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Accident

Etgar Keret

’Thirty years I’m a cabbie,’ the small guy sitting behind the wheel tells me, ’thirty years and not one accident.’

Adults

Claire Messud

‘Those summer evenings were all alike.’

After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac

Rachel Cusk

‘I dream about Ian, not the same dream, different dreams, but they're all sort of similar. Like, we're getting on a train, me and him, and I put him on with all our bags and then I get off because I want to buy a newspaper or something and next thing I know the train's pulling away with me still on the platform and Ian looking at me through the window.’

After Effects

Oliverio Coelho

‘Iván tried not to keep still.’

After Helena

Andrés Neuman

‘What can damage us more? The blunt honesty of hatred, or the thwarted objective of reconciliation?’

After Hours

A. M. Homes

‘They have created stage sets, backdrops, candy-coloured scenarios, Kodacolor bright landscapes onto which you can project your fantasies.’

After Ida

Elise Winn

‘The year I turned seventeen, the cicada chorus was deafening, as if they were impatient for the real beginning of summer and didn’t realize they were it.’

After the Hedland

Evie Wyld

‘I feel the pull of being alone, of answering to no one, the safety of being unknown and far away.’

After the War

Patrick French

‘My antipathy to military culture started early and it wasn't helped by living in a garrison town.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

‘At last, at last. His first steps, on Chinese soil.’

Agamemnon’s Truth

Javier Cercas

‘My name is Javier Cercas, just like you.’

Agnes of Iowa

Lorrie Moore

‘Her mother had given her the name Agnes, believing that a good-looking woman was even more striking when her name was a homely one.’

Alice fell

Emma Tennant

‘Agony belonged to night and would take advantage of the union, increase the whirligig of pain.’

All That Follows

Jim Crace

‘Leonard Lessing does not dream of Maxie Lemon, Maxim Lermontov, the hostage­-taker.’

All We Shall Know

Donal Ryan

‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’

Alpes Maritimes

William Boyd

'From the small terrace at Cherry's villa there is a perfect view of Villefranche and its bay, edged by the bright beads of the harbour lights and headlamps of cars on the coast road.'

Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle

Herta Müller

‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’

Amateur Dramatics

Jonathan Lee

‘I heard the news from a nurse with a piece of tinsel tied around her waist: my father had become a hypochondriac.’

America

Chinelo Okparanta

‘It is a reluctant kind of disregard that stems from a feeling of shame’

American Subsidiary

William Pierce

‘He was typing up another proposal for robots that would replace human workers in an engine factory.’

An Occupation

Adam Stumacher

‘All those years of manipulating the tuning crank have given him the patience to settle in for these more involved jobs, and patience is perhaps the most important quality in a human shield’

And Yet

Brian Evenson

‘She had waited expectantly for him to tell her a story to illustrate this, and to explain what those values were, but as with so many other things he had left it at that. It lingered in the air, waiting for her to pluck it up, but she had simply let it hang.’

Anecdotes

Ann Beattie

‘Christine’s hair had begun to dry, and she looked different, with her hair down and her glasses on. Her earnestness made her look younger, and took me back to the bar where we’d sat in Pennsylvania years ago.’

Animals

Michel Laub

‘I only stopped playing with him when he began biting the fingers of anyone who tried to pet him.’

Anubis

Paul Murray

‘Here in space you don't often get the chance to meet women.’

Anwar Gets Everything

Tahmima Anam

‘Two ways a man can go here, in the direction of God or the direction of believing there is nothing up there but a sun that will kill you whether you pray five times or not.’

Apnoea

Daniel Galera

‘I could make you promise much worse things.’ Daniel Galera muses on unknown family histories.

Apples

David Guterson

‘He remembered the new, fresh, orchard country of his youth and the rows of apple trees his father had planted on the east bank of the Columbia River.’

Aquifer

Tim Winton

‘Through the open window I smelt dead lupin and for a long time forgot my age.’

Arcadia

Emma Cline

‘Could a place work on you like an illness?’

Arithmetic Town

Todd McEwen

‘Free play is when you have fun instead of playing kickball.’

Arrivals

Sunjeev Sahota

‘But he couldn’t lose the sense that this was a turning point in his life, that she’d been delivered to him for a reason.’

At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers

Salman Rushdie

‘The bidders who have assembled for the auction of the magic slippers bear little resemblance to your usual saleroom.’

At The Kitchen Table

Peter Orner

‘Your husband dies, you’re a widow. There’s almost joy in it. Why not scream it? Glory.’

At The Villa Cockroft

Dan Rhodes

‘The young man dug into his pocket, and brought out a card. On it was printed: CARTHUSIANS COCKROFT-CONDUCTOR, COMPOSER, RACONTEUR. Underneath was his address and phone number.’

At Yankee Stadium

Don DeLillo

‘From a series of linked couples they become one continuous wave, larger all the time, covering the open spaces in navy and white.’