A Visit to the Zoo
‘The two chameleons in a glass case appeared to interest all of them, Heinrich thought, because of their beauty and their stillness. They looked like a pale painting.’
All We Shall Know
‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’
‘This is why he will survive this war to return to his wife and daughter, barring a blind bullet, an errant piece of shrapnel, some careless act of destiny.’
Bastard Alias the Romantic
‘Can you imagine what it would be like if instead of killing we cuddled?’
‘Despair sat on her shoulders where her wings should have been. Darkness consumed her, the quivering lip of a dying abalone, grease in the barrel of a gun.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for the Pacific.
‘It wasn’t that he didn’t have a name, only that he was having difficulty locating it.’
Cow and Company
‘And now there were four of them stepping out to look for a cow.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize overall winner.
Dynamics in the Storm
‘You only have time to live your own life, and mine was falling apart.’
Eat You Up
‘Wasn’t it possible the mental shit would leave the kid’s brain, cell by cell, just by doing normal stuff?’
‘The eel I saw was the one lying deep and quiet and alone in his coppery pool in the bush.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for Europe and Canada.
Ethelbert and the Free Cheese
‘It was against the understood traditions of society to prepare Sunday lunch without macaroni pie.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for the Caribbean.
‘It must be a dreadful cross: this hot desire to join in with people who don’t want you.’
Green, Mud, Gold
‘She shuts her eyes and pictures ears growing out through her ears, her spine turning to wood, pictures herself as a girl-woman scarecrow, arms opened wide, and nailed to two posts in the centre of a great green, mud and gold expanse, crucified.’
Here We Are
‘‘Here we are,’ she said, as we faced each other, and my whole body rushed with goosebumps.’
His Middle Name Was Not Jesus
‘He didn’t know their language but understood it in their boiling voices, the heat on their faces, how they singed each other with their eyes.’
‘When I sleep, I dream of Will standing on our bed, flicking a whip against our faces. He draws blood.’
Kiddio at the Wedding
‘If he fell in I would jump straight after, I would plumb through water not cold so much as oily, and dark as a dirty wine bottle.’
Last Day on Earth
‘Despite my efforts at denial the new reality of our lives was beginning to sink in.’
‘People love to say it to you like it counts: Oh, Lucia, she will live on in your memory.’
Mayo Oh Mayo
‘Tonight there is a moon-rind, a nicotined fingernail, hanging low over the lake; above it, a Swarovski sparkler of a star.’
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
‘I was perfectly content with my new life until I began to write my autobiography.’
‘I brushed my hair flat and put on my embroidered dressing gown so that I felt clean and composed. This is what human beings do with their lives, I thought.’
‘His aberrations are formless; he imagines his insanity as a sort of gaseous molecule, looking to react with bugs and glitches.’
Our Last Guest
‘Maybe anyone becomes unbearable after enough time in the honeymoon suite.’ Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s story of eternity á deux.