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Carol Anshaw

‘Nick didn’t kid himself that what he and Olivia had was love. It was more serious than that.’

Morrison Okoli (1955-2010)

Jekwu Anyaegbuna

‘It is always an honour to have women cry during someone’s burial, but yours is too silent for comfort.’

Persist

Zaina Arafat

‘I grew obsessed with the place, thinking that getting to see it, to experience it, would make the pain of that fall go away.’

Coming down from the Mountains

Reinaldo Arenas

‘There is nothing to be heard now; just, in the darkness, the racket of the victrolas in Loma Colorada barrio, and the organ lording it over all the other noises.’

A Day in the Life in El Salvador

Manlio Argueta

‘I have not failed you, José. I understand that you were saying goodbye when you opened your eye, and that, besides greeting me, you were expressing your pride in me, seeing me standing with my arm around the shoulders of your granddaughter.’

Reconstruction | New Voices

Lana Asfour

‘There’s nothing like watching the summer sunset with a glass of jellab.’

Leila in the Wilderness

Nadeem Aslam

‘It was almost involuntary: it felt like falling, or like rising in a dream.’

Punnu’s Jihad

Nadeem Aslam

‘It is as though the metal itself is bleeding.’

Isis in Darkness

Margaret Atwood

‘The lock splits. The iron gate swings open. She emerges, raises her arms towards the suddenly chilled moon. The world changes.’

Dizzy

Paul Auster

‘The method's not important. The only thing that counts is that you go along with it–and that you understand why it has to be done.’

The Brooklyn Follies

Paul Auster

‘I was looking for a quiet place to die.’

To the City

Tash Aw

‘He knew he had to find this faraway city.’

Voyage South

Murray Bail

‘The decks are brick red, the colour of old Australian verandas, as are the metal steps, the rails gloss white.’

Povitch_12

Peter C. Baker

‘How terrible, I thought, not to remember your own dreams.’

Under Ice

Iain Banks

‘Andy runs out across the ice.‘

The Enemy Within

John Banville

‘Feeling almost skittish all day. Exhausted now yet feverish also, like a child at the end of a party.’

Life and Art

John Banville

‘He arrived in Paris for the first time huddled on a hay cart.’

The Coming Flood

Andrés Barba

‘When it happens, she gets the feeling that the men, for her, are a way to cling to life.’

Lettuce Nights

Vanessa Barbara

‘When Ada died, the wash hadn’t dried yet.‘

The Balance

Nicola Barker

‘There were five of them remaining and it was all in the balance.’

Blow Your House Down

Pat Barker

‘Brenda stood up, brushing bits of gravel from her knees, and thinking, Christ, there've gotta be easier ways of earning a living than this.’

Marriage Lines

Julian Barnes

‘Grief was in charge of him.’

The Silence

Julian Barnes

‘Naturally the artist is misunderstood. That is normal, and after a while becomes familiar.’

Gnossienne

Julian Barnes

‘Let me make it clear that I never attend literary conferences. I know that they're held in art deco hotels close to legendary museums; that sessions on the future of the novel are conducted with camaraderie, brio and bonhomie.’

Dragons

Julian Barnes

‘Everything bad came from the north. Whatever else they believed, the whole town, both parts of it, knew that.’

Emma Bovary’s Eyes

Julian Barnes

‘Her eyes are black: passion and depth. Her eyes are green: wildness and jealousy. Her eyes are brown: reliability and ordinariness. Her eyes are violet: the novel is by Raymond Chandler.‘

Harmony

Julian Barnes

‘They had dined well at no. 261 Landstrasse, and now passed eagerly into the music room.’

Letters from LETTERS

John Barth

‘For autobiographical ‘fiction’ I have only disdain’.

The New Music

Donald Barthelme

‘Went to the grocery store and Xeroxed a box of English muffins, two pounds of ground veal and an apple. In flagrant violation of the Copyright Act.’

Monster Deal

Frederick Barthelme

‘I'm about ready to go see what's happening when they come in, each of them carrying a flamingo from the front yard.’

Anecdotes

Ann Beattie

‘Christine’s hair had begun to dry, and she looked different, with her hair down and her glasses on. Her earnestness made her look younger, and took me back to the bar where we’d sat in Pennsylvania years ago.’

Taken out of Context

Paul Beatty

‘I am not the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son.’

Glow

Ned Beauman

‘Growing up, you got so used to all your secrets being sad or shameful that you came to assume they were, like alkyl halides, intrinsically neurotoxic, and now he had learned for the first time that they weren’t.’

The Wall

Jurek Becker

‘That afternoon a different soldier is standing at the gate. He calls out something that sounds dangerous.’

Looking for the General

Madison Smartt Bell

‘Midday, and the sun thrummed from the height of its arc so that the lizard seemed to cast no shadow.’