Granta 133: What Have We Done
In this issue, acclaimed nature writer Barry Lopez meditates on language and seeing; Australian writer Rebecca Giggs witnesses the monumental death of a stranded whale; science writer Fred Pearce describes the effort to keep Sellafield safe; poet Kathleen Jamie travels to the Alaskan wilderness; and Adam Nicolson investigates murder in rural Romania, with photographs by Gus Palmer.
Plus: unpublished extracts from the notebooks of Roger Deakin, introduced by Robert MacFarlane.
Fiction by Ben Marcus, Ann Beattie, Deb Olin Unferth and David Szalay. Poetry by Noelle Kocot, Maureen N. McLane, Ange Mlinko and Andrew Motion. Photography by Helge Skodvin, introduced by Audrey Niffenegger.
Granta 132: Possession
In this issue, Oliver Bullough travels to Ukraine and Crimea in the wake of revolution; Kerry Howley writes about cage fighting and giving birth; Molly Brodak remembers her father, a compulsive gambler and failed bank robber; and Bella Pollen describes being visited – repeatedly – by an incubus. Here are fifteen takes on the human drive to possess – a person, a home, a territory – and the many ways we become possessed – by ideas, by desires, by spirits.
Cover image: © Julie Cockburn, The Bear, 2014
Altered found photograph
Courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London
Granta 131: The Map Is Not the Territory
This issue of Granta is about the difference between the world as we see it and the world as it actually is, beyond our faulty memories and tired understanding. It’s also about the borderlands of politics and reason, and of reality and transcendence, in contested territories.
Granta 130: India
For a long time – too long – the mirror that India held to its face was made elsewhere. ‘What writer about the country would you recommend I read?’ first-time travellers to India would ask, and in the later twentieth century the answer was still Forster or Naipaul or even the long-dead Kipling. In fiction, that changed with Rushdie. Now it has changed in all kinds of non-fiction. Narrative history, reportage, memoir, biography, the travel account: all have their gifted exponents in a country perfecting its own frank gaze.
Granta 129: Fate
What is fate, in a culture of free will and self-determination? Where do we project our doom, that ancient and evolving belief in predestination? In this issue of Granta, twenty-two writers meditate on fate in all its many forms.
Granta 128: American Wild
American Wild: it can kill you, or exhilarate you. It’s always there, a character in its own right in the great unfolding narrative of American writing.
Granta 127: Japan
Everyone knows this country and no one knows it. Here are twenty new Japans by its writers and artists, and by residents and visitors and neighbours. A special issue of Granta, published simultaneously in Japanese and English.
Granta 126: do you remember
We are what we remember, and even when we invent, we write what we remember. Every line is a fragment of something else; that is the great collective project that we call culture. In this issue of Granta, writers remember, or invent, scenes from their own lives and the lives of others.
Granta 125: After the War
How long is the shadow of a battle, an explosion, a revolution? What stories arise in the wake of devastation? This issue explores the complicated aftermath and legacy of conflict. Lindsey Hilsum returns to Rwanda two decades after witnessing the beginning of genocide. Patrick French writes of a great-uncle whose heroism in World War I left behind a ‘saturating cult of remembrance’. From air-raid drills in Paul Auster’s America to a calf with a broken foot in Herta Müller’s Rumania, this is how we live after the war.
Granta 124: Travel
From the Amazon to rural China, west Texas to the caves that lurk beneath the Peak District, this issue of Granta takes you out of your chair and out into the world. Haruki Murakami goes home to Kobe, Teju Cole meditates on danger in Lagos and Lina Wolff imagines a woman adrift in Madrid. Here are eighteen collisions between people and the places that have made them, shaped them and terrified them.
Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4
For three consecutive decades, Granta has foreseen the brilliant careers of the British literary scene, showcasing an array of talent that included Martin Amis, Pat Barker, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Rose Tremain, Alan Hollinghurst, A.L. Kennedy, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Jeanette Winterson, David Mitchell and Zadie Smith. Here, in a collection of new work by twenty writers, is the future of literature in Britain: Granta‘s fourth BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS.
Granta 122: Betrayal
Without love there can be no betrayal – love of a country, a brother, a wife, a platoon mate, a family. In this issue of Granta, Janine di Giovanni witnesses a nation, Syria, betraying its people; Karen Russell imagines a soldier inscribing the memory of a fellow soldier on his back; and Colin Robinson writes about ancient brotherly friction resurfacing in a game of paddleball. From the playgrounds of New York City to the alleyways of Damascus, here is the theatre of betrayal.
Granta 121: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists
Brazil, the great Jorge Amado said, is not a country but a continent. In this latest instalment of the Best of Young Novelists series that introduced Jonathan Franzen, Salman Rushdie, A.L. Kennedy and Zadie Smith, Granta presents the young writers who are telling modern Brazil’s vast and compelling story – and who are its future.
Granta 120: Medicine
This collection of new fiction, poetry, memoir and art showcases the work of doctors who are also writers, poets who have become patients and some of today’s most beloved literary voices on subjects ranging from autism to ageing. Sometimes the best medicine is a story itself.
Granta 119: Britain
Broken Britain? This issue of Granta is a celebration of the nation’s past and present, its people, its land – and the deep connections between them. The stories, poems and memoirs in this collection show the delicate human interactions within the sometimes brutal context of historical and contemporary Britain. There is no other place like it.
Granta 118: Exit Strategies
In this issue John Barth contemplates the end of writing fiction. Alice Munro explores the interior world of an elderly woman losing her memory. Aleksandar Hemon tells the story of his family’s escape from the Bosnian War, and the love and fate of Mek, their Irish setter. David Long writes about a man haunted by a sexual encounter decades ago. Claire Messud searches for her father’s Beirut, long since gone, as he himself lies dying in a hospice in Connecticut.
Granta 117: Horror
Horror is everywhere – in cinema, in fiction, in real life. In this issue Paul Auster writes about the death of his mother, Will Self on his own rare blood-disease, and Mark Doty on desire, addiction and literature. We have fiction from Stephen King, Sarah Hall and Joy Williams, reportage from Peru and Sudan, and a themed costume fightclub in Los Angeles. As Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, ‘where there is no imagination there is no horror’.
Granta 116: Ten Years Later
A street vendor in Tunisia, an American marine going home and a signals operator on a North Korean fishing trawler. From the battlefields of Afganistan to the streets of Mogadishu and Toronto, these are just a few of the stories in the issue of Granta that conjure the complexity and sorrow of life since 11 September 2001.
Granta 115: The F Word
From Ghana to Great Britain, New Delhi to New York, the balance of power remains tipped towards men. Granta 115: The F Word explores the ways in which feminism continues to inform, address and complicate that balance.
Granta 114: Aliens
First there was the traveller; then the word was emigrants. In America, they turned into immigrants. And today – in many parts of the world – they are (we are) aliens. From somewhere else. At odds with and yet fully inside of another culture. At home nowhere.
Granta 113: The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists
From Borges to Bolaño, the Spanish language has given us some of the most beloved writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. But as the reach of Spanish-language culture extends far beyond Spain and Latin America, it is time to ask who is next in this exciting tradition. Granta and Granta en español present twenty-two literary stars of the future.
Granta 112: Pakistan
Filled with almost 200 million people speaking nearly sixty languages, brought into nationhood under the auspices of a single religion, but wracked with deep separatist fissures and the destabilizing forces of ongoing conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir, Pakistan is one of the most dynamic places in the world today.
Granta 111: Going Back
We all go back: to the house or town where we were raised, to an old friend or lover, to an idea or belief we abandoned long ago. But can we ever trust our memories? And what if it still proves impossible to return?
Granta 110: Sex
Sex is our oldest obsession. For as long as we’ve been doing it, it has been used as a mark of decline and a measure of progress. It has been at the centre of rituals and responsible for revolutions. We make money from it, hide behind it, prohibit and promote it. It relaxes us, revolts us, hurts us and helps us. But whatever we think about it, however we do it, it defines us.
Granta 109: Work
Most of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, but are our lives defined by the work that we do? Do our jobs reflect our passions and personality, or are they just a means to an end, a necessary evil to pay for the weekends? From the jobless to the workaholics, from Peru to Essex to Rwanda, Granta 109 tells the stories of how and why we work, and whether or not work has the power to make us who we are.
Granta 108: Chicago
A special issue celebrating Chicago, and featuring original work by Aleksander Hemon, Nelson Algren, Peter Carey, Don Delillo, Wole Soyinka, James Schuyler, George Saunders, Elaine Showalter, Richard Powers, Neil Steinberg, Dinaw Mengestu, Rich Cohen, Thom Jones and many others
Granta 107 features work by Kenzaburō Ōe, Mary Gaitksill, Mahmoud Darwish, Rupert Thomson, William T. Vollmann, Javier Marias, Lionel Shriver and many more.
Granta 106: New Fiction Special
Granta 106 is a special issue devoted to new fiction and includes work by Paul Auster, Amy Bloom, Adam Thirlwell, Helen Simpson, Nicola Barker and Ha Jin.
Granta 105: Lost and Found
In this issue, we reflect on people and places undergoing momentous change. Jeremy Treglown investigates the Spanish Civil War’s restless dead; Elizabeth Pisani searches for truth in Tiananmen Square, twenty years on; Maurice Walsh talks to Ireland’s priests about how their role in the community is changing beyond recognition; and Rick Gekoski is consumed by the lost lines of a genius. Plus, fiction by A.L. Kennedy, Janet Frame and Altán Walker; poetry by John Burnside; and Jan Morris goes sailing in Cardigan Bay.
Granta 104: Fathers
Granta 104, new editor Alex Clark’s first issue, goes in search of fathers. We find David Goldblatt facing up to his late father’s unfinished paperwork, Siri Hustvedt probing the complexities of family ties and an arresting portrait of his father’s determination to buck convention by Ruchir Joshi. Francesca Segal revisits the Brooklyn of her father’s youth and finds it radically altered, Benjamin Markovits speculates on the strange relationship between the American coach and his protégés and there’s new fiction from James Lasdun, Emma Donoghue, Daniyal Mueenuddin and Kirsty Gunn.
Granta 103: The Rise of the British Jihad
At present, in Britain, there are at least 200 indigenous active terrorist cells being monitored by the Security Service MI5, with 4,000 British Muslims considered to be a threat to national security. How did we arrive at this state of affairs? A remarkable investigation by Richard Watson into the origins – and the rise – of the British jihad.
Granta 102: The New Nature Writing
As our conception and experience of nature changes, so too does the way we write about it. This special issue features Kathleen Jamie on human pathology, Jonathan Raban on the road in the American West and Robert Macfarlane ghost-hunting in the Fens. Plus, new fiction by Lydia Peelle and a graphic story from David Heatley.
Granta 101 features incisive reportage and investigative journalism alongside new fiction and a photo essay from the Arctic. Andrew Hussey reports from the troubled Parisian suburbs; Tim Lott explores the brutal murder of his agent; Xan Rice travels to Angola in search of a missing father and son. Plus a new opening section, short stories from Annie Proulx, Rick Moody and Joshua Ferris, a new column by Douglas Coupland and poetry from Robin Robertson.
This celebratory 100th issue, guest-edited by novelist William Boyd, features contributions from many of Granta’s most distinguished contributors, including Martin Amis, Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jayne Anne Phillips and Ian McEwan.
Granta 99: What Happened Next
This issue of Granta is about storytelling – the stories we invent, the stories we tell about other people and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our lives. Featuring an exclusive interview with Richard Ford and a photo essay from Joel Sternfield.
Granta 98: The Deep End
This issue of Granta is by people, and about people, whose experience of life suggests they have something to tell us about survival, including work from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Paul Theroux and Diana Athill.
Granta 97: Best of Young American Novelists 2
Granta selects the ‘Best of Young American Novelists’, including Gary Shteyngart, Nicole Krauss, Anthony Doerr and Yiyun Li.
Granta 96: War Zones
Wars change their nature, but states and people continue to pursue the ancient aims of conquest, security, justice and revenge. This issue includes fiction by David Peace and Elif Shafak and non-fiction from A.M. Homes, Brian Thompson and James Buchan.
Granta 95: Loved Ones
In this issue of Granta, writers consider their relationships with those who were, or should have been, close to them. Jeremy Seabrook on being estranged from a twin; Melanie McFadyean on the houses in her life; and fiction from David Malouf and Jim Shepard.
Granta 94: On the Road Again
Where travel writing went next with fiction from Michel Faber and Tessa Hadley, Tim Parks on commuting in Italy and James Hamilton-Paterson on the end of travel.
Granta 93: God’s Own Countries
This issue of Granta explores the varieties of religious belief and their personal, social and political effects, in fiction and non-fiction. Pieces feature a conversation with Orhan Pamuk and John McGahern, Nadeem Aslam and Simon Gray on their own religious encounters.
Granta 92: The View from Africa
Fresh voices from Africa, in all their differences, as well as memoir and reportage that reflect the past and present of its people. Featuring Binyavanga Wainaina on how to write about Africa and work by Segun Afolabi, Kwame Dawes and Nadine Gordimer.
Granta 91: Wish You Were Here
This issue includes Simon Gray in Barbados, rocking in his pram, smoking, remembering Alan Bates; Saïd Sayrafiezadeh on his father’s irritating dreams of human perfection; Ismail Kadar at the Great Wall of China (and Life); plus bulletins on our changing climate.
Granta 90: Country Life
Country life: dispatches from what’s left of it. Featuring Robert Macfarlane, Barry Lopez and Kathleen Jamie, with fiction from Richard Powers and Helen Simpson.
Granta 89: The Factory
Memoir, reportage and fiction including Isabel Hilton in a Chinese factory, Luc Sante on serving his time in the working class and a strip by Joe Sacco on a group of Chechen refugees
Granta 88: Mothers
This issue of Granta includes Edmund White on his mother’s girdle, John McGahern on his mother’s religion and Alexandra Fuller on motherhood in Zambia.
Granta 87: Jubilee
This special edition of Granta celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with a rich collection of new pieces by some of the writers who helped make its reputation, and by others who may do so in the future.
Granta 86: Film
This special issue of Granta is devoted to the cinema: its personalities and politics, movers and music. Featuring John Fowles, Andrew O’Hagan and Adam Mars-Jones and directors’ art.
Granta 85: Hidden Histories
This issue of Granta excavates histories both personal and political: repressed memories, unexplored lives, forgotten wars, secret careers.
Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the World
This issue of Granta excavates histories both personal and political: repressed memories, unexplored lives, forgotten wars, secret careers.
Granta 83: This Overheating World
This is issue of Granta explores what is happening to our planet and what we can do to reverse the damage. Featuring new work from Thomas Keneally, Philip Marsden and Maarten’t Hart.
Granta 82: Life’s Like That
An anthology of private memory, including Lynn Barber on her close encounter with bygamy, and Simon Gray on absent friends. Plus new fiction from J. Robert Lennon and Nell Freudenberger.
Granta 81: Best of Young British Novelists 2003
Who are the best of young British novelists? Five Granta judges read and deliberated. This issue, with new fiction from all twenty writers, was their answer in 2003.
Granta 80: The Group
In this issue of Granta, writers take out their group photographs and remember the best and the worst. Featuring new writing by Paul Theroux, Geoff Dyer, Liz Jobey and Helon Habila
Granta 79: Celebrity
An issue devoted to the dubious rewards and strange effects of fame which successfully avoids mentioning Andy Warhol. With contributions from Andrew O’Hagan, Jason Cowley, Geoff Dyer and Zoë Heller.
Granta 78: Bad Company
This issue of Granta introduced two young novelists, Jon McGregor and Gary Shteyngart, as well as new fiction by Rachel Cusk, Milan Kundera, Todd McEwen and Olga Tokarczuk. Plus, Arthur Miller on life at the Chelsea Hotel.
Granta 77: What We Think of America
Is the US really so disliked? If so, why? In this issue twenty-four writers drawn from many countries describe the part America has played in their lives – for better or worse – and deliver their estimate of the good and the bad it has done.
Granta 76: Music
This special issue of Granta is devoted to the making and meaning of music from plainsong to rap – and includes colour photography for the first time in the magazine’s history.
Granta 75: Brief Encounters
‘I was approached by a courteous young man who handed me a visiting card engraved with his name, Joseph, and his profession: Senior Officers’ Pimp.’ Norman Lewis embarks on his career as a British Spy in Arabia.
Granta 74: Confessions of a Middle-Aged Ecstasy Eater
‘Perhaps no truth is more momentous, as none more difficult to face, than the blackest, most abject one about oneself. My son supplies me with drugs, with Ecstasy.’
Granta 73: Necessary Journeys
This issue of Granta is devoted to writing about the journeys we have to make. It contains new work by Ian McEwan, Isabel Hilton, Decca Aitkenhead and Ryszard Kapuscinski.
Granta 72: Overreachers
Why do we always want more? Why do we never give up? When do we stop?
Granta 71: Shrinks
This issue of Granta is devoted to the kinks and twists of the human mind, and their treatments.
Granta 70: Australia: The New New World
This special issue of Granta is devoted to Australia, as it was and is, in new fiction, reportage, memoir and photography.
Granta 69: The Assassin
In a powerful piece of investigation, Henk van Woerden reconstructs the strange, affecting history of Demitrios Tsafendas – the man who assassinated Hendrik Verwoerd, South African premier and architect of apartheid. Also in this issue: Diane Athill on the need to like V. S. Naipaul; Richard Williams on the search for a long-lost jazz trumpeter; and stories by Graham Swift, Hanif Kureishi, and Paul Theroux.
Granta 68: Love Stories
This issue of Granta is dedicated to love, or more often the lack of it, the loss of it, and the search for it. It includes stories about sibling rivalry, about rediscovering parental love, and about the end of marriage and enduring friendship.
Granta 67: Women and Children First
How do we cope with the public and private disaster? Jasmina Tesanovic on being bombed in Belgrade – ‘The Diary of a Political Idiot’; Ian Jack on good behavior aboard the Titanic; Joy Williams on the necessary death of her dog Hawk; Edward Said on the shame of his body; James Buchan inside Saddam’s Iraq. Plus: Edmund White, and the début of a novelist unknown when this issue was published – Zadie Smith.
Granta 66: Truth + Lies
This issue includes the original exposé, by Elena Lappin, of Binjamin Wilomirski’s bogus Holocaust memoir which William Sutcliffe described, in the Independent on Sunday, as ‘the most gripping thing I read this year.’ Photographer Jillian Edelstein reports on the painful process of truth-telling in South africa, Also: fiction by Jayne Anne Phillips, Claire Messud, Stacey Richter, and Javier Marías.
Granta 65: London: the lives of the city
‘Let us commend to you the London Granta . . . with a fabulously impressive list of writers.’ The Guardian. Julian Barnes, Ian Buruma, Amit Chaudhuri, Ruth Gershon, Philip Hensher, Hanif Kureishi, John Lanchester, Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively, Albino Ochero-Okello, Ian Parker, Dale Peck, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Graham Swift and more; Soho in photographs by Stephen Gill, and subversive maps of literary London by cartoonist Martin Rowson.
Granta 64: Russia: The Wild East
This issue contains the voices of a people who have suffered under (and coped with) two of this century’s greatest experiments. With: fiction by Victor Pelevin and Andrei Platonov; Colin Thubron in Siberia, Masha Gessen on her grandmother, the censor; Vitali Vitaliev on the vodka escape, and more.
Granta 63: Beasts
What do they make of us, and how do they shape us? Paul Auster on living a dog’s life (‘a symphony of smells’); Hilary Mantel on the mongrel who didn’t realise that his owners had become middle-class; and Sam Toperoff as a tarantula. Plus: Joyce Carol Oates in prison, among men; and Martin Amis on sex without words.
Granta 62: What Young Men Do
Two parlous states receive intimate examination in this issue: the first is marriage, the second Indonesia. With: Nicholas Shakespeare on Martha Gellhorn: her convictions, her reporting, and her unmentionable husband; Tim Lott on how one marriage ended; Tim Parks on how another survives; Richard Lloyd-Parry on Indonesia’s savage civil war of severed heads; photographs of Jakarta by Sebastião Salgado; and ‘High Heels’: the fetishist’s story, by Todd McEwen.
Granta 61: The Sea
We would not be without the sea. Without the sea, no clouds, no rain, no rivers, no life. We play at its edges, we put down nets and feed from it, we send cargo across its ruffling surface. Yet it remains the wildest, least-known part of the planet. For too long we have turned our backs to it. This issue looks outward again, with James Hamilton-Paterson, Julia Blackburn, Neal Ascherson, and more.
Granta 60: Unbelievable
This is an issue about untimely ends and fateful escapes. With: Ariel Dorfman on surviving the Chilean coup; Ian Jack on those who felt beleaguered by the mobs and the mourning for the Princess of Wales; Linda Grant on her mother’s vanishing mind. Clive Sinclair on ‘The Soap Opera From Hell’ (his life). Plus: new fiction by Aimee Bender and Jonathan Levi.
Granta 59: France: The Outsider
What has happened to France – the universal nation, the tutor of the good life, the place we visited to feel the kiss of a superior civilization? This issue presents fresh new voices from a country searching for a new idea of itself.
Granta 58: Ambition
The things we desire – love, money, wisdom, power – have not changed since the world began, but it seems we want more of them, and now. Doris Lessing wanted to live, love, and write on her own terms; Paul Auster wanted to make his fortune via a card game; Brian MacKinnon wanted to be a doctor and became a tissue of lies. Plus: J. M. Coetzee and Joyce Carol Oates.
Granta 57: India! The Golden Jubilee
A 288-page issue to mark India’s 50th year of independence. Fiction by Anita Desai, Amit Chaudhuri, Arundhati Roy, R.K. Narayan; memoirs by Mark Tully, Urvashi Butalia, and Nirad Chaudhuri; reportage by Edward Hoagland, James Buchan, and Suketu Mehta; a gallery of memories from 1947; and public and private India photographs by Dayanita Singh and Sebastião Salgado.
Granta 56: What Happened to Us?
This issue freezes the frame on Britain before the 1997 election: a country that has rarely been so nervous (don’t mention the beef) or so fundamentally troubled. Is this a nation, a way of life, saying farewell to itself? Jeremy Seabrook, Hanif Kureishi, Hilary Mantel, Fintan O’Toole, and fiction by John Banville (on the making of a very British traitor).
Granta 55: Children: Blind, Bitter Happiness
What was it like to be that lost personality in a vanished time, a child? This issue describes the rearing, loving, loathing, and fearing of children, and includes some remarkable evocations of being a child. Jayne Anne Phillips, Blake Morrison, Adam Mars-Jones, David Mamet, Todd McEwen, Allan Gurganus, Leila Berg, and more.
Granta 54: Best of Young American Novelists
The twenty best American novelists under forty, chosen by Robert Stone, Anne Tyler, Tobias Wolff, and Ian Jack.
Granta 53: News: Scoops, Lies and Videotape
Who makes it? Who owns it? Should we believe it? With Phillip Knightley on his life in journalism; Lynda Schuster on a reporter killed by an anti-tank mine – her husband; Zoë Heller inside tabloid television; David Xiao on personal losses in the Kobe earthquake; Tom Pilston’s visual vocabulary of selling murder. Plus fiction by Paul Theroux and the hilarious début of Paul Beatty.
Granta 52: Food: The Vital Stuff
Food as indulgence, certainly, but also food as a taboo, a cruelty, a desperate need, a failed sex aid, and a means of making a living. Including Graham Swift on the life and death of a butcher, J. M. Coetzee’s attempt at vegetarianism in Texas, Giles Foden at Idi Amin’s dinner table, and Sean French on the delights of Icelandic cuisine (including roast puffin and whale sushi). Plus: Georges Perec, Romesh Gunesekera, John Lanchester, Jane Rogers, Margaret Visser and Joan Smith.
Granta 51: Big Men (and L.A. Women)
Big as in substantial, powerful, famous; men as in weak, wicked, and notorious. Gitta Sereny on Albert Speer, the tyrant as survivor; Caroline Alexander on the classical tyrant, Hastings Banda; Andrea Ashworth on the tyrant in the next room, her stepfather. Blake Morrison considers failing manhood, John Sweeney investigates the myth and mystery of Hitler’s missing testicle, and Douglas Brooker photographs the young – some may say strange – women of L.A.
Granta 50: Fifty
In 1985, Granta published James Fenton’s extraordinary account of the fall of Saigon. Twenty years after the first tank entered the city, Philip Gourevitch, Tran Vu, Paul Eggers, and Bao Ninh examine the aftermath of that terrible war. Also: work from some of our finest contributors – Redmond O’Hanlon, Norman Lewis, Germaine Greer, Timothy Garton Ash, Julian Barnes, and more.
Granta 49: Money
Get it, spend it. Save it, lose it. Risk it, win it. Lose it again, get it again. What is money? With Richard Rayner on becoming a thief; Steve Pyke’s portraits of the very rich; Jonathan Raban on the consequences of dreaming in America, and James Buchan on the psychology of money. Plus: short stories by Seamus Deane and John McGahern.
Granta 48: Africa
Twelve writers describe the profound changes this continent is undergoing. With Lynda Schuster in Liberia as Doe falls, Gilles Peress in Rwanda after the massacres, Paul Theroux at a leper colony in Malawi, Sousa Jamba in Angola, Ryszard Kapuscinski and Abraham Verghese in Ethiopia, William Finnegan in South Africa, and William Boyd’s enchanting novella of an African filmmaker made good.
Granta 47: Losers
A hymn to unmitigated public humiliation. With Martin Amis on a writer who can’t write; Julian Barnes on a champion who can’t win; Neil Steinberg on the stress of the National Spelling Bee; Beverly Lowry on two boys who killed their daddy; Jean Hatzfwld with dispatches from the Yugoslav war (photos by Gilles Peress); Jayne Anne Phillips and Bret Easton Ellis, and more.
Granta 46: Crime
An issue devoted to criminal behavior, a testimony to deviance. James Ellroy on the dark, sexed-up world of L.A. in the 50’s; Allan Gurganus on necrophilia; the stories of two murderers – told by the murderers themselves; Paul Auster, Italo Calvino, and Tibor Fischer.
Granta 45: Gazza Agonistes
Ian Hamilton’s story of soccer superstar Paul Gascoigne: at play, on show, in the press, in pain, in distress. This is a fan’s account of a player’s life and of a fan’s obsession, of a sports celebrity and of our apparent need to have one. Also in this issue: Jonathan Raban on the flooded Mississippi, Timothy Garton Ash with Erich Honecker.
Granta 44: The Last Place on Earth
When the time comes – our appointment, our dark hour – what thoughts will we have? Tracy Kidder’s fable-like account of old age; Mary Karr on her terrifying Grandma Moore; and the first publication of Bruce Chatwin’s notebooks. Plus: Paul Auster, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Ivan Klìma, and Tobias Wolff.
Granta 43: Best of Young British Novelists
Granta 43 celebrates a new generation of twenty of the best new British writers. Selected by Salman Rushdie, A. S. Byatt, John Mitchinson and Bill Buford.
Granta 42: Krauts!
What is the new Germany? ‘Krauts!’ seeks the uncomfortable answer to this simple question. With Günter Grass on neo-Nazis, Hans Magnus Enzensberger on the new European – the immigrant, Ian Buruma on Buchenwald, and Martha Gellhorn on why she’ll never return to Germany.
Granta 41: Biography
Is it merely a form of gossip (the affairs, the drinking, the public rows) or does it satisfy an important curiosity? Saul Bellow (on his father), James Atlas (on Saul Bellow), Gabriel García Márquez (on the mysterious Frau Frida), Lorna Sage, Louise Erdrich, Andrew Motion, and Luc Sante.
Granta 40: The Womanizer
Richard Ford’s womanizer is an insistently ordinary man — until he goes abroad. Paul Theroux’s ‘imaginary’ young American novelist loses his self-control in London. William T. Vollmann, alone in the wilderness with Erica, risks losing his life for her. Plus: Nadine Gordimer, André Brink, and Richard Rayner.
Granta 39: The Body
Is it us or is it nothing more than the container of what we really are? With: Abraham Verghese, Jeanette Winterson, Michael Dibdin, Geoffrey Biddle, Todd McEwen, Hanif Kureishi, Giorgio Pressburger, Anchee Min, Antonin Kratochvil, John Conroy, Peregrine Hodson, and Victoria Tokareva. Plus: fiction by Salman Rushdie and Redmond O’Hanlon in the Congo.
Granta 38: We’re So Happy!
Featuring the fictional début of Bill Morris, set in the design department of General Motors, between New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve 1954: the year (Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dwight Eisenhower, and Edgar Hoover) when America changed. Plus: Ivan Klìma, Tracy Kidder, Eugene Richards, Louise Erdrich, Adam Mars-Jones, and Sue Halpern.
Granta 37: The Family
The controversial issue about the most important, powerful, and potentially destructive relationship of our lives. Contributors include Mikal Gilmore on his brother Gary, the murderer; Sappho Durrell on her father, the novelist. Plus: William Wharton, Geoffrey Wolff, Seamus Deane, Mona Simpson, Harold Pinter, and Giorgio Pressburger.
Granta 36: Vargas Llosa for President
The novelist’s personal account of his campaign for the presidency of Peru. Plus: Alvaro Vargas Llosa as his father’s press officer, Sergio Ramirez on the end of the Sandinistas, George Steiner on the end of the dream of communism, Graham Swift, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow (part three).
Granta 35: The Unbearable Peace
John le Carré’s story about the Swiss, money, and democracy and about our own unbearable peace. Plus: Max Frisch, Friedrich D’Urrenmatt, John Berger, Jayne Anne Phillips, Nadine Gordimer, Patrick Süskind, and Allan Gurganus.
Granta 34: Death of a Harvard Man
Simon Schama sets out to discover which story, if any story, is the story of the many stories of the disappearance of Doctor George Parkman, the perfect Yankee. Plus: William Boyd, Geoffrey Wolff, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Amitav Ghosh, and Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow (part two).
Granta 33: What Went Wrong?
The first chilling account of the darker side of Europe’s Revolution of 1989. William McPherson in Romania during the brutal six months ‘after’ communism. Plus: Victoria Tokareva, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Isabel Allende, Christa Wolf, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow (part one).
Granta 32: History
An issue of stories, about the ways in which we make sense of the past. Contributors include Gore Vidal, Simon Schama, Julian Barnes, Richard Holmes, Allan Gurganus, plus Jonathan Raban and Martha Gellhorn.
Granta 31: The General
Nobody has ever got through to the ‘General’ – General Alfredo Stroessner – who, until he was deposed in 1989, was one of the world’s longest reigning dictators. Nobody, that is, until Isabel Hilton, following the suggestions of the General’s former mistresses, tracked him down in his hiding place in Brazil. Plus: Salman Rushdie, Richard Ford, Jonathan Raban, Gabriel García Márquez, Christopher Hitchens, and Margaret Atwood.
Granta 30: New Europe!
The year 1989, annus mirabilis, was the most important year in Europe since the end of World War Two. After 1989, Europe changed irreversibly, for better or worse. This special issue of Granta focuses on this crucial moment and projects itself into the possible future outcomes.
Granta 29: New World
Is it possible, by travelling to a new world, to become a new person? Jonathan Raban crossed the Atlantic by ship and, like the immigrants before him, made for America in search of a new language, a new name, a new identity. Plus: Rian Malan, Roger Garfitt, Josef Skvorecky, Paul Theroux, Patricia Highsmith, Tim O’Brien, and Patrick McGrath’s ‘A Boy’s Broadmoor’.
Granta 28: Birthday Special
A mad editorial tea-party celebrating Granta’s first ten years: John Simpson, Salman Rushdie, Ian Jack, Ryszard Kapuściński, Nadine Gordimer, Jeanette Winterson, Richard Rayner, George Steiner, Walter Abish, William Boyd, Russell Hoban, Eugene Richards, Joy Williams, Leonard Michaels, Jay McInerney, John Updike, Peregrine Hodson, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Colin Thubron.
Granta 27: Death
A story becomes a story once it has an ending, and there is no ending more powerful than death. But what of death itself? Here, fourteen writers and photographers set out to look at it: John Gregory Dunne, Adam Mars-Jones, Mary McCarthy, Edmund White, Louise Erdrich, Michael Ignatieff, John Treherne, and eerie death faces by photographer Rudolph Schäfer.
Granta 26: Travel
This travel issue is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Chatwin with four unpublished pieces by one of the world’s greatest travel writers. Also in this issue: Ryszard Kapuscinski, John Ryle, Colin Thubron and Timothy Garton Ash, Bill Bryson and Amitav Ghosh.
Granta 25: Murder
Martin Amis’s tale of Nicola Six, a girl who’s been trouble all her life. Plus: ‘Gibraltar’, Ian Jack’s award-winning investigation into the Death on the Rock, Raymond Carver, Tess Gallagher, Todd McEwen, John Berger, Angela Carter, and Don DeLillo.
Granta 24: Inside Intelligence
In 1946, at the age of twenty, Anthony Cavendish infiltrated a ring of arms traders run by ex-Nazi immigrants in Palestine. In 194-, he was was made the ——– officer of —-, the British ——- —— —–. In 194-, he personally oversaw the illegal invasion of ——- that resulted in the deaths of ———– of ————–. In 19–, in ——, Cavendish was personally responsible for monitoring ——– ——–. What did Cavendish finally see that we are not allowed to know now – over forty years later? Plus: Philip Roth, Peter Carey, Tobias Wolff, Bruce Chatwin, E.L. Doctorow, and Jay McInerney.
Granta 23: Home
Prague, Beirut, Des Moines, Derry, and the ugliest village in Essex. What is home for an Arab in Israel? Or for an exile returning to the Iowa county fair? Plus: Nicholas Shakespeare in Peru in search of the leader of the Shining Path, Abimael Guzman, and Ian Hamilton in pursuit of J.D. Salinger.
Granta 22: With Your Tongue Down My Throat
Hanif Kureishi’s first novella: a tale of Nadia and Nina, of two sisters, two cities, two worlds, two passions. Plus: ‘An Escape from Kampala’, the story Graham Greene called ‘an illustration of how politics can turn insane’, Leslie Cockburn on the Contras’ cocaine trail, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, Carlos Fuentes, and James Fenton’s ‘The Truce’.
Granta 21: The Storyteller
Bruce Chatwin in the outback, Ryszard Kapuscinski carrying a coffin through the Polish ‘bush’, and John Berger defining the story-teller: detached, skeptical, and intensely compassionate. With stories from Richard Ford, Isabel Allende, Raymond Carver, and Oliver Sacks, and Primo Levi on weightlessness – one of the last pieces he wrote before his suicide.
Granta 20: In Trouble Again
Redmond O’Hanlon in the Amazon jungle, Salman Rushdie in Nicaragua, Colin Thubron in China, Ryszard Kapuscinski in Angola, Martha Gellhorn in Cuba, Peregrine Hodson in Afghanistan. Plus: Amitav Ghosh, Norman Lewis, Timothy Garton Ash, Hanif Kureishi, and Orville Schell.
Granta 19: More Dirt
The companion volume to ‘Dirty Realism’ (Granta 8): unillusioned, spare fiction of the belly-side of American life: with Richard Ford, Ellen Gilchrist, Louise Erdrich, Jayne Anne Phillips, and others. Plus: John Updike, Adam Mars-Jones, and Primo Levi.
Granta 18: The Snap Revolution
‘We had found our way, we realized, into the Marcoses’ private rooms. It seemed to me that in every room I saw, practically on every available surface, there was a signed photograph of Nancy Reagan. But this can hardly be true. It just felt as if there was a lot of Nancy in evidence.’ Also in this issue: Seamus Deane, Primo Levi, David Hare, and John Berger.
Granta 17: While Waiting for a War
‘I find myself in 1985 refreshing my memory of 1937 and 1938 in an old commonplace book and very fragmentary diary. There are verses copied there which I must have chosen for their significance at these moments of my life: literary gossip, bizarre crimes and divorces wrenched from newspapers…and then suddenly the digging of trenches on Clapham Common.’ Plus Alice Munro, John Updike, Doris Lessing, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Marianne Wiggins.
Granta 16: Science
For the last thirty or forty years, it has been a commonplace that science and literature don’t mix. But recently science writing has undergone a revival and has come to constitute a literature in itself. What accounts for its sudden appeal? The attraction of facts? Or the possibility that ‘facts’ are themselves inventions of the most spectacular kind?
This issue is devoted to representing part of this revival. In ‘Excesses’, Oliver Sacks describes individuals suffering from not only too much personality but too many. In ‘Amazon’, Eugene Richards and Dorothea Lynch document the terrible mystery of illness and the body. The sexuality of tortoises, the lunacy of invention, the bizarre mating habits of a tropical rodent, the zoo-like existence of the young scientists of Reagan’s Star Wars – all invite us to understand ‘science’ not simply as the study of fact but also as another way, not unlike the novel, of describing the mystery of the world.
Granta 15: The Fall of Saigon
Witty, bizarre, and verging on the lunatic – who in his right mind would gatecrash an embassy on the back of an invading army’s tank? – James Fenton’s account of the fall of Saigon is an extraordinary record of the collapse of a city at war. Plus: Nadine Gordimer, George Steiner, and Ryszard Kapuściński’s ‘Warsaw Diary’.
Granta 14: Autobiography
The Americans call photography an art. But what I’m doing is not art. How can I talk of these photographs as art objects? These are real people. I have inhaled their suffering. Don McCullin, A Life in Photographs. Plus: Beryl Bainbridge, Michael Ignatieff, William Boyd, Eddie Limonov, Todd McEwen, Jaroslav Seifert, Doris Lessing, and others.
Granta 13: After the Revolution
The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, China, Cuba…what has happened to the nineteenth-century dream of revolution? John Berger, Milan Kundera, Orville Schell, Anita Brookner, James Fenton, Doris Lessing, Martin Amis, and Edward Said.
Granta 12: The Rolling Stones
Stanely Booth was meant to be the authorised biographer of the Rolling Stones, but, shortly after he began writing in 1968, things started to go wrong. The American concert tour that he joined ended in murder at a race track in the Californian desert, and the time that followed – in which Booth was assaulted by Hell’s Angels, beaten up by American soldiers, run over by a lorry, imprisoned, and subjected to epileptic fits while trying to withdraw from drugs – was characterised only be confusion, loss and disillusionment. Completed fifteen years after it was begun, ‘The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones’ is only in part about the group of musicians it depicts. It is also a social history and a confession – a chronicle, in the tradition of Michael Herr’s Dispatches, of people united in a curious commitment to their own destruction.
Granta 11: Greetings from Prague
In November 1956, the director of the Hungarian News Agency, shortly before his office was flattened by artillery fire, sent a telex to the entire world with a desperate message announcing that the Russian attack against Budapest had begun. The dispatch ended with these words: We are going to die for Hungary and for Europe. What did this sentence mean? Milan Kundera, A Kidnapped West.
Granta 10: Travel Writing
One of the most popular issues of Granta, now in its fifth printing. Including Jonathan Raban, James Fenton, Colin Thubron, Martha Gellhorn, Bruce Chatwin, Norman Lewis, Saul Bellow, Jan Morris, Paul Theroux, Redmond O’Hanlon, and others.
Granta 9: John Berger, Boris
Boris: a story of love and pain and self-destruction. Also a chronicle of an obsession with political and historical implications that extend far beyond its seemingly straightforward, spartan narrative. Plus Gabriel García Marquez on ‘The Solitude of Latin America’, with Mario Vargas Llosa and José Donoso.
Granta 8: Dirty Realism
The issue of Granta that defined a new school of American writers: Richard Ford, Jayne Anne Phillips, Raymond Carver, Elizabeth Tallent, Tobias Wolff, Bobbie Ann Mason, Frederic Barthelme, Carolyn Forché and others.
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists
Who were the best young British novelists ten years ago? And who among them have emerged as the important writers of today? This classic issue of Granta (reprinted six times) collects new fiction from the twenty writers, judged in 1983, to be the best of their generation.
Granta 6: A Literature for Politics
This special, double issue of Granta is organized to fill a gap, a felt emptiness in current literary achievement. At a time when it is imperative that we have a literature and a language that are responsible, accountable and instrumental to the lives of we are having to lead â€“ a literature that is an adversary of oppression and not an accomplice to it â€“ we have instead a writing that is remarkable only for its dubious feats of technical virtuosity, its relentless self-referentiality and its deliberate retreat from experience. Granta 6 is dedicated to a different set of possibilities â€“ the possibilities of political engagement.
Granta 5: The Modern Common Wind
The theme of this issue is the habitability of the earth, and it is in this context, not in the context of the direct slaughter of hundreds of millions of people by the local effects of nuclear weapons, that the question of human survival arises. Includes essays and fiction by Susan Sontag, Russell Hoban, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Leonard Michaels and Jonathan Schell.
Granta 4: Beyond the Crisis
In this issue, arguments for the future of publishing by Brigid Brophy, John Sutherland, David Caute, Blake Morrison, Per Gedin, David Godine and Walter Abish. Also, fiction from Martin Amis, Guy Davenport, Nicole Ward Jouve, Kenneth Bernard and Raymond Carver. Plus, an essay on realism and sexuality by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Granta 3: The End of the English Novel
Is it the end of the English novel? Has it grown predictable and unadventurous? Granta 3 collects work from writers and critics which points to the fact that our terms have grown inadequate: it is the end of the English novel; but it is also the beginning – quite possibly an extremely important beginning – of British fiction.
Granta 2: The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H.
In this issue, a novella by George Steiner, short stories by John Barth, Robert Coover, Walter Abish and others, essays on contemporary fiction and poetry.