‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.
Centre of Gravity
‘For reasons I don’t want to go into, I decided to commit suicide.’
‘Because I spent a large amount of time convincing people to buy clothing they would never actually wear, it was easy to convince myself the same.’
A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.
Conspiracy of Males | New Voices
‘Nothing was your fault. You defended no one. By default, you defended us.’
‘His voice had long since lost all superfluous timbral embellishments, he was left with only the raw thread of screeching.’
‘She was sliding down on the seat under him and it was like the soundtrack at the drive-in – a surface closed over her.’
De roses et d’insectes
C’est une des premières choses que je lui ai dites, J’ai des daddy issues.
Constantia Soteriou’s ‘Death Customs’, translated from the Greek by Lina Protopapa, is the regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2018 for Canada and Europe.
Desert Island Discs
‘His requests did stretch the resources, almost all-encompassing, of the sound-archive. But that is part of the game.’
‘Your virginity guarantees your happiness, my mother had explained numerous times.’ New fiction from Geeta Tewari.
‘There’s Bo Diddley. Big hips, pointy shoes, glasses. A gap between his teeth, and a bow tie, in 1965.’
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
‘They gazed at us calmly, as if we had caught them in the middle of performing some ritual whose meaning we could not fathom.’
‘I am the full-time driver here. I am not going to kill my employers. I have read that drivers do that now.’
‘My address book is overpopulated, like a communal apartment during the post-war housing shortage.’
Early One Morning
‘He's the only person in the world who listens to me and does what I tell him (thought Zoe).’
‘The eel I saw was the one lying deep and quiet and alone in his coppery pool in the bush.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for Europe and Canada.
Estonia, Out in the Country
‘I didn’t believe my eyes, not even when I saw what was happening in front of them.’
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’
‘I was vanished, invisible, another apartment left empty behind me, my possessions given away, thrown away, packed away in taped boxes fit into an available vehicle.’
‘The bushes grow dense across the top of the drop, but Martin can just see through the leaves: young mother and son, swimming in the pool hollowed out by the waterfall.’
Filling Up With Sugar
‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’
‘It must be a dreadful cross: this hot desire to join in with people who don’t want you.’
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
Fishing with Wussy
‘Until I was six I thought of my father the way I thought of ‘my heavenly father’, whose existence was a matter of record, but who was, practically speaking, absent and therefore irrelevant.’
‘Even in a year in which Brazilians are not that excited about the competition, once the ref whistles and the match kicks off, an entire nation is frozen, hypnotised before their television screens. It’s the great truce, the great anaesthetic.’
From The Diaries of Lenny Abramov
‘Today, I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die.’
‘I began to feel almost ill with a kind of unpleasant pleasure, like being tickled.’