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Laparotomy

Alexandra Lucas Coelho

‘At forty, I think the world leads to the body. Besides, laid out on a stretcher, you are your only home’ .

L.A. Diary: Notes from a Mexikorean Country

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘I was reassured to see that my hotel does not resemble the one in The Shining.’

Ghosts

Brian Hart

‘The road pleasantly gained and lost elevation, flood gauges in dry washes and scraggy hilltops, corners that begged for two wheels not four.’

Cynthia Ozick | First Sentence

Cynthia Ozick

‘Some stories begin with an incident, or a set of enigmatic circumstances, or a scene indelibly witnessed, or the relationship of unlike temperaments, or even something as gossamer as a mood. And then there is the kind of story that is rooted in an idea.’

The Blood Drip

Brian Evenson

‘They had stumbled upon a town and tried to approach it, but had been driven off with stones.’

The Argentine Episcopate

Bernard Quiriny

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

Relic Light

Eric Gamalinda

‘Unconfirmed stories that have been retold so often they acquire the polish of truth, like the rosary beads people here carry in their pockets and pull out whenever the need for reassurance arises.’

The Husband Stitch

Carmen Maria Machado

‘I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them.’

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

Dorothea Lasky and Adam Fitzgerald In Conversation

Dorothea Lasky & Adam Fitzgerald

‘I want to get to that place of cold neutrality where almost anything could work in poetry.’

First Sentence: Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich

‘We live in these places out of necessity, lucky to have them out of the terrible explosion of humanity.’

Bad Seeds

Masatsugu Ono

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

The Question of Fate

Catherine Lacey

‘The possibility that I’d unwittingly tapped into her fate and used it as fuel for a story sickened me.’

Zoraida

Tanya Rey

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

Advice Column

Kazim Ali

‘Me always untorn and enslaved / Weird notions of gender and ground / Nothing but you between me and god.’

Five Things Right Now: Darcey Steinke

Darcey Steinke

Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Sam Lipsyte and Diane Cook in Conversation

Diane Cook & Sam Lipsyte

‘The bewilderment was productive, and relit a good fire under my instinct, which I didn’t have to conflate with certainty.’

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.’

Birdie

Ann DeWitt

‘By the end of the summer, the city was fed up with our antics.’

The Family Friend

Julia Franck

‘We’ve got a lot of family friends but Thorsten has been coming round far too often recently and I wonder whether I shouldn’t tell her that sometime.’

The Love Machine

Julia Elliott

‘Beatrice was my first love. The dark contours of her delicate skeleton, the glowing flesh made translucent by my X-ray gaze, drove me crazy.’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

‘Certain moments send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue’

Two Poems

Hoa Nguyen

‘I wrote ‘valley’ when I meant ‘longing’ / Your laugh a river A trout kind of green.’

Mona Simpson | First Sentence

Mona Simpson

‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’

Five Things Right Now: Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton, author of 33 Artists, 3 Acts, shares five links of what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Blood Is Usually Red

Katherine Faw Morris

‘A lot of babies were born in skiffs during storms, their umbilical cords cut with rusty pocketknives.’

Women’s Shadow in the American Western

Thirza Wakefield

‘The wild is no place for women—the film would seem to say.’

Melinda Moustakis | First Sentence

Melinda Moustakis

‘We all would like to think that with one line, one brush, we could make a reader fall madly in love, and there are writers that elicit such a response with the appropriately gorgeous.’

Etgar Keret | Interview

Etgar Keret & Sophie Lewis

‘Usually my wife makes fun of me.’

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.’

Alan Warner | Five Things Right Now

Alan Warner

Granta Best Young British Novelist, Alan Warner, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Satanás

Olivia Clare

‘I dislike sleep, he told the girl, matches keep me awake.’

Thing with Feathers that Perches in the Soul

Anthony Doerr

‘It has to be love, doesn’t it? In however many of its infinite permutations?’

Exotics

Callan Wink

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

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.’