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After Helena

Andrés Neuman

‘What can damage us more? The blunt honesty of hatred, or the thwarted objective of reconciliation?’

Amateur Dramatics

Jonathan Lee

‘I heard the news from a nurse with a piece of tinsel tied around her waist: my father had become a hypochondriac.’

America

Chinelo Okparanta

‘It is a reluctant kind of disregard that stems from a feeling of shame.’

An Amateur Spy In Arabia

Norman Lewis

‘In the 1930s I wanted to travel and I wanted to write. In 1935, I published my first book—about a journey to Spain’.

Animals

Michel Laub

‘I only stopped playing with him when he began biting the fingers of anyone who tried to pet him.’

Anubis

Paul Murray

‘Here in space you don't often get the chance to meet women.’

Arithmetic Town

Todd McEwen

‘Free play is when you have fun instead of playing kickball.’

At The Kitchen Table

Peter Orner

‘Your husband dies, you’re a widow. There’s almost joy in it. Why not scream it? Glory.’

Auto-Suggestion

Toby Litt

‘I began to think, for no particular reason, about what the exact series of events would be were I to die at that moment – before, even, my coffee went cold.’

B-ABEL

Jeremy Lane

‘Partial, our protagonist, to the palatal; prone, too, to the plosive; and apt, you’ve heard, to alliterate.’

Bad Seeds

Masatsugu Ono

‘Evil, she told herself. That was the name of the flower.’

Bears in Mourning

Adam Mars-Jones

‘When I think about it, it was terrible the way we behaved when Victor died. We behaved as if we were ashamed of him, or angry.’

Bezoar

Guadalupe Nettel

‘This was the morning I discovered the anatomy of a hair.’ New fiction by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish by Rahul Bery.

Bicycle Thieves

Blake Morrison

‘Late June, scorched grass and sprinklers, the sky as if scuffed and beaten. Too hot to work, too lazy to think.’