Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

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.’

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.’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

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

Road to Chitral

Azhar Abidi

‘I wonder sometimes when this cycle of violence began. When was year zero?’

But Why Write? The Writer-To-Be

Walter Abish

‘How to explain this resolve to write, this firm unwavering intent to become a writer on the part of someone who may not even really care for books?’

Fork in the Road

Leila Aboulela

‘I left Sudan in 1987 – I was 23 years old and the idea of writing was the furthest thing from my mind.’

Benjamin Pell Versus the Rest of the World

Tim Adams

‘You hear Benjamin Pell long before you see him.’

Operation

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘I like to think now that he knew how much I liked him, from the beginning, and that we were both equal participants in the ritual.’

Abbottabad Pastoral

Humera Afridi

‘Until now, I had never experienced a disaster, or witnessed mass suffering and death close up.’

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.’

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.’

Lovely Girls, Very Cheap

Decca Aitkenhead

‘A bar girl in Ko Samui is employed to attract customers. Almost every bar has at least one girl, and some of the larger bars have up to twenty’.

Baghdad Diary

Nuha al-Radi

‘Other countries do wrong: look what Russia did in Afghanistan, or Turkey invading Cyprus, or Israel taking over Palestine and Lebanon. Nobody bombed them senseless. They were not even punished. Perhaps we have too much history.’

Rabih Alameddine | Portrait of My Father

Rabih Alameddine

‘I come from a family that hangs pictures of family on its walls.’

Life Among the Pirates

Daniel Alarcón

‘When Jacinto was a boy, only rich people had books.’

The Ground Floor

Daniel Alarcón

‘I met Darin Rossi standing in a thick, gooey pool of fake blood, on an early-December night in Los Angeles.’

Lost in Translation

Daniel Alarcón

‘It’s about the music of it. “It’s Hollywood,” Mario said, and assured me the same is true of political speech-making.’

The Inauguration

Daniel Alarcón

‘With few exceptions, presidents do not comment on or even recognize an individual loss like this one; they operate on another scale, and there is no room within their discourse for something so small.’

According to Your Will

Naomi Alderman

‘Thank you, God,’ said the boys, ‘for not making me a woman.’ ‘Thank you, God,’ said the girls, ‘for making me according to Your will.’

The Meaning of Zombies

Naomi Alderman

‘They’re the interchangeable anonymous people we encounter on our daily commute, those whose humanity we cannot acknowledge.’

The Goddamn Particle

Naomi Alderman

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

Naomi Alderman | My Writing Playlist

Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman shares five songs she loves to write to.

Plato Speaks

Caroline Alexander

‘Photographs showed a wood-panelled room, furnished with a long table spread with a leopard skin.’

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich

‘I was trying to present a history of feelings, not the history of the war itself.’

Undoing the folded lie: Poetry after 9/11

Rachael Allen

‘The real feeling of a day that changed everything forever is boiled down so incessantly, and so often, to cliché.’

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.’

Tahmima Anam | My Writing Playlist

Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam shares a playlist of songs to write to.

Benjamin Anastas | Portrait of My Father

Benjamin Anastas

‘For years when I was growing up, I passed underneath this double-nude every time I climbed up or down the stairs in my father’s house.’

Confessions of a Middle-Aged Ecstasy Eater

Anonymous

‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and there is much being wasted when one deliberately chooses not to explore the ecstasy of its deeper horizons.’

The Pretty Women of Paris

Anonymous

‘For the last fifteen years she has been richly kept by a Russian prince, who revels in her brutality, viciousness, extravagance and love of brandy.’

Memoirs of an Anonymous Phone Sex Worker

Anonymous

‘Even though Madame Katherine became dangerous given a few ice cubes and I now knew 101 ways to delight using rubber bands, the novelty of my job didn’t take long to wear off.’

South of Nowhere

Antonio Lobo Antunes

‘If you and I were anteaters, instead of a man and a woman talking to each other in this corner of the bar, perhaps I would then be able to accustom myself to your silence.’

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.’

People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria

Ike Anya

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

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?’