tanya, had found her.’
A Double-Income Family
When Mrs Mehra leaves Delhi she retires in one of ‘the vast new satellite townships on the eastern fringes of the metropolis’.
A Fan Letter
‘Before I begin I'd like to say that I'll try to remember everything as best I can, though sometimes I know it won't be right.’
A Fish Out of Water
‘A democracy, I said, is driven by the electoral process, and in elections there are victories and defeats.’
A Garden of Illuminating Existence
‘Witnessing her death, I understand the meaning of love.’
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.’
A Kidnapped West or Culture Bows Out
‘But since Europe itself is in the process of losing its own cultural identity, it perceives in Central Europe nothing but a political regime; put another way, it sees in Central Europe only Eastern Europe.’
COKE SMELLS COLD AND CHEMICAL LIKE THE INSIDE OF A REFRIGERATOR. It’s what back then smells like, now when she thinks of it.
‘I draw your attention to football. The practice of this game threatens the basis of our very way of life.’
A Mason’s Hand | New Voices
‘Haji sahib, these kids are beyond me. I can’t teach them any more. Please make some other arrangement.’
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 Mischief of Rats
‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.
A Mother’s Dilemma
‘I can hear the girl scratching a pencil inside a notebook. I don’t like it. I’ve asked her not to write about me.’
A Night in the Engadine
John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
A Not-So-Pretty History of Pet Care
‘One day after the next I would figure out what was needed, learn from my mistakes, pay attention to what worked.’
A Queer Streak Part One: Anonymous Letters
‘She would never know why she had done it. She was sleepless and strung-up and her better judgement had deserted her.’
A Queer Streak Part Two: Possession
‘He thinks he remembers Violet coming for supper, as she sometimes did, bringing with her a pudding which she set outside in the snow, to keep it cool.’
A Season on Earth
‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’
A Spell For Going Safely Forth By Day
‘The hunter pushes a bullet beneath his tongue to fix his aim, / or is it to stave off his thirst?
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
A Tour of Angola
‘You have to learn how to live with the check-points and to respect their customs, if you want to travel without hindrance and reach your destination alive.’
A Train in Winter
‘It was clear that not all would, or could, or would choose to, survive.’
A Trip to Syria
‘Several years ago, a friend and I stayed at the one hotel set amid the ruins of Queen Zenobia’s oasis capital, Palmyra, in the Syrian desert.’
A very young Dancer
‘I have a snapshot of the two of us: late on a summer afternoon we're playing in an inflatable wading pool.‘
A Walk to Kobe
‘What I’m talking about is a different sea, and different mountains.’ Haruki Murakami walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.