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A Summer of Japanese Literature

Dan Bradley

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

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

Fred Pearce

‘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.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 144: genericlovestory.

I Bite My Friends

Fernanda Eberstadt

‘The Easter Parade is winding down, when I spot Him. Her. Them. The Apparition.’

On Paris Hilton and Other Undead Things

Brittany Newell

‘What sex tapes offer, on a hauntological level, is an impossible closeness to that which is neither dead nor alive.’

Telling My Story

Stella Duffy

‘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.’

Cross-Dressers

Sébastien Lifshitz & Andrew McMillan

‘These images appear to give a glimpse of a ghost-self, a photographic negative of the heart.’ Andrew McMillan introduces photography curated by Sébastien Lifshitz.

Abscessed Tooth

Debra Gwartney

‘Silence allows me to pretend that this happened to someone else a long time ago, and not to me.’

Chameleon

Tomoko Sawada & Sayaka Murata

‘If Sawada can transform herself without limit, maybe I can too.’ Sayaka Murata introduces Tomoko Sawada’s photographs, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

See What You Do to Me

TaraShea Nesbit

‘My intention was to protect myself, and not to have to go back on my word.’

On the Trouble of Bound Association

Lisa Wells

‘We cannot know our era as it’s unfolding.’

Jailbait

Ottessa Moshfegh

‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’

What Do Women Want?

Devorah Baum

‘What we’re arguing about turns out to be how to speak to each other at all.’

What Silence Knows

Anthony Shadid

‘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.’

To Remember Is to Live Again

Buddhadeva Bose & Amit Chaudhuri

‘Never, long as I live, will I forget the few days I had spent with the Millers.’ Buddhadeva Bose on his friendship with Henry Miller.

Notebooks

Amitava Kumar

‘I wanted sex as my subject, not only the innocence but also the bruising.’

Five are the fingers, and five are the sins

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson on the life of the man who prototyped fascism, the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio

The Unpunished Vice

Edmund White

‘Reading is at once a lonely and an intensely sociable act.’

To the Castle and Back

Václav Havel

‘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

Debbie Hicks

‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’

The Editor’s Chair: On Christine Montalbetti

Alex Andriesse

‘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

Tiffany Higgins

‘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

Nuar Alsadir

‘The way we manage erotic knowledge is connected to our handling of unwanted truths’

Heart Berries

Terese Marie Mailhot

‘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

Cormac James

‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’

Court

Blake Morrison

‘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.’

Africa Writes

Caitlin Pearson

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

Lulah Ellender

‘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.

When Poets Write Novels

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes on the ten best novels written by poets.

The Man Who Lived

Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha Poonam on how WhatsApp is being used to encourage mob violence in India.

Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her

Jean Frémon

‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.

Four Syrian Borders: A Motorcycle Journey, 2007

Esa Aldegheri & Gavin Francis

‘The landscape, glimpsed through plumes of dust thrown up by trucks, grew drier, more hostile as it climbed away from the sea.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 143: After the Fact.

Mother’s Death

Stephen Sharp

‘Last year father attacked me as a “wet radish”. This caused me to give up writing diary entries.’

Palmyra

Charles Glass & Don McCullin

‘ISIS’s second conquest of Palmyra astonished everyone, and fed the belief in a Syrian government conspiracy to assist ISIS.’