They are just everywhere, walking, rushing, running, toyi-toying, fists and machetes and knives and sticks and all sorts of weapons and the flags of the country in the air, Budapest quivering with the sound of their blazing voices: Kill the Boer, the farmer, the khiwa.
The Hunger BrideA novel excerpt by Julie Ries
“Go home and pray to be forgiven,” she cried. “If you don’t pray now, you know what waits for you.”
Savage CoastBy Muriel Rukeyser, from her previously unpublished novel
Europe, the thought of Europe swelled over the horizon, like a giant dirigible, strung with lights in a dream of suspended power, but filled, in the dream, with a gas about to burst into flame.
DeparturesBy Patrick Dacey
My uncle never did a bad thing to anybody, but one day while he was on his front porch eating an ice cream cone, two men came upon him, pushed him inside, tied his hands and feet, robbed his house, and shot him in the head
The Worst Thing That HappenedBy A. Igoni Barrett
“Don’t worry, it will be okay, these things happen for a reason,” Ma Bille said. “As I always say: the worst thing to happen to you is for the best—”
BeesBy Patricio Pron, translated from the Spanish by Kathleen Heil
Not much ever happened in Blaustein, but, even if it did, I would still remember the words she said, because it was the first time I’d heard them used, and their meaning, the parentheses they opened in my German existence every time someone used them, shocked me and made me feel like an intruder.
Give Hostages to FortuneBy Mehdi Tavana Okasi
I thought about her son in Tehran and if he were still alive, what he would do to Sheila. Lying in bed, I replayed the scene from earlier that day and wished that I’d answered Sheila’s blows with punches of my own, wished that I’d defended Mrs. Azam.
Psychiatrists and Mountain DewBy Scott McClanahan
I don’t want to have to get on any medicines, because as far as I’m concerned all shrinks are good for is getting you high.
Anthropogenesis, or: How to Make a FamilyBy Laura van den Berg
Soon it was all they could do to keep these children from singeing the draperies or shattering the glass windowpanes with a single touch.
The ExpoBy Sybil Baker
They arrived when the sea was swelling, threatening to sweep the old world back with it.
Four American FolktalesBy Emily Mitchell
In Malibu, there lived a beautiful old woman without a nervous system.
A Dark Tower OpeningBy Matt Bell
In the face of its stare, I stared back, and the bear slavered in response, shook its thick fur as welcome or warning. . .
SaffronBy Mirza Waheed
“These infidels cannot insult us like this. If you have the courage, come and face us out in the open. You cannot tie down a speechless animal and think you have beaten us…”
The Lump in Her ThroatBy Aba Amissah Asibon
I don’t like the box they have put Papa in; I would have gotten him the fancy kind with polished wood and golden handles.
My Year ZeroAn excerpt from the novel "Mira Corpora" by Jeff Jackson
They stride through the woods and shout. They practice propping guns on their shoulders and breaking them in half so the empty shells tumble to the ground.
Marrying UpBy Diane Cook
Eventually, I married a man more than twice my size. He terrified me. Making love felt like getting run over
Farewell, AfricaBy Manuel Gonzales
According to Cornish, the pool, an infinity pool, would be able to recreate the event of Africa sinking into the sea.
Have You Heard Anything?By Anthony Tognazzini
During this time the weather changed and the voice on the radio brought uneasy news about barricades, policemen, and tear gas in the city.
GreenlandBy Patrick Somerville
Then again, now he has to go to Greenland. To look at a body.
The Biggest Thing EverAn excerpt from the novel "Double Feature" by Owen King
Taken as a whole, no one who read the screenplay for Who We Are denied that it was clever in its composition, original in its pattern, and ruthlessly unsentimental in its conclusions. It was also “a bit portentous,” according to Sam’s father, Booth Dolan, the B-movie mainstay famous for his stentorian, blink-free performances. . .
A Man of the PeopleBy Helon Habila
He takes her hand, careful to keep his eyes away from her dominant breasts, her full pouty lips, and they begin in the living room.
The Weight of Rose PetalsBy Brad Green, guest-edited by Roxane Gay
Winona eyed Frank down the long black barrels of the shotgun. She complained again about that whore he’d visited every Wednesday for fourteen years, before he lost his manhood in the accident at the rebar factory.
Café FleshBy Ruben Quesada, guest-edited by Roxane Gay
There was something fascinating about images of unknown semi-naked women; I wondered if there were newspapers filled with images of semi-naked men.
How I Gonna Bare My Neck Outside in the Sweat-Scared MorningBy Delaney Nolan, guest-edited by Roxane Gay
Six feet tall and arms like bundled wire. He go strutting the length of the house.
Magic City RelicA novel excerpt by Jennine Capó Crucet, guest-edited by Roxane Gay
. . .I looked down at Omar’s pants to tear off his belt and realized that we were shrouded in such darkness, I couldn’t see the buckle.
Boy, A HistoryBy Saeed Jones, guest-edited by Roxane Gay
Notes on names Boy gets called at school: fudge packer, pansy, fairy, pillow biter, cock gobbler.
BroadsBy Roxane Gay
Jimmy Nolan has a thing for broads—loud, brassy women who sit with their legs open and drink beer straight from the bottle—women who always say exactly what they’re thinking and for better or worse, mean what they say.
Throw Forever to the FleasBy Ankur Thakkar
This was Clyde’s third Ramadan, but his first alone.
Dear JohnBy Sarah Gerkensmeyer
First, it was his hands. Three days after he announced that he was going to leave me, I watched him drinking his coffee and noticed how his three middle fingers were slipped through the handle, gripping the body of the mug in a confident, almost loving way.
The Last Hour of the Bengal TigerBy Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder
What was I going to do when I saw her? It was a question I had asked myself a thousand times. Slap her? Scream insults? Demand she give my husband back?
from The Story of My AssassinsA novel excerpt by Tarun J. Tejpal
His first conscious memory, from the time he was three, was the feel of a rat snake slithering through his hands.
DispatchesBy Susan Daitch
When did the Berlin Zoo stop displaying humans? 1931, I think, but I’m not sure.
DebriefingBy E.C. Osondu
If you must travel, travel by Amtrak. Trains are safe, buses are not. I mean safe from raids by the INS.
The AnointingBy Jamie Quatro
Seven months into her husband’s depression, Diane called the church secretary. She wanted the elders to come over and anoint Mitch with oil.
This is a Dad StoryBy Elizabeth Crane
This story can’t get it’s tense together or it’s person, now. Has it even got its “its” right?
One NightBy Quim Monzó, translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush
But the girl is still asleep. Perhaps, thinks the prince, he kissed her too lightly. He stoops down again and kisses her a second time, this time a touch more vigorously.
LootersBy Alex Perez
They were followed by a group in tropical wear, slipping and sliding, trying to prevent their ill-fitting thong sandals from flying off. A smaller group had chosen winter wear, rolling up the block like juiced up ticks, draped in coats and jackets.
IslandsBy Alex Vallejo
I stare at the ground imagining I am one of the condemned, what it felt like to have my fingernails torn off. I clench my fists tight and brace myself for the pain, wishing I was off this wretched island, wishing I was home.
High Schools, or How to Be Asian AmericanBy Matthew Salesses
After my parents were divorced I fell in love with the ugliest girl in my white high school. This was what I believed—the love part, I mean; the ugly part was true.
Two StoriesBy Autumn Watts, with photography by Kristin Giordano
In Qatar, the birds have built their own hidden city.
American NurseBy Kaitlin Solimine — 2012 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program Award — selected by Colson Whitehead.
American Nurse became our possession, the Party headquarters in Beijing told us, for only a week before Deng decided what to do with her
Gone to the ForestA novel excerpt by Katie Kitamura
His father is more than twice her age but her eyes are pinned to his lips as he speaks to her in his fur-lined baritone.
The World Without YouA novel excerpt by Joshua Henkin
He’s mopping at his pelvis with a wadded-up tissue, and then he’s mopping her up as well. Already the backs of her thighs are caking up.
StipplingBy Christopher Narozny
Still, I started for the parlor. I’d polished my shoes, put gel in my hair: habits my mother had always wanted me to form and I had always resisted. Walking down the street, I felt conspicuous, as though people were sniggering at my gleaming head and feet.
ExpectationsBy Peter Stamm, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
I imagine what Janneke and Karin would say if they saw us together: Oh, she’s lost it now.
The Red TricycleBy Lisa Lim
He liked how her odd mouth conjured surprise like a jack in the box. She liked how he used his bathtub as a closet.
CasinoBy Alix Ohlin
People who look on the bright side all the time are hypocrites at least some of the time. To say that shitty things are shitty is to speak honest truth about the world.
VanyaBy Alex M. Pruteanu
This bloody fucking century Uncle Miki said . . . began and ended in Yugoslavia.
LoversBy Daniel Arsand, translated from the French by Howard Curtis.
Their bodies converse. They forget that very soon one of them will be burned alive on Place de Grève.
Two StoriesBy Barbara Fried
And then he would knock on the door and my mother would answer and he would say to her, “This is no ordinary child. She understands.”