My mother was born on 20 August 1923 and christened Sheila Mary Felicity Cobon. At some stage she was told the supposed meaning of these names, or looked them up in a book. Her forenames meant by derivation Blind Bitter Happiness. As an adult Sheila found this augury ruefully amusing, or faintly ann…
Blind Bitter Happiness
40 Years of Granta
From the editor’s desk
Correspondence from our archive, from Kazuo Ishiguro, Kingsley Amis, Doris Lessing, Martha Gellhorn and more.
How to Write About Africa
The late Binyavanga Wainaina's iconic satire is one of Granta's best-loved essays.
Angela Carter is best known for her adaptations of fairy tales, and ‘Cousins’ is one in her quartet of wolf stories.
The Roads of London
Nobel Prize-winning Doris Lessing on her life, lovers and landlords in 1950s London.
Dreams for Hire
Nobel Prize-winning Gabriel García Márquez’s encounters with a clairvoyant in Vienna, Barcelona and Havana.
What I’m Listening To
‘Obscure repertoire is a sensible hiding-place for mediocre technique.’
Everything Is Different in Your House
‘At the end of the year, an ambulance brought Suseela home from hospital to die’.
Portrait of My Father
‘I put my trophy on a high shelf, and at some stage laid it face down.’