Virginie Despentes
Translated by Emma Ramadan

Pauline is sitting at the kitchen table.

            She’d opened the shoe closet, nothing flat.

            At twenty-five years old, she has never thought to put on high heels .  .  .

Donald Hall

David Bardo was driving his wife, Beverly, to the hairdresser in Georgetown when he took a wrong turn. He apologized.

Joan Silber

My high school girlfriend wanted me to marry her. Who gets married in high school?

            “My mother isn’t even married,” I said.

Terese Svoboda

I lived in twelve houses in 1932. The Depression was all opportunity for my father, one house on the prairie foreclosed after another, the more for my father to fix up and resell. People had to live somewhere while they slid into poverty.

Kate Walbert

Maggie suggests they play the game the Obamas used to play in the White House at dinner. (She read it.) Roses and Thorns, she explains to Peter and Grace; the good things of the day the roses and the bad things of the day the thorns.

Ellen Wilbur

Every breath you take is critical and every heartbeat in your chest is crucial. The state of all your organs is important, like a chorus where no voice can stand apart or overwhelm the rest or fail.

Hanne Ørstavik
Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken

When I grow old, we’ll go away on the train. As far away as we can. We’ll look out through the windows, at fells and towns and lakes, and talk to people from foreign lands.

Dina Nayeri

Parvin and Suraya rented a small but comfortable Niagara Falls cottage kissing the American border, just as their older sister Goli had instructed. Their father, Baba Ardeshir, had managed only a Canadian visa, so he wouldn’t be able to cross over to see their homes

“You owe it to me, you know. You couldn’t possibly deny you owe me something.

            People were divided in their response to these words of Clara’s, because Marya had of course told the people she had expected …