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.’
‘For the governesses, moving in with Monsieur and Madame Austeur was like a homecoming.’
The Pine Islands
‘Gilbert Silvester woke up distraught. Mathilda’s black hair lay spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.’
An excerpt from Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
The Polyglot Lovers
‘When we were sixteen years old, I broke Johnny’s nose with the back of my hand.’
The Main Thing Is to Keep the Front Garden Immaculate
An extract from Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz, translated from the German by Rachel Ward.
An extract from Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain, translated from the French by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken.
At the Edge of Night
An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.
The Silk Road
‘The choice of starting point wasn’t important; the important thing was to cycle through the same sequence of edges.’
New fiction from Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft.
Picking Up Nathan from the Airport
‘When shit like this happens, people don’t walk out on fifteen-year marriages.’
The Nature of Man
‘Viewed from above, the traffic was reflective as water, cars moving in wavelike shimmers over the surface of the freeway.’
Objects in Mirror
‘He runs through the events of the day in his mind. Fairly frightening, really: the sudden request for his file, the question about the government. And the silence.’
Ten Thousand Feet
‘I go up and watch the avenue through the window. Noise and more noise. An avenue of insects, stray bullets and snipers sprawled on the rooftops.’
My Biggest Insecurity About the Garden
‘Pathos is suffering. But is it suffering to realize a dream, however puny?’ New fiction by Caoilinn Hughes.
‘I don’t know much about the cosmos, but I know enough to avoid the game of tennis.’
‘I put the breast milk in the fridge and lie down on the bed. I pretend I am dead, underneath the earth with a bag of Cheetos.’
If You Start Breathing
‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’
Portion of Jam
‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’
Man of Principle
A novelette by Roy Chicky Arad, written after one of the wars of Israel in Gaza. Translated from the Hebrew by Maayan Eitan and Oded Even Or.
Susan and Miffy
‘The lust of an old man is disgusting but the lust of an old woman is worse. Everyone knows that.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace’.
Yokosuka blue line
‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’
‘On the rampage, he truly did become a devil; it was impossible to restrain him.’ Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.
No Machine Could Do It
‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
The Swallow’s Nest
Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.
The Woman Dies
‘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.