Explore essays and memoir
A Summer of Japanese Literature
From manga to crime fiction, contemporary literature to Nobel-Prize-winning classics, here are ten works of Japanese literature worth spending your summer on
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.
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.’
Editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 144: genericlovestory.
I Bite My Friends
‘The Easter Parade is winding down, when I spot Him. Her. Them. The Apparition.’
On Paris Hilton and Other Undead Things
‘What sex tapes offer, on a hauntological level, is an impossible closeness to that which is neither dead nor alive.’
Telling My Story
‘I wonder if they could all smell the queer on me, the queer in me, the burgeoning sexuality that I had no words for at the time.’
‘Silence allows me to pretend that this happened to someone else a long time ago, and not to me.’
See What You Do to Me
‘My intention was to protect myself, and not to have to go back on my word.’
‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’
What Do Women Want?
‘What we’re arguing about turns out to be how to speak to each other at all.’
What Silence Knows
‘Words can’t quite re-create the smell of war. I have found myself trying to wash it out of my hair, off my fingers. More than once, I have run water over the soles of my shoes.’
Five are the fingers, and five are the sins
Rebecca Watson on the life of the man who prototyped fascism, the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio
To the Castle and Back
‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’
Addressing Mental Health Through Reading Well
‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’
The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti
‘For Montalbetti to have achieved this syntactic ease in French is a feat. For the translator to reproduce it in English requires the capacities of a medium.’
The Munduruku People Against Brazil
‘The Middle Tapajós Munduruku are not alone. Indigenous and traditional communities throughout the Tapajós River basin are facing increased degradation of their environment and the cultural sustenance practices that form the foundation of their lifeways.’
since feeling is first
‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
Cormac James | Notes on Craft
‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’
‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’
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.
Ways of Looking
‘He is like a mantling hawk, his heft and body spreading over his prey as he tears off pieces of her with his eyes.’ Lulah Ellender on the male gaze.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.
Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her
‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘Last year father attacked me as a “wet radish”. This caused me to give up writing diary entries.’