In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re dipping into stories about love’s agonies and ecstasies from our archives. From secret fantasies to the body of the beloved to the feeling of language on the tongue, these writers explore the many things that make our hearts beat faster.
—Gabriella Weiner’s chronically unfaithful protagonist finds satiation in transgression in “Three,” translated by Lucy Greaves.
—In Elvira Riveiro Tobío’s sensual “Carnia Haikai,” an “omnivorous poet” consumes the beloved. Translated by Adrian Nathan West.
—A woman is haunted by the specter of a fiery adolescent friendship in Oksana Zabuzhko’s “Girls,” translated by Askold Melnyczuk.
—In Cristina Peri Rossi’s “Fetishists Anonymous,” secret cravings take infinite forms, from stockings to slot machines to (only left) shoes. Translated by Tobias Hecht.
—Flávia Rocha channels the “heat of language” in an excerpt from Um País, translated by Idra Novey.