Essex clay could be like living flesh or a cold dead wall. We could punch it, climb it, cut it, try to mould it, try not to offend it, but the clay was permanent like nothing else. Half a century ago, behind the back door of a semi-detached house on the Marconi works estate, a mile from Chelmsford…
Our most popular reads of 2018
Who Killed Tolstoy?
Elif Batuman travels to the International Tolstoy Conference in Russia to determine, once and for all, if Leo Tolstoy was murdered.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her – not even her biographers.
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
Nell Boeschenstein on the fraught discourse surrounding post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Jillian Weise explains what being a cyborg really means.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.
Books I Read This Year
A selection of Granta contributors discuss the books they read in 2012.
‘Touch had its own language, and the rules were the opposite of the ones I knew at home.’
Feeling Southern: A Patagonian Story
‘I was harbouring a southern feeling, a deep connection with the South of this real world, where I was born and will probably die.’