An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
God Bless You, 2011
‘If the god of uranium really exists, then what must he be thinking? Were this a fairy tale of old, what would happen when humans broke the laws of nature to turn gods into minions?’ Hiromi Kawakami on the nature gods of Japan.
The Moon and the Batteries
‘His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him ‘Sensei’. Not ‘Mr’ or ‘Sir’, just ‘Sensei’.’
About Her and the Memories That Belong to Her
‘If I were to forget, then it would be the same as it never having existed at all.’
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
In Between Talking about The Elephant
‘I discover some rough skin on her elbow. I run my tongue along it’.
You Go When You Can No Longer Stay
‘It is not so much that we are splitting up that is really worrying me, it is the fact that she keeps quoting Martin Amis.’
Man Walks Into A Bar
‘I had been living abroad for twelve years and I was gaun hame, maybe forever, maybe a month.‘
‘I was suckled by Mother Earth, he would reflect on occasion, and he would stretch, feeling new strength in his veins.’