‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’
‘Members of the committee, I am bitter, it’s true. But this doesn’t change the facts.’
Biscotti Boys / On Men Who Wear Living as Loosely as Their Suits
‘salmaan the second son & his mama’s seventh seal by way of underwater & underemployment’
What Do Women Want?
‘What we’re arguing about turns out to be how to speak to each other at all.’
What Silence Knows
‘Words can’t quite re-create the smell of war. I have found myself trying to wash it out of my hair, off my fingers. More than once, I have run water over the soles of my shoes.’
‘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.’
‘They tell me you write about exile, about lives adrift, about trees whose roots are buried thousands of kilometres away, he said in his harsh accent, his hoarseness aggravated by the static on the telephone line.’
Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean.
‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’
‘In terms of aspiration, leaving London was the new moving to London. You slogged it out, made a name for yourself, then decamped to the sticks and devoted yourself to trashing city life on Twitter while roaming the fields in pursuit of your tweedy ideals.’
Five are the fingers, and five are the sins
Rebecca Watson on the life of the man who prototyped fascism, the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio
The Feeling Sonnets
‘Making sense of a feeling is like building a boat from water.’
To the Castle and Back
‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’
‘Social services gave Mum a whole list of conditions she had to adhere to. She wasn’t allowed to be animals anymore, under any circumstances, or they would take Ghillie away from her.’
Addressing Mental Health Through Reading Well
‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’
‘Papa suddenly appears inside the door and sits down after three months of no-show-face and my happiness just vamoose.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti
‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’
Shirley from a Small Place
‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for. Shirley is only twenty-seven.’
The Munduruku People Against Brazil
‘The Middle Tapajós Munduruku are not alone. Indigenous and traditional communities throughout the Tapajós River basin are facing increased degradation of their environment and the cultural sustenance practices that form the foundation of their lifeways.’
since feeling is first
‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman
Sagnik Datta’s ‘The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Cormac James | Notes on Craft
‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’
‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’
The World Is a Narrow Bridge
‘They’re back on I-95, northbound this time, the city disappearing behind them, the sun setting like a piece of pink candy over the Everglades.’
The Royal African Society takes a look back at the history of the Africa Writes festival, their annual celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.
Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa’s ‘Matalasi’ is the Pacific winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.