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People From My Neighbourhood

Hiromi Kawakami

‘First prize went to the dog school principal, who of course had submitted a cartoon dog.’ Translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen.


Carys Davies

‘I would explain to you then, if I could, the theory that in the case of hairline shape, there are two possible variants or alleles: straight, or widow’s peak.’

In the Beginning

Diane Cook

‘They flavored their early stews with bacon. None of that stuff lasted long, though. That first day felt like a vacation in a wondrous new place. That feeling didn’t last long either.’


Sindya Bhanoo

‘She appeals to the fisherman, the rickshaw driver, the bricklayer. Her devotees are of all types’

The Mistake

Peter Cameron

‘Yes, I was sick, she said. You’re very observant. She raised her hand and wiped the back of her leather glove across her lips.’


Emma Cline

‘It was the afternoons that did it, three o’clock like a kind of death knell, the house seeming too still, too many hours of sunlight left in the day. How had Thora even started going to the chat rooms?’

The Perfect Companion

Joanna Kavenna

‘She was so understanding, so interesting, such an intellectual. She was also a wristwatch, but this hardly mattered.’

Golden Vulture

Jason Ockert

‘Last summer, the boy still believed in miracles. That’s why he disobeyed his father and crossed the bridge. He wondered, back then, if his mother might be over there.’

The Temptation of St Anthony

Mark Haddon

‘He had not eaten today nor had he drunk. He would wait until the craving had passed, then allow himself to do both when it became a choice, not a lost battle in his long war against the base needs of the body.’

The Fearful Summer

Adam Nicolson

‘I saw the bodies. They were blotched under the skin where the blood had clotted & pooled. I have never seen the dead so dead.’

Clementine, Carmelita, Dog

David Means

‘Here I should stress that dog memory is not at all like human memory, and that human memory, from a dog’s point of view, would seem strange, clunky, unnatural and deceptive.’

How Things End

Ann Beattie

‘As I began to flip through a literary magazine, I was stopped by a photograph of myself as a young girl, standing beside my college professor.’

Burnt Sugar

Avni Doshi

‘I would be lying if I said my mother’s misery has never given me pleasure.’

The Skylight

Penelope Mortimer

‘Her body poured away inside the too-tight cotton suit and only her bloodshot feet, almost purple in the torturing sandals, had any kind of substance.’