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. 

Kate Walbert

Had he noticed all this strangeness? she said, as she poured out the tea. Had he even noticed?

Ellen Wilbur

Just listen to me, please, no matter how I seem to skip through time and subject matter. I’ll talk about your past, specific memories you thought were yours alone.

Hanne Ørstavik

Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken

She jots down some keywords on a sheet of paper: Identity, pride. Aesthetics. Information.

Dina Nayeri  

Over the years, the photo had become Amirzadeh family legend. They had all seen it once or twice, but despite attic searches and calls to Iran, no one could find a copy.

Mary Gordon

They had “bonded,” as they liked to say of themselves, using air quotes when they said it.