Not a River
‘He takes the knife, cuts the barb from the body, sends it back to the depths of the river.’
An extract from Not a River by Selva Almada, translated by Annie McDermott.
Top Reads 2023 | Fiction
Our ten most popular pieces of fiction this year, including work by Nicole Flattery, Eleanor Catton, Sarah Bernstein and Allen Bratton.
‘I did sometimes fantasize about her Ur-wound, the traumatic memory image from which her asceticism sprung.’
Fiction from Aria Aber.
In the Unlikely Event of a Loss of Cabin Pressure
‘News of the second contact sent the whole camp into turmoil. After long weeks spent searching in vain, a new vitality returned.’
Fiction from Juan S. Guse, translated by Gwen Clayton.
‘He cleans. Cleans the sink, cleans the plughole, takes out the sink strainer and cleans the underside.’
Fiction by Valeria Gordeev, translated by Imogen Taylor.
‘People, he thought, swinging his legs, were only who they were in relation to other people.’
Fiction by Ewan Gass.
The Invisible Harbour
‘Only from a distance does the observer understand the object that remained an enigma from close up.’
Fiction by Deniz Utlu, translated by Jackie Smith.
Beginning and End
‘If she really knew how beautiful she was, she would hardly have met up with him, so it was best not to tell her.’
Fiction by Lukas Maisel, translated by Ruth Martin.
We Would Have Told Each Other Everything
‘The story distracts the readers from the heart of the matter; it distracts them from me.’
Fiction by Judith Hermann, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
‘It was fantastic to own a phone, it was fantastic to have people you loved in your life.’
Fiction by Leif Randt, translated by Ruth Martin.
The Texture of Angel Matter
‘When human beings fall silent, a music can be heard.’
Fiction by Yoko Tawada, translated by Susan Bernofsky.
Where the Dragons Live
‘Then they ask me if I love Germany, if I’d show my pussy to dirty Turks and Yugos, all that kind of stuff. It hurts.’
Fiction from Clemens Meyer, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
‘Are you talking as Laleh now, or as the Islamic Republic of Iran? I don’t say anything.’
Fiction by Shida Bazyar, translated by Ruth Martin.