The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H.
‘At moments Hitler’s head brushed against Gideon’s cheek like a clump of wet leaves.’
The Siege of Leningrad
‘Alexander Ivanovich woke at six, the hour when radio broadcasting would normally have begun, but the radio had been silent for a month now.’
We Walked on Water
‘Land of the misty giants: cedar, alder, Ponderosa pine. Cascade Mountains pushing out green like grass through a garlic press.’
New World (Part Four)
‘Sleep has disassembled the self: it will take patience to rebuild a person out of the heap of components in the bed.’
Valdir Peres, Juanito and Poloskei
‘The only path to tread, from now on, was downward.’
A Conversation Piece
‘No. Listen to me. God's confidence in Abraham was not total. Let me hammer out my meaning.’
‘His articulate hands moved around my face as if fashioning an imaginary veil there.’
‘The novelist/philanthropist was more vigorous than her wax-figure photographs, and at the same time much frailer.’
At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers
‘The bidders who have assembled for the auction of the magic slippers bear little resemblance to your usual saleroom.’
The Cyrillic Alphabet
‘Olga was noble. She was Amazonian. She felt exhausted and humiliated, but she also had force.’
In Summer Camps
‘The sky burned white to blond to powder to an almighty blue; the sun fell unobstructed.’
New World (Part Three)
‘To my eyes, airplane always looked impertinently casual on the page; it robbed the amazing machine of its proper mystery.’
‘Sometimes she lied. She didn’t do it maliciously; she did it to pass the time.’
Keepers Of The House
‘Lydia Sinclair was just seventeen when she arrived on her husband's estate in the Andes.’ Lisa St Aubin de Terán's fictional memoir.
The Former Mayor’s Ancient Daughter
‘To begin with, she softens her twisted nails in lukewarm soapy water, which she carries in an assortment of bottles.’
‘That's why they're able to live like normal human beings, he thought, because they never forget about their duty. They don't spend all their time getting pissed like folks here.’
‘There’s Bo Diddley. Big hips, pointy shoes, glasses. A gap between his teeth, and a bow tie, in 1965.’
Hands Across the Water
‘Dark red hair. Wee skirt and trainers, bare arms. All those freckles.’
The Butcher of Bermondsey
‘Then he led me out into the noise and the glare and the stink.’
Look at Me, I’m Beautiful!
‘When I came back from Gwen's I had expected to find him in the throes of his midlife koisis—you know—trimming an anal fin in the bath, or nursing a slime coat at the very least.’
‘No one was safe walking to church in the dark, but Buddy knew better than to beg not to go'.
How We Got Mother Back
‘With the passing of time we got used to hearing our brother being our mother.’
‘I could not for too long delay my promise to Violet Bathurst to cut out her Cancer.’
My Wife is a White Russian
‘I'm in nickel and pig-iron and gold and diamonds. I like the sound of all these words. They have an edge, I think. The glitter of saying them sometimes gives me an erection.’
Our Nicky’s Heart
‘Frank Randall had three sons: Michael, Eddy and Mark. That was fine by him‘.
‘I had a new persona I’d been planning to introduce the first day of school: a girl wise beyond her years who was not at all nerdy or spastic or prone to crying jags.’
Stars and Stripes
‘He chewed on the syllables until they sounded the way they did in movies.’
'My nubile companion, assuredly no intellectual, continued to masturbate in front of me.'
A Soap Opera From Hell
‘It comes as no surprise when an ophthalmist informs him that the tears he does produce–the consequence of various allergies–are deficient, poor-quality facsimiles of the real thing.’