Fiction

Antonio Tabucchi, translated by Elizabeth Harris  

Then he found another, one that was entirely blue, and on the back he wrote: This is the blue we’re living, a blue ocean, a blue sky, a blue life.

Joanna Hershon  

Even though I, too, was in motion, sometimes it felt as if I was stock still and everything was moving around or even without me.

Carla Guelfenbein, translated by Nicole Bell  

Within that gigantic and deserted rectangle, my body belonged to me. I belonged to me.

Jesse Ball  

I am ten years old. I would have been ten years old yesterday but that’s when they found Grandma, so I will be ten years old tomorrow or the next day, I expect.

Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu  

Priya told me that praying to Kali had made her the best mother she could be. I was afraid of Kali; in every photo Priya showed me, she was half-naked with skulls around her neck, blood dripping from her mouth, a head in one hand, a machete in another.

Jared Jackson  

You remember the first time you see an adult cry. A wall shatters and, suddenly, you realize they’re human, too.

Katie Kitamura  

What we craved in those long weeks and months and years, what we were searching for, was certainty.

Andrew Martin  

He would take his father to the nice-for-Missoula restaurants that he rarely patronized on his own. It was easy to forget, when he didn’t see him for a while, that he might actually enjoy making him happy.

Dantiel W. Moniz  

Even in sleep, Margot projected warning: Do not touch me.

David Moloney  

Brenner had started to dread the searches, maybe more than the inmates.

Aysegül Savas  

We are constantly searching for something to hold on to, the critics surmise; in the absence of meaning, we shape patterns out of pure chaos.

Raven Leilani    

Those were the days. Days when her mother called and asked why she would do these things to herself in public for white people.

Ivan Vladislavic  

The pig was gone. In its place stood a naked man with shackles on his wrists and ankles, head thrown back and mouth wide open.

Idra Novey

Too fast for her to restrain it, a sound escaped the wife—a sound so low and guttural the husband hunched over, his hand sliding along the back of her chair.

Image: Pablo Picasso, Cat Devouring a Bird, 1939

Jean McGarry

Were they divided? Only in the cat’s eyes, because of his sense of entitlement and first place. 

Jean McGarry

It hadn’t started that way, although there were signs. Were there signs?

John Sayles

Weed smokers always have a plan–the fuzzier the better.

Joanna Scott

Turning from the prologue to the first chapter, I was surprised, given the author’s disdain for literature, to find all the trappings of a novel.

Ha Seong-Nan, translated by Janet Hong

It’s not that I have anything against my husband. It’s good for a banker to act like a banker, isn’t it?

Gish Jen

By the end of the first month, everyone in our section could not only define but spell logorrheic. Pleonastic. Periphrastic.

Samir Toumi

Translated FROM THE FRENCH by Alice Kaplan

Algiers, city bursting in the sun, sticky in its shades of gray, living at the mercy of its moods–no, her moods, which echo mine.

Karen E. Bender

The stranger beside me texted with a manic quality that was almost sexual in its focus, until she saw the smiling flight attendant walk by again, at which time she placed her phone facedown on her leg. 

Leslie Epstein

She wasn’t musical. But she shook, just a little, at the ascending and descending notes–like armies, she thought.

Tiphanie Yanique

He also says that how I look is like how all people used to look before we left Pangea, or wherever. 

Ryunosuke Akutagawa

translated from the japanese by ryan c. k. choi

It is said that seeing color in dreams is a sign of exhausted nerves. 

Sergio Troncoso

 “Isi, it’s memories. The past. It carries you backward but also forward, but only so far. It’s me in you. The chocolate will help.”

Virginie Despentes

Translated FROM THE FRENCH by Emma Ramadan

Whatever you do, don’t be what you are.

Donald Hall

Was this what ordinary life would be like?

Joan Silber

“Nobody hates money,” my American father always said. An undeniable fact, all over the world, but he had a way of saying it that sounded smug. 

Terese Svoboda

The South was the place to fix people. You had a cough, you went south. Your heart was giving you problems? South. A twisted testicle? South.