A Child’s Book of Death and Dying
‘A fine morning mist had rolled down over Addis Ababa from the Entoto mountains, leaving a sheen on the lawn between the apartment buildings'.
A Lovely and Terrible Thing
‘For a moment I could not speak. I looked off into the bleak distance, then at this man, and there was something about the sad shake of his head and the way his hair flapped about on his scalp that filled me with unreasonable warmth.’
A Norwegian Nightmare
‘Could we somehow have avoided feeding the killer at our own breast?’
A question of identity
‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’
A Thousand Splendid Stuns
‘More important than anything else that fateful year was the life-defining transcendence of Peter Gabriel.’
‘The year I turned seventeen, the cicada chorus was deafening, as if they were impatient for the real beginning of summer and didn’t realize they were it.’
After the Hedland
‘I feel the pull of being alone, of answering to no one, the safety of being unknown and far away.’
Alan Warner | Five Things Right Now
Granta Best Young British Novelist, Alan Warner, shares five things he’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
Alexis Wright | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world.’
Ali the Muscle
‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’
An Afghanistan Picture Show
‘The windbreakers of the passengers standing at the rail fluttered violently.’
Arithmetic on the Frontier
‘These days the tempest of Taliban violence ripping across the frontier has shaken Peshawar to its core.’
‘He was stamped darkly onto the wide stretch of sea like a single footprint.’
Best Book of 1926: Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel
His is a force more penetrative than all the bogus machismo of Hemingway.
Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.
Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon
Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.
Best Book of 2010: Mr Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt
‘Hunt writes with brio, the visceral often blooming into the mystical.’
Better Protect America
Padma Viswanathan on the absurdities of the US Border Patrol Agency. ‘The new security was going to be unpredictable, by design.’
‘The sexual terror lions are roaring into my ears as I make my way between their cages’
‘For us, discomfort is a hard feeling. / Almost as hard as hate. / Almost as hard as fear.’
‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’
‘The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity.’
Brazil: A User’s Guide
‘The Brazilian banking system was created by a Czech writer called Franz Kafka.’
‘I first stepped into Bush House on a dreary November day in 2001. It was a trepid walk.’