‘Tropisms I’ by Nathalie Sarraute, translated by Maria Jolas

These little fragments are ur-short stories, really, for how they name and give slimy, botanical form to all that’s unspoken and not-quite-speakable, those “movements that are hidden under the commonplace, seemingly harmless instances of our everyday lives.”

First published in Tropismes in 1939, by Robert Denoël. First published in English in 1963. New Directions edition produced in 2017