Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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The Crack in the Door

Maria Chaudhuri

‘When my mother practises music, the world is her enemy.’

The Second Night is Ending

Mikail Eldin

‘This winter and this forest will leave you with a shiver in your heart, which will appear whenever you see a winter forest, even in pictures.’

Ninth and Race

Dan Burt

‘Prostitution, gambling, fencing, contract murder, loan-sharking, political corruption and crime of every sort were the daily trade in Philadelphia’s Tenderloin, the oldest part of town.’

This July

Wiam El-Tamami

‘It felt as though time would fall off a cliff on Sunday. We jokingly called it The End of the World.’

World War II Has Never Ended

Michael W. Clune

‘I discovered Hitler the summer I turned twelve. I found him in the centre of a map in a computer game called Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. I destroyed him with a bomb.’

You Remember the Planes

Paul Auster

‘You can’t remember the precise moment when you understood that you were a Jew.’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

‘Ever since this happened to me, I haven’t really believed in free will.’

Cristhiano Aguiar | On Tour

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘Rabbits running across a campus and a beer named Hobgoblin: these are two of the topics noted in my small travel notebook.’

A Rationalist in the Jungle

Héctor Abad

‘A pale-faced, near-sighted urbanite like me is nothing less than handicapped in the heart of the jungle.’

Water Has No Enemy

Teju Cole

‘The city is a sea that can swallow you at any time, a monster that can lash out without warning, a hell of variables and uncertainties.’

Wudang Mountain

Catherine Chung

‘The danger with chasing fantasies is that the reality is often so different than the imagination.’

War Letters

António Lobo Antunes

‘I’m doing my best to survive all this, but sometimes I feel so homesick that words simply empty of meaning.’

Inner City

Lauren Beukes

‘It has taken this to make me realize that de-humanizing is not only something that other people do to you. It can be self-inflicted too.’

Naomi Alderman | My Writing Playlist

Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman shares five songs she loves to write to.

Tahmima Anam | My Writing Playlist

Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam shares a playlist of songs to write to.

Chinua Achebe’s Legacy

Ike Anya

‘Who will speak out for us now? Who will ask the hard questions of us and the world that he did?’

Pondlife: A Swimmer’s Journal

Al Alvarez

‘The water was chilly and sweet – cold enough to stay with me and make me shiver while I did some shopping later.’

Kopfkino

Chloe Aridjis

‘Yet the little white disks with a dent down the middle are no panacea; whenever I take one of these thought guillotines I feel trapped in a grey zone’.

God is Brazilian

André Barcinski

‘Guys like V seem to be everywhere in Brazil these days: riding in vehicles they can’t afford, buying the latest generation TV sets and smart phones, getting hooked on endless installment plans and the allure of easy credit.’

Introducing Javier Arancibia Contreras

Andrés Barba

‘In this story, the troubled translator’s only interlocutor is, of course, a rat with human vices and traits.’

Six Brazilian Songs

Teju Cole

Teju Cole shares six favourite Brazilian songs.

Anecdotes

Ann Beattie

‘Christine’s hair had begun to dry, and she looked different, with her hair down and her glasses on. Her earnestness made her look younger, and took me back to the bar where we’d sat in Pennsylvania years ago.’

The Island of Hawkers

Tan Twan Eng

‘Suspecting (rightly) that you have been eating diluted, unauthentic versions of the real thing, you realize you have to go to Penang, the best place to eat street food in Malaysia.’

Into the Cosmos

Chloe Aridjis

‘In those fervently atheist times, it wasn’t God or his angelic messengers who would come forth from the sky, but the cosmonaut.’

People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria

Ike Anya

‘I open the newspaper and the word ‘Nigeria’ catches my eye.’

Randy and Mummy at the Drawbridge

Linda H. Davis

‘Long after I had ceased feeling guilty about my father’s death, I still felt defined by it.’

German Quasi-Story of Ulrika Thöus

Salvador Espriu

‘For hidden though they may be – and it is incontrovertible that they are – sooner or later the testicles will have to appear.’

Blind Spot

Teju Cole

‘I heard faint noises, the occasional car going down another street, a voice lightly thrown from its unseen body, the hum of distant machines, and the sound of my own breathing as I put one foot in. ’

Bread of Beirut

Annia Ciezadlo

‘Whenever there’s the threat of violence, people rush to the bakery for bread, of course, but also, I suspect, for reassurance.’

Typical Global and Typical Local Food

Héctor Abad

‘However, there are countries with an almost secret culinary culture, unknown to the immense majority of the world.’

The Goddamn Particle

Naomi Alderman

‘When we find results that seem to make no sense, we should not be surprised or alarmed.’

Look East, Look to the Future

Tash Aw

‘It was as if he was consciously trying to fashion an image for what he wanted the country to be: ultra-confident and unapologetic, not just severing all links with our colonial past but sticking a bold middle finger up to it while we strode chest-out into the future.’

Poetry in Britain

Gillian Clarke

‘Poetry must always find new ways to sing, must be fresh, must surprise, must take us by the heart with its song, its imagery, its syntax. But it can still be simple, grammatical, and speak plain English.’

A Gentle Madness

Humera Afridi

‘Pakistan is a nation of memory keepers. We feed our memories as if they are guests at tea, pay homage to them.’

Refugee Dreams

Peter Behrens

‘In his mind he is back in Frankfurt once more, trying to catch that last train across the frontier.’

Dad’s the Word

Soumya Bhattacharya

‘There is no escaping the fact that parenting involves treasuring those rare moments of solitude.’