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A Killing

Katherine Faw Morris

COKE SMELLS COLD AND CHEMICAL LIKE THE INSIDE OF A REFRIGERATOR. It’s what back then smells like, now when she thinks of it.

Japan Lights

Sarah Moss

‘She kneels and bows her head almost to the floor, as if pretending he’s one of her idols.’

The Dogs

Yukiko Motoya

‘I once lived with a whole lot of dogs.’

Why I Can No Longer Look at a Picnic Blanket Without Laughing

Yukiko Motoya

‘But the customer had already been in the changing room for three hours.’

River So Close

Melinda Moustakis

‘She’s a good-for-nothing chummer. If she survives a week on the slime line without cutting off her thumb or slicing her wrist, she’s hired.’

A Clean Marriage

Sayaka Murata

‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.

Things Remembered and Things Forgotten

Kyoko Nakajima

It was something Takashi remembered but Masaru had forgotten.

The Chronicle of the Wrinkled-Face Sheikh

Salman Natour

‘No other inanimate object retains emotion as strongly as keys do. Fingerprints are engraved on them as if the laws of wear and tear do not apply.’

The Alphabet of Birds

S.J. Naudé

‘She is standing there, her body like a lamp, waiting for the glass to break.’

Harmonica Hare

Yoko Ogawa

  Early in the morning, as was his habit, the man went out to change...

Breakfast

Toshiki Okada

‘If I had known she were heading for Tokyo then, and if I had known she thought of Tokyo as a city of zombies, I would have wanted to know, of course, whether she saw me that way, too.’

Eight Trains

Alberto Olmos

‘To go is always to go somewhere; returning, you return to nowhere. That’s the way it is.’

Bad Seeds

Masatsugu Ono

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

Spider Lilies

Hiroko Oyamada

‘The breeze smelled of many things: autumn and earth, the green of the countryside, face powder and old age.’

Books and Roses

Helen Oyeyemi

‘A golden chain was fastened around her neck, and on that chain was a key.’

O-bakanaru

Eric Ozawa

‘When your wife walks away from you, she does not disappear. When you turn your back, she does not vanish. She will be there when you open your eyes.’

A Hebrew Sibyl

Cynthia Ozick

‘And so began what I was to become. To all these things – the admonitions and the testimonies, the rites and the annunciations – I had easily acquiesced.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

‘At last, at last. His first steps, on Chinese soil.’

The Argentine Episcopate

Bernard Quiriny

‘I started working for the Bishop of San Julián in 1939, not long after the death of my husband.’

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

‘My wife and I were both the children of Pakistanis, immigrants, Muslims, and we had faith that our union was of things greater than ourselves.’

Zoraida

Tanya Rey

‘Desire was a slapping, bone-chilling wind the likes of which did not exist this close to the equator.’

Filling Up With Sugar

Yuten Sawanishi

‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’

Bakamonotako

Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Bakamonotako felt she didn’t need all eight of her appendages. Four would do.’

Holiday

Mona Simpson

‘‘I have a body now,’ I whisper.’

Pig Skin

Andrés Felipe Solano

‘A perfect impostor.’

The Ferryman Is Dead

Saša Stanišić

Here, more die than are born. There’s a refrigerator at the bottom of the lake. The ferryman is dead. No one is coming to take his place.

Jill

Darcey Steinke

‘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.’

Mirage

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘He had a mind to surf through all crises and shortages and conflicts past and present.’

Once Was Dark

Josh Weil

‘When he opened his eyes, she was looking out at the rooster, the sun-blasted concrete, the railing thinned to brittle by the brightness.’

Dangerous

Joy Williams

‘Grief knows how to love them because we don’t know how to do it any more.’

Exotics

Callan Wink

‘He’d come to tell her that he was leaving. It seemed rather impossible now – the telling, not the leaving.’

After Ida

Elise Winn

‘The year I turned seventeen, the cicada chorus was deafening, as if they were impatient for the real beginning of summer and didn’t realize they were it.’