I say something about the time and he replies, “I cannot sleep in this lifeless room, I can’t, I can’t. I won’t. You can’t make me.”
When he could no longer stand her chatter—in France I made myself a dress of leaves stitched together with stems and I wore it by that river, the big one, the sludge, and that’s how I met many interesting boyfriends from the National Geographic Magazine—he left Nancy on the hotel roof with the chef from Mumbai.
The first thing my Godsent said when I came through the door was, “I think I have this damn thing on backwards.”
“When we really like a book, it’s often because its rhythm is similar to our own—to our heartbeat, our breathing, the way we walk. I think that’s what draws us to certain writers and not to others even though we know they are great.”
They say that, for the longest time, Enrique didn’t know he was a superman. What he understood was that men liked his dick.
I was left abandoned, a rectangle in the middle of a square. Dasvidanya, they said, and kicked me on my side. It hurt so much that I wanted to cry, though I’ve also shed a few tears of joy during my many travels.
“Our bodies are graveyards of cells, the source of art, inherently finite, constantly decaying.”
The canoe is covered in canvas, and something is trapped in the weave, deep under the shellac. A knot perhaps, or stitch.
I caught Elma licking her front teeth in the rearview mirror. The gap between them seemed to be getting wider, like Jane Birkin, whose teeth spread considerably apart as she grew older, an oral Pangea situation.
“I need to talk to you,” she says.
“What do you do when you’re born—without your consent—and you find out later that your life was at the cost of someone else’s? That’s how high the stakes can be.”
Fiction in search of a vanished homeland
I tried Al on like a suit and he didn’t fit. In the crotch area, excess fabric hung loose, like disappointment.
New titles and reissues highlighted by Justin Taylor, Chelsea Hodson, Paul La Farge, Emmalea Russo, Alexandra Kleeman, Ted Dodson, Dan Sheehan, Kristen Radtke, Daniel Saldaña París, Marjorie Welish, Tobias Carroll, Jonathan Lee, Scott Esposito, and Lauren LeBlanc
THE GRANDUNCLE (stands up in the middle of the wake. Taps his glass with a spoon)
Carrington’s matter-of-fact presentation of the bizarre and the gruesome lends a distinctive black humor to her short stories, here collected in their entirety for the first time, including three that have never before been published.
Everybody assumes I’m one or the other, at first. Sometimes it becomes a game, a mental tally of points in each column, trying to prove the original guess.
Fabulous talkers in Penelope Lively’s The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories
Well, nothing at first, not right after. In those initial moments panic is still optional.