Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov
‘A piece of boxwood, gripped in a vise, / waits on the workbench for his knife.’ Poetry by Lev Ozerov, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, and introduced by Robert Chandler.
Yokosuka blue line
‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’
‘On the rampage, he truly did become a devil; it was impossible to restrain him.’ Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.
All Hail the Holy Bone
‘It is part angel, part lepidopteran, part Rorschach inkblot.’
Turn the River
‘Backtrack / to the bones of the matter, which are the bones themselves.’
The Canvas Bag
‘It was given to her by her Japanese captors after the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 to pack the few possessions she was allowed to take with her to prison.’
I Will Never See the World Again
‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.
No Machine Could Do It
‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
The Swallow’s Nest
Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.
Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.
Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft
‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.
Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts
Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.
Ali Fitzgerald | Notes on Craft
Notes on crafting a graphic memoir from Ali Fitzgerald.
The Woman Dies
‘The woman dies. She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her.’ Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton.
‘Rihanna had cut her hair short, and she was no longer being marketed as the Caribbean Beyoncé.’
Horror from David Hayden. ‘A shuddering, wordless voice rose in the distance, and another, and another; a chorus, a lament, which ended in a low grunt. There was a coda of sobbing. There was silence.’
I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be
'Can the black author really write out of her or his colour? In writing about black characters can they ever escape race?' Colin Grant looks at the evolution of racial politics.
A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.