fiction February 27, 2021


Three years earlier, when his wife asked him why he had married and had a child with her, he answered by listing her virtues. They both knew this was dishonest. She had not asked what first attracted him – she was asking why he had bothered, when he...

fiction February 13, 2021

Two begging stories

The mountain When he made his first billion, Samir bought the top half of the mountain. Once his grandparents had lived at its foot but now he had a view to the sea and the mountains beyond. His first point of business was the road. Bulldozers,...

fiction February 6, 2021


Dear friend, You ask about the ceremony. It was last week. I wore a pretty white cotton dress – my sister’s Lavinia’s. (You understand how the mind dawdles on the path of time, how I must run to catch up with “now”.) I woke before dawn – lazy girl,...

fiction January 23, 2021

The jacket

It wasn’t a jacket I would buy in my normal life, but we’d all been told to stay at home so things weren’t normal anyway. I usually stayed home of my own volition, but this time a man in rectangular glasses, standing in front of a cardboard sheet,...

fiction December 19, 2020

A saltwater to watch

A new work of short fiction from the Miles Franklin award-winning author of Too Much Lip.

fiction December 12, 2020

Home is a rectangle

“I can see the war in her eyes,” Samia tells Idriis one day, after getting a lashing from their mother Sagal. “Maybe the old anthem possessed her,” says Idriis. “Or maybe the war sliced her heart into smaller pieces of fleshy string?” Idriis...

fiction November 28, 2020

The call

The president wanted to make the call herself, but as a committee we felt this was risky. She saw her place in history, the first human to make direct contact with an alien civilisation; we saw a diplomatic catastrophe. Even if she managed the...

fiction November 21, 2020

Brazen stats of empire

I am a dressmaker who does alterations to make a living. You might call me a tailor, but what would you know? How long would you spend down here in the heat, working 12-hour shifts? And this is better than when I worked in the shop with 30 others...

fiction November 7, 2020

Perfect as a shell

for Olga Masters When I was younger, I would look at my body in the mirror when I got up in the morning, between taking off my pyjamas and getting in the shower. I would drop the flannel pants and then my undies, letting my smell fill my nostrils...

fiction October 31, 2020

For the perishable body

Look, a dead great-uncle. He is staring straight ahead through a black-and-white film as his boat carves through the waves. He is standing on a beach all scratched up and flickering. He is wearing war medals stored in a box I can’t find in the shed...

fiction October 16, 2020


The woman’s head is at an odd angle, one side of her neck stretched tight like the rawhide of a drum. Carolyn’s skin turns clammy and her breathing shallows as she scans the woman’s body: the cracked, swollen feet; toenails like thick squares of...