The Good Citizens
‘In the black fog of her grief, Anna Kraft received an invitation.’
‘In the not-too-distant future, all men would be on their feet, reduced to wearing out their soles on the streets.’
Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
‘It’s the year of “the human being”. The year of race-creed-color blindness. It’s 1963.’
‘My cousin is an artist. He says, You draw some good knives but you still need to work on your stab wounds.’
His Middle Name Was Not Jesus
‘He didn’t know their language but understood it in their boiling voices, the heat on their faces, how they singed each other with their eyes.’
Ethelbert and the Free Cheese
‘It was against the understood traditions of society to prepare Sunday lunch without macaroni pie.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for the Caribbean.
Here We Are
‘‘Here we are,’ she said, as we faced each other, and my whole body rushed with goosebumps.’
‘The dog was some sort of overbred weedling with a ribcage fine-boned as a chicken’s, a wizened rat’s face and a goony, perpetually bloodshot stare that made Dev Hendrick want to punt the thing over the garden gate.’
Green, Mud, Gold
‘She shuts her eyes and pictures ears growing out through her ears, her spine turning to wood, pictures herself as a girl-woman scarecrow, arms opened wide, and nailed to two posts in the centre of a great green, mud and gold expanse, crucified.’
The Birds of June
‘Her dreams were interrupted occasionally by the sound of the cow and her newborn calf from the outhouse sheds. A low bellow would crinkle the folds of her mind and then seconds later it would be answered from some other shed in the distance.’
‘Lib didn’t like to bang harder in case of disturbing the family. Brightness leaked from the door of the byre, off to her right. Ah, the women had to be milking. A trail of melody; was one of them singing to the cows?’
‘People love to say it to you like it counts: Oh, Lucia, she will live on in your memory.’
‘This is why he will survive this war to return to his wife and daughter, barring a blind bullet, an errant piece of shrapnel, some careless act of destiny.’
‘I do not do this work for the government, or the Taliban, or even the men who I collect from the battlefield and return to their loved ones. All these years I have done this for God.’
‘I have gone to the forest to lie among the moss and sleep under a canopy of trees. I have gone to the forest to root among the soil and listen to the birds.’
‘It wasn’t that he didn’t have a name, only that he was having difficulty locating it.’
‘The second year, I noticed before anyone else that the Coelophysis was trying to escape.’
‘The word money popped up like a bit of the ocean’s detritus riding in on a wave, but her lips formed the words ‘Merry Christmas’.’
The Intoxicated Years
‘They cried as if they weren’t to blame for any of it. We hated innocent people.’
Robertus Heimric, Welcome Back
‘He was the one survivor who remembered nothing.’
This is New
‘None of this would have happened if I’d just taken a deep breath, suppressed my emotions and said to the young woman, “Leave. Now.”‘
‘When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters.’ 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for Africa.
The Gentlest Village
‘You are learning – learning a great deal. It is too much for you, so your body bows out. Then you wake up and you can continue.’
The Florida Motel
‘Suddenly she understood what she was doing here. She was among strangers, the place where Bill had chosen to spend his life.’
Krapp Hour (Act 2)
‘this is my theory of her awake all night worrying about little wild animals active in the dark’
‘What am I doing in London? And what’ll I do once I’m back in India?' Amit Chaudhuri on identity, youth and nostalgia.
Younger Daughter’s declaration that ‘Othello sucks’ prompts a conflicted response from Father.
Honk Honk to Udvada
‘Oh Uncle, it’s such a historical day,’ said Zahra. ‘The eight hundredth anniversary of our arrival in India after we faced so much persecution in Iran, and we’re going to such a big bash, and all you can think about is emus. What will Dr Billimoria think of our family?’
‘Seven corporations control the afterlife now, and many people spend their lives amassing the money to upload into the best.’
The tourists are gone. They’ve fled to Islamabad, along with the landlords and the hoteliers and the battalions of police that used to defend them, and certainty has left with them.