Sharing the same bed, dreaming different dreams
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.
I’ll Go On
‘Swish-swish, swish-swish. The sound fills the large space around them, and Nana finds this deeply satisfying.’
Subha Prasad Sanyal’s translation of ‘After Half-Time’ by Shamik Ghosh is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2018.
The Seafood Buffet
‘Things that felt like cold stones began to be piled around her ankles. Lemon halves.’
Now, Now, Louison
Jean Frémon on the artist Louise Bourgeois and her fascination with spiders. Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘Silence allows me to pretend that this happened to someone else a long time ago, and not to me.’
‘They tell me you write about exile, about lives adrift, about trees whose roots are buried thousands of kilometres away, he said in his harsh accent, his hoarseness aggravated by the static on the telephone line.’
Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean.
To the Castle and Back
‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’
Addressing Mental Health Through Reading Well
‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’
The Munduruku People Against Brazil
‘The Middle Tapajós Munduruku are not alone. Indigenous and traditional communities throughout the Tapajós River basin are facing increased degradation of their environment and the cultural sustenance practices that form the foundation of their lifeways.’
Cormac James | Notes on Craft
‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her
‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
Days of Awe
Read the title story from AM Homes' dazzling new collection of short stories, Days of Awe, available now from Granta Books.
Lake Like a Mirror
‘If she’d swerved any harder, she would have crashed right into the lake.’ New fiction by Ho Sok Fong, translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce.
‘a man caught my eye as I was about to cross the road / and asked to shake my hand. You have a kind face, he said.’
The Last Shopkeepers of London
‘It became a kind of mission to find contemporaries of theirs that weren’t closing down, establishments that have continued to flourish, or at least endure.’
‘The rabbits are gentle and timid – in fact, they behave as rabbits normally do – but nonetheless their size is troubling.’
The Leech Barometer
‘To be consumed by leeches is to be vital, to be animate, though it is also to be reminded you are something else’s prey, and therefore porous and mortal.’
The one/many problem
‘Other creatures literally stop me breathing. There are so many of them, and only one of me.’ Daisy Hildyard writes about her research into the animal kingdom.
‘A kestrel is not domestic. The one time I tried affection the bird put his beak through my lip.’
Climb the Mountains
'Harm that comes through the hands of those we love must be wrestled with; it does not simply disappear.'
Cumbrian Fell Pony
Sarah Hall writes about the Cumbrian fell pony for Granta 142: Animalia.
‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’
‘Those who have been rejected come out with tears in their eyes, ashamed, folding the piece of paper with diagrams explaining why their blood isn’t right for the sacrifice.’
‘I would peel wrappers off sandwiches, remove noodles from their boxes, fry up meat before any authorities had the chance to track me and my bounty down.’
‘I want you to close your eyes. I want you to relax, let go. I want you to let your mind see as vividly as possible the images my words conjure up. And above all, no matter what I say, I want you to trust me.’
‘These bored, frustrated and hungry animals appear as reluctant figures in some unsolvable puzzle, or as victims of a grand experiment whose original purpose is lost in time.’
‘I wonder whether there’s a real moral difference between killing an animal and killing a human being.’ Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett.
‘Wildlife foundations find themselves calling for the deaths of tens of thousands of wild animals.’
‘Swifts come closer than any other creature to living in the sky and having air and ceaseless movement as their home.’
‘What idiom or instrument captures how the weather is felt by the animals, in their bodies, their nests and niches?’