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A Great Lake

Nam Le

‘The system wants us to want to belong, at almost any price.’

A Mother’s Dilemma

Victor Lodato

‘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

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

Gerald Murnane

‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’

Agnes of Iowa

Lorrie Moore

‘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

Herta Müller

‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’

American Girl and Boy from Shobrakheit

Noor Naga

‘Question: is romance just a father who never carried you to bed carrying you, at last, to bed?’

At the Edge of Night

Friedo Lampe

An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.

Beetle

Joanna Kavenna

An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.

Bookshelves: John Berger in My Family Album

Amitava Kumar

‘The contours of the family arranged on the bookshelf shifted.’

Boxing

Fatima Farheen Mirza

Fatima Farheen Mirza on navigating gender roles in a Muslim family, wearing hijab and learning how to box.

Charlie Parker
Plays Bossa Nova

Haruki Murakami

‘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

Jeremy Narby

‘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

Gabriel García Márquez

‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.

Evensong

Todd McEwen

‘Characteristically my wife refused to be drawn into the situation while I became obsessed with it.’

Ghostlands

Jennifer Kabat

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.

Harmflesh

Margie Orford

‘This burning girl that I am with skin stretched white hot across unfair flesh. Harmflesh.’

If You Start Breathing

Thea Lim

‘Sharing her pain with other people meant that her pain belonged to her less, Joanne belonged to her less.’

Imperium

Ryszard Kapuściński

Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.

Innards

Magogodi oaMphela Makhene

‘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

Jonathan Levi

‘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

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.’

Kiltykins

Ved Mehta

‘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

Saraswathy M. Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Nadine at Forty

Hilary Mantel

‘Each day we re-enact, on ourselves, what was done to us.’

Objects in Mirror

Maxim Osipov

‘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

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’

Picking Up Nathan from the Airport

Benjamin Markovits

‘When shit like this happens, people don’t walk out on fifteen-year marriages.’

Portion of Jam

Mazen Maarouf

‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’

Providence

Sara Majka

‘It’ll always come to this, I said, laying my head on your shoulder.’

Rules for Visiting

Jessica Francis Kane

‘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)

Jessica Francis Kane

‘On 8 January 2018, I noticed a large bunch of purple balloons in a tree near my apartment building.’

Tadpoles

Primo Levi

‘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 Guests

Hisham Matar

‘Strangely, it was Joseph Conrad who introduced me to Edward Said and not the other way around.’

The Last Rite of the Body

Sophie Mackintosh

‘My ex-boyfriend dies, and we all gather to put our hands into his body.’

The Politics of Feeling

Nick Laird

‘Everything already is fraying at the edges if not completely gone.’