Love After Abuse
Lucia Osborne-Crowley on the complexity of navigating sexuality while recovering from sexual abuse.
‘There is nothing where the Towers should be but smoke. There are no buildings.’
‘As I lay on the mattress, the white toe pads of the gecko floated up before me, against the vastness of the blue-black night. Rather than a presence, it seemed to me more like a trace, a barely discernible odour that flooded in on the air.’
‘When we pulled up at the house, Simon was there waiting, on the porch.’ New fiction by Daniel J. O’Malley
Nina Leger | Notes on Craft
‘To say nothing about her was the only way to allow her to be everything.’
The Last Rite of the Body
‘My ex-boyfriend dies, and we all gather to put our hands into his body.’ New fiction from Sophie Mackintosh.
Bookshelves: John Berger in My Family Album
‘The contours of the family arranged on the bookshelf shifted.’
‘He began to feel less like he was delivering a speech and more like a speech was delivering him.’
‘To pick the right heart, the old man said, you had to look for depth in the ruby, to prize a raw intensity of colour and a bright gold fat blanketing the angry muscle.’
Plays Bossa Nova
‘That was the setup for the review I wrote about this imaginary record.’ Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel.
Karen Olsson | Notes on Craft
Karen Olsson shares her notes on the craft of writing: ‘Every book is an unsolvable problem, and yet every time I convince myself I’m just on the verge of cracking it.’
Jonathan Levi | Interview
‘It’s a miracle that Granta survived our mutual adolescence. And yet, it was that smell of teenage spirit that brought Graham Greene and Martha Gellhorn and Hanif Kureishi to our pages.’
Stuck in Trees (with Apologies to Ian Frazier)
‘On 8 January 2018, I noticed a large bunch of purple balloons in a tree near my apartment building.’
An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
Fatima Farheen Mirza on navigating gender roles in a Muslim family, wearing hijab and learning how to box.
My Mother Pattu
Saraswathy M. Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
A Season on Earth
‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’
The Sole Purveyor of Madame Bovary in Beijing circa 1989
‘In the day, his bevy of besotted rustics were coached in maxims of libertarian socialism. By night: rice wine orgies and folk punk sing-alongs.’
The Ungrateful Refugee
‘I was born in 1979, a year of revolution, and grew up in wartime.’ Dina Nayeri on growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.
Rules for Visiting
‘It wasn’t until the end of dinner, when my aunt started clearing and my grandmother demanded another bottle of wine, that I began to understand.’
American Girl and Boy from Shobrakheit
‘Question: is romance just a father who never carried you to bed carrying you, at last, to bed?’
‘Characteristically my wife refused to be drawn into the situation while I became obsessed with it.’
‘It was a harsh and brutal puberty: the tiny creatures began to fret, as if an inner sense had forewarned them of the torment in store’
The Snow in Ghana
‘We always carry it to foreign countries, all over the world, our pride and our powerlessness.’ Translated from the Polish by William Brand.
Dreams for Hire
‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.
Agnes of Iowa
‘Through college she had been a feminist – more or less. She shaved her legs, but just not often enough, she liked to say.’