Fred Pearce | Notes on Craft
‘For a hack like me, book-length meta-journalism is both a luxury and a challenge. I cannot hide my own views over 100,000 words, even if I want to.’
The Royal African Society takes a look back at the history of the Africa Writes festival, their annual celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal
‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’
Pay for Your Words
Peter Pomerantsev downloads his Facebook data. ‘We seem to be caught in a trap: the more we use a word, the more we will be charged for it.’
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.
'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers
Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson
Chris Power on the Best Book of 1947: Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson.
Murasaki’s Paper Trail
Martin Puchner on how Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting at the Japanese court, manage to write the first great novel of world literature.
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
Our Donald: A Sex Story
‘Ducks are very sexual creatures. Domestic ducks, unlike wild ones, are polygamous.’
‘Imagine all the prodigal / People, hoping only to / Escape every human mistake.’
Editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 144: genericlovestory.
Why Should You Be One Too?
Spencer Reece on alcoholism, homosexuality, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
The Trickster Creates the World
'A Q&A session exploring the writing process with novelist Eden Robinson, her muse Marvin and myself, Fictional Eden Robinson'
‘After the first time they had sex, Marianne stayed the night in his house.’ New fiction from Sally Rooney.
Paul Dalla Rosa | Notes on Craft
‘I feel like I’m haunting an empty building, inert, waiting for each room to burst into flames.’
‘Because I spent a large amount of time convincing people to buy clothing they would never actually wear, it was easy to convince myself the same.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
‘the earth will heal / eventually / magnificently / when our species / is gone’
Best Book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi
Naben Ruthnum on the best book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki's The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi.
A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.
Amy Sackville | The Proust Questionnaire
‘What is your guiltiest pleasure? Is it really a pleasure if you feel bad about it?’
Painter to the King
This is an excerpt from Painter to the King, Amy Sackville's account of the life of Diego Velázquez. Now available from Granta Books.