Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

Our Home Is Mortal Too

Katherine Angel

Katherine Angel on Stromae and Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium.

On Being French and Chinese

Tash Aw

‘We were trapped in a sort of double prison: by poverty in Europe, and by China and its expectations of us.’

Marie Darrieussecq | On Europe

Marie Darrieussecq

‘There is a Europe of life and a Europe of death, on the mass graves of which we perpetuate a dream.’ Translated from the French by Linda Coverdale.

My Chequered Europe

Melitta Breznik

‘A Europe of different languages, landscapes and cultures, all of which have retained their characters.’ Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins.

On the Island of the Black River

William Atkins

William Atkins visits the remote island of Sakhalin, following in the footsteps of Anton Chekhov.

[The Delicate Architecture of the Withdrawal Agreement]

Kevin Breathnach

‘I, the pulse. I, the task. I, the ions of the documents extant. I, I, I as in, irrealidad, ingles, intruido.’

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones

Edoardo Albert

Edoardo Albert on five archaeological findings that brought the past to life.

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.

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’.

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.’

A Coup

Bruce Chatwin

‘You do not understand. In this country one understands nothing.’

Glitches

John Gregory Dunne

‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’

The Zoo in Basel

John Berger

‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’

Editorial

Bill Buford

Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.

Editing Vidia

Diana Athill

‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’

On Taking Time

Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook on the art of slow writing.

In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.

On High Heels and Lotus Feet

Summer Brennan

Summer Brennan on high heels, foot-binding, and our ongoing performances of gender.

10 Schools of Philosophy that should be better known (in the West)

Julian Baggini

The author of How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy explains ten of the most overlooked philosophies from around the world.

Lazy Boy

Josh Cohen

‘I don’t see him staring back at me from the La-Z-Boy, I see me, I see a crystalline image of my own burned-out soul’

#TeamBaddiel vs #TeamBabel

David Baddiel

‘Social media has allowed everyone in the world to raise their own little flag of self’

The Tension of Transience

Chloe Aridjis

‘How unusual that April night had been, yet how normal it had seemed at the time’

Populism and Humour

William Davies

‘As reality has grown more absurd, the job of satirists has grown harder.’

Charlotte Collins | Notes on Craft

Charlotte Collins

Charlotte Collins on the craft of translation. ‘Literary translators don’t just translate the ‘meaning’ of a text; we translate the feel of it.’

Diana Athill

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood on Diana Athill. ‘Diana was admired by all who knew her, and also by all who read her memoirs, for her honesty, her plain but elegant style, her lack of pretenses, and her stoicism in the face of ever-narrowing possibilities.’

Best Book of 2011: Kingdom Animalia

Nell Boeschenstein

‘As the title suggests, this is a book about the family of animals, the family of man, and the family of family.’

The Best Books of 2017: Dogtooth & The Giving Light

Danny Denton

Danny Denton on why Fran Lock’s Dogtooth and Gavin Corbett’s The Giving Light are the best books of 2017.

Best Book of 1953/1994: Trans-Atlantyk

Jennifer Croft

‘The most Polish novel of the twentieth century was written in Argentina and published in France.’

Best Book of 1919: The Years Between by Rudyard Kipling

Robert Chandler

Robert Chandler on why The Years Between by Rudyard Kipling is the best book of 1919

Best Book of 2009: William Vollmann’s Imperial

Sam Byers

Sam Byers on why William Vollmann’s Imperial is the best book of 2009

Sixteen Forever

Tishani Doshi

Tishani Doshi on #MeToo, Anand Jon Alexander, and being sixteen in Chennai, India.

Letter from Zaria

Pwaangulongii Dauod

Memoir by Pwaangulongii Dauod, who writes from Zaria, Nigeria.

Mr Wu

Pallavi Aiyar

‘A middle-aged woman in teddy bear-spangled pajamas came hurtling down on a flatbed tricycle.’ Pallavi Aiyar returns to her old Beijing hutong.