A Mother’s Dilemma
‘I can hear the girl scratching a pencil inside a notebook. I don’t like it. I’ve asked her not to write about me.’
A Night in the Engadine
John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
A Season on Earth
‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’
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.’
Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle
‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’
American Girl and Boy from Shobrakheit
‘Question: is romance just a father who never carried you to bed carrying you, at last, to bed?’
At the Edge of Night
An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.
An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
Bookshelves: John Berger in My Family Album
‘The contours of the family arranged on the bookshelf shifted.’
Fatima Farheen Mirza on navigating gender roles in a Muslim family, wearing hijab and learning how to box.
Plays Bossa Nova
‘That was the setup for the review I wrote about this imaginary record.’ Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel.
Confessions of a White Vampire
‘Many of the people I was living with considered me a white vampire, who killed to extract human fat.’ Jeremy Narby on the Amazonian myth of the white vampire.
Dreams for Hire
‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.
‘Characteristically my wife refused to be drawn into the situation while I became obsessed with it.’
Jennifer Kabat on the Anti-Rent War, one of the earliest moments of rural populism in the US, and something few know about outside the Catskill Mountains.
‘This burning girl that I am with skin stretched white hot across unfair flesh. Harmflesh.’
If You Start Breathing
‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’
Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.
‘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.’
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.’
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.’
‘When I was seeing Kilty (how, even today, the word 'seeing' mesmerizes me), the fact of my blindness was never mentioned, referred to, or alluded to’.
My Mother Pattu
Saraswathy M. Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Objects in Mirror
‘He runs through the events of the day in his mind. Fairly frightening, really: the sudden request for his file, the question about the government. And the silence.’
On Meeting Mrs Obama
‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’
Picking Up Nathan from the Airport
‘When shit like this happens, people don’t walk out on fifteen-year marriages.’
Portion of Jam
‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’
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.’
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.’
‘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’
‘Strangely, it was Joseph Conrad who introduced me to Edward Said and not the other way around.’
The Last Rite of the Body
‘My ex-boyfriend dies, and we all gather to put our hands into his body.’