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The Editor’s Chair: On Daša Drndić

Katharina Bielenberg

‘Language is always logic, no matter which language it is.’

Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov

Lev Ozerov

‘A piece of boxwood, gripped in a vise, / waits on the workbench for his knife.’ Poetry by Lev Ozerov, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, and introduced by Robert Chandler.

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 145: Ghosts.

In Freud’s Shadow

André Aciman

‘We all have ways of placing markers on our lives.’

A Room of One’s Own

Amos Oz & Shira Hadad

Amos Oz in conversation with Shira Hadad, translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston.

Greedy Sleep

Bernard Cooper

‘I knew I had a problem when I woke up in a Motel 6 in Fresno.’

Speer

Sheila Heti

‘Every night for three weeks, I sat with Hitler after dinner.’

Yokosuka blue line

Steven Dunn

‘I close my eyes and circle my finger around the map. Wherever my finger lands.’

Stalingrad

Vasily Grossman

‘On the rampage, he truly did become a devil; it was impossible to restrain him.’ Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.

The Hazara

Monika Bulaj & Janine di Giovanni

‘The people I met once I reached Bamiyan were not victims.’ Janine di Giovanni introduces Monika Bulaj’s photographs.

All Hail the Holy Bone

Maggie O’Farrell

‘It is part angel, part lepidopteran, part Rorschach inkblot.’

Turn the River

Cortney Lamar Charleston

‘Backtrack / to the bones of the matter, which are the bones themselves.’

The Heavens

Sandra Newman

‘It was one of those parties where no one knew the hostess.’

The Canvas Bag

Inigo Thomas

‘It was given to her by her Japanese captors after the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 to pack the few possessions she was allowed to take with her to prison.’

I Will Never See the World Again

Ahmet Altan

‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.

No Machine Could Do It

Eugene Lim

‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’

Letter of Apology

Maria Reva

‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’

Radical Sufficiency

Jess Row

‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’

Bob

Jana Prikryl

‘he cut out small talk / not hearing it, convincingly deaf to its nothing’

Ardor (Aghast)

Anne Carson

‘I taught you what you know, I never taught you what I know.’

Terminology

Callie Gardner

‘In Iris, they speak a language with a hundred pronouns.’

Two Poems

Miriam Bird Greenberg

‘Why wasn’t I better made / to refute assimilation’s maze’

The Swallow’s Nest

John Boyne

Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.

E.E.G.

Daša Drndić

‘A threatening soundlessness falls like a breeze onto our stone floor.’

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

‘I went to Ilford alone / was handed a pink laminated square’

Dividing Lines

Jack Losh

Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.

Mariana Enríquez | Notes on Craft

Mariana Enriquez

‘I found a way to speak: the women talked for me’ Translated by Josie Mitchell.

Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts

Tiffany Murray

Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.

Ali Fitzgerald | Notes on Craft

Ali Fitzgerald

Notes on crafting a graphic memoir from Ali Fitzgerald.

The Woman Dies

Aoko Matsuda

‘The woman dies. She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her.’ Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton.

Freshwater

Akwaeke Emezi

‘We came from somewhere – everything does.’

The Unspoken

David Hayden

Horror from David Hayden. ‘A shuddering, wordless voice rose in the distance, and another, and another; a chorus, a lament, which ended in a low grunt. There was a coda of sobbing. There was silence.’

I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be

Colin Grant

'Can the black author really write out of her or his colour? In writing about black characters can they ever escape race?' Colin Grant looks at the evolution of racial politics.

Common Whipping

Naben Ruthnum

A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.

‘I Am Going to Speak to You about Anxiety’

Hernán Díaz

‘Her mother was still sitting on the sofa, stroking the left armrest while she talked.’