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Rebecca Solnit:
An Online Reader

Ivan Kirwan-Taylor

The seven must-read Rebecca Solnit essays.

Lauren Aimee Curtis | Notes on Craft

Lauren Aimee Curtis

‘I think that if we knew, really understood, the reasons why certain stories take hold of us, we would have no need for fiction at all.’ Lauren Aimee Curtis shares her notes on the craft of writing.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Peter Stamm & Michael Hofmann

Peter Stamm on the oldest barber in Switzerland, and Michael Hofmann on translating Peter Stamm.

How to Take a Literary Selfie

Sylvie Weil

Sylvie Weil on what it means to take a literary selfie. Translated from the French by Ros Schwartz.

Jianan Qian | First Sentence

Jianan Qian

‘For every witness, history unfolded at some other time, and in some other place.’ Jianan Qian on the first sentence of her story, ‘To the Dogs’.

Sophie Lewis | Notes on Craft

Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis on the craft of translation.

The Bees

Dorothea Lasky

‘What is the swarm of bees that enters a poem when language is created?’

Little nothings: Nabokov’s road notes

Elsa Court

Elsa Court on why Vladimir Nabokov immersed himself in the all-American world of roadside service stations.

Julia Armfield | First Sentence

Julia Armfield

‘A first line is a threat, I think.’ Julia Armfield on the first sentence of her story ‘Longshore Drift’.

Love After Abuse

Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Lucia Osborne-Crowley on the complexity of navigating sexuality while recovering from sexual abuse.

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Rebecca Tamás

‘Death is terrifying and impossibly big, but life is even bigger – vulgar, relentless, ruthless.’

Lemons in Winter

Mika Taylor

‘I wonder why I am always the last to let go. I wonder if there is any amount that will ever be enough.’

Nina Leger | Notes on Craft

Nina Leger

‘To say nothing about her was the only way to allow her to be everything.’

Bookshelves: John Berger in My Family Album

Amitava Kumar

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

H+

Matthieu Gafsou & Daisy Hildyard

‘It’s a shadow-world: strangely familiar, all the same.’ Daisy Hildyard introduces Mattieu Gafsou’s photoessay on transhumanism.

A Woman Screaming

Saskia Vogel

‘I realized that neither revenge nor compulsive storytelling would release me from this pain.’

Going Home

Raja Shehadeh

Read an excerpt from Raja Shehadeh’s Going Home, a reflection on ageing, failure, the occupation, and the changing face of Ramallah.

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.’

Night on Fire

Darcey Steinke

‘I know what’s going to happen and I know that it’s going to be bizarre.’

My Writing Playlist

Ed Vulliamy

Ed Vulliamy on the nine best songs to listen to while you write.

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.’

The Resurgence of the Monstrous Feminine

Hannah Williams

‘Despite the sheer and uncommunicable amount of violence enacted upon the female body throughout history, it’s woman as terroriser, as beast, that we keep coming back to.’

David Harrison | A London View

David Harrison

Whatever we make ugly, nature will correct.

Surrender

Joanna Pocock

‘How could having sex with the Earth ever be consensual?’

Boxing

Fatima Farheen Mirza

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

The Way to the Sea

Caroline Crampton

‘Alone in the silent dark, she traversed the mouth of the estuary in mile-long sweeps, making a little more progress up the river each time she turned. Wind and tide were pushing her away, back towards the sea.’

Daddy Issues

Katherine Angel

‘We need to keep the modern, civilised father on the hook.’

Mother and Son:
Life and Fate

Robert Chandler

‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’

Distributed Denial of Service

Merritt Tierce

‘Once you learn to seal the shell, to make it watertight, you can let anything roil around in there.’

The Ungrateful Refugee

Dina Nayeri

‘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.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Sigrid Rausing

Granta’s editor Sigrid Rausing remembers Binyavanga Wainaina.

How I Write My Books

Anne Serre

Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness

Zanele Muholi & Anne McNeill

‘Zanele Muholi is a photographer, often described as one of the most powerful visual activists of our time, and a long-time advocate for their black LGBTQ+ community.’

To Zinder

Sven Lindqvist

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.

Pajtim Statovci | Notes on Craft

Pajtim Statovci

‘My childhood was pierced not only by the violence in Kosovo but also by the violence my immigrant family was confronted with in Finland.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 147: 40th-Birthday Special.