Articles tagged "Families"


The Suit

My friend F’s call came in the middle of December, when the snow would not stop coming down and Manhattan was all but paralyzed. He said he had to get to New York right away but couldn’t find…...

Spirit Summoning, Part V

Yoko asked my name. Usually I’d stop and think about it, make a point of recalling the name. This time I decided not to. I didn’t think, didn’t search for the name. Didn’t try to…...

My New Home

“I started drinking alcohol the day I fell into Maama’s womb. Maama died of alcohol. She started drinking young and died young. She drank too much alcohol until she could no longer drink; and…...

In the Mirror

Under my skin, my father invades me. Quietly, slowly: in my striated nails, along the fat visible vein, in my stomach that has succumbed, in my scrotum that has loosened, he flakes off my skin that dries…...

Father’s Chair

The table is set, immaculate, serene. Nobody's seated yet and it will be a little while until anybody does sit down and tuck in. But the time has come for us to sit together and eat together and move…...

The Arduous March

We stayed in the mountain village up until we left the North. Before that, when we had been living in the farming village, we couldn’t afford to visit our relatives in China. But after a few years…...

A Portal in Space

The Friday bombardment started a little later than usual, at 8:30 a.m. The sound was loud and clear. Umm Anwar sighed, and her pain showed clearly in her expression. Furrowing her brow and ready to explode,…...

The Arab Altar

The last thing on our minds was celebrating our wedding, after we had waited so long, to the sound of air raid sirens and the reverberation of Dushka guns targeting the Iranian airplanes attacking Baghdad.…...

The Devil Lives in Lisbon

On Mondays Mother always got up at five o’clock. She would leave half an hour after getting out of bed, once she had gathered up all the breakfast crockery, and then, looking at us again with a smile,…...

from “Poison Karoo”

Author’s Note: Poison Karoo is a work of fiction, written out of concern and dismay at the proposals for hydraulic fracking in the Karoo. Ludo is an old man, gray now and with eyes that grow bluer…...

Block

Karl Walter Block was the only son of Irmgard Block (née Mucek) and Heinrich Maria Block. Heinrich had been a captain during the war and worked in an important secret office in Berlin until, for…...

Tana

The rain began that morning. Tana was coming home from school. Thursday afternoons they had sewing class, and now on the bus, she realized this was the first day she'd left school in the dark. It would…...

The Hole in the Garden, Part I

I stared up at the moon, large and round in the sky, clenching a fistful of pebbles. I donʼt know what time it was. I suppose it must have been around midnight. Just beyond the cinder-block wall all…...

House No. 451

It’s old and dilapidated, with dirty, tattered curtains covering the windows, the roof on the verge of collapse and the antenna dangling from the gable on its wire. There are cracks in all the outside…...

Lamb

Ghulam Ali traded in grains and spices. He carried produce of the very best quality. Not everyone could afford it. Unlike other merchants in Golpayegan who traded on barter, or offered credit, Ghulam Ali…...

from “What You Wished For”

The Kid was back. Ziggy heard the dog’s toenails clicking on the floor while he did his usual dance. But for the Kid the dog also added yelps of joy to the ritual. The dog was more attached to the…...

Inferno

We had just moved into an apartment in the suburbs, with all the hassle of fetching and carrying and doing the sorts of things that you really wouldn’t bother with if you didn’t feel socially…...

2093

He lies and dreams. A great ash tree spreads out its crown and girls come with buckets and water its roots. He tosses and turns, then looks up. Beside him sits a gray-haired woman, stroking his hand. The…...

Dessert

As I sit at the dinner table I watch the three men who have sucked at my breasts. One of them still sucks them, two sucked them for a time. I look at the sun pouring through the window and look at the…...

Dolls and Angels

Hannan didn’t realize how late it was or even that it was late. Today was different. It was an extraordinary moment in every respect. Her mother was no longer the woman she knew, and the neighborhood…...

The Guest

She has become more like her grandmother than her mother, Hend thinks to herself. She remembered how she used to squirm in her grandmother’s lap, an angry child with a bare bottom. She was hard to…...

Narratives of 1960

Grandmother’s last clothing is a reed mat her coffin a small fishing boat The year was 1960 She stole a kilo of yellow beans Those who ordered her to kneel on snail shells are mostly dead Those still…...

The Spectacle

It was late in the evening when he came home. His wife sat on the veranda in front of the house, and he approached their sick five-year-old son who was lying on a bed. He took off his shawl, and as he…...

Dos Manzanas

You have to see him there on the streets of an old neighborhood in Madrid; you have to look for him, young and tanned, with an open white shirt, specked with some paltry design, a style out of fashion,…...

I Went to See Her, Pa

I bent down, cupping my hand over my eyes, as if shielding them from the sun, and I whispered to him, “I went to see her, Pa. I went to see her.” * The last time I visited him, he didn’t…...

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