Why couldn’t she be fearless, like the others? But it’s not natural to throw yourself backwards into the sea. Water is dangerous, didn’t they know? She was eight when she fell. Slipped on the grass, still glistening from last night’s rains. Underneath everything is a brownish grey. Sounds are unrecognizable. It’s only when you surface that the panic sets in. When you hear the water’s roar and you know it will devour you again. CPR, a passing farmer and his Alsatian saved her.
As a twenty-six-year-old Janet Maurer knelt on the basement floor of the New York Public Library on the afternoon of April 5th 1984, she felt like her life was over before it had even begun. ‘There’s a phone call for you,’ Marge, one of the senior librarians, appeared in the doorway. ‘It sounds important.’ Janet stood up, her legs groaning. She slapped the dust off her knees and followed Marge to the office upstairs. At the other end of the line was a breathless Ethan. ‘You h
Every day for the past two months, Sebastián had come face to face with that jeering row of men in suits and Humphrey Bogart hats, with their machetes raised high above their heads and cigarettes drooping from their mouths. By now, he was sick of that sepia rabble. He’d also had enough of those three foreigners babbling away outside. He wished they would shut up. This was a library after all. Ok, so technically they weren’t in the library. They were in the exhibition space, j
Carlos is just three months shy of his fourteenth birthday when the term “unrequited love” is first explained to him. ‘It is a love that is not reciprocated or returned,’ that’s how his literature teacher defines it. At the time, Carlos thinks the whole concept is stupid. He thinks this Florentino Ariza in the book they are studying is a fool for spending his life pining for some woman that does not love him back. How can she possibly love Florentino and stay married to someo
Miguel and his family spend months at the hospital, at least to a five-year-old it feels like months; maybe in reality it is only a few weeks. When he is tired he sleeps on the plastic chairs in the visitor’s room with a cushion brought from his grandmother's sofa. The chairs are the same pale, lifeless green as the doctors’ uniforms. His grandmother's two maids make huge vats of food that they bring to the hospital to feed the family who gather there each day. Even his uncle