Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Passport Control

Kwame Dawes

‘I am Ghanaian. This is my legal label. I was born there. It is my inheritance.’

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.’

Lavande

Ann Beattie

‘It seemed impossible, but probably everyone marries thinking such a thing impossible.’

The Life and Death of a Homosexual

Pierre Clastres

‘There was no sweetness in the air that day: the corpse gave off a terrible stench’.

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.’

Mona’s Story

Urvashi Butalia

‘I’m a woman, I’ve always wanted to be one, it’s that simple.’

Six Brazilian Songs

Teju Cole

Teju Cole shares six favourite Brazilian songs.

The Meaning of Zombies

Naomi Alderman

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

Tales Out of School

Kees Beekmans

‘But it seems I’ve said something stupid again, and blasphemous to boot.’

Delinquent in Derry

Nik Cohn

‘Across the river, in a Catholic enclave in the Waterside district, there was a disused funeral home in which, three nights a week, at 6d a shot, contraband teen movies could be sat through and sometimes seen, according to the state of the projector.’

LA Women

Douglas Brooker

‘I was bored. That was how it started. Anything I ever did that amounted to anything–or not–has always been the result of being sick of doing something else.’

Antediluvian

John Biguenet

‘To the inexperienced, hurricane stories always sound like exaggerations.’

Meat Country

J.M. Coetzee

‘What the imagination cannot encompass is death. Death, it says to itself, is the end of pain. Death is a relief.’

Means of Transport

John Berger

‘Use these photos as means of transport. Ride on them. No passes needed. Go close. Imprudently close. They leave every minute.’

People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria

Ike Anya

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

How to Fly

John Burnside

‘I flew for the first time when I was nine years old.’

New New World

Peter Conrad

‘I left Australia at the age of twenty, carrying with me everything I thought I would need.’

How to Read the Comics

Ariel Dorfman

‘Unlike the other comic strips in the magazine, ‘The Adventures of Mampato’ was conceived, illustrated, and entirely produced in Chile.’

God and Me

Diana Athill

‘Perhaps it’s just that the human mind is incapable of imagining anything that doesn’t begin.’

An Education

Lynn Barber

‘The whole meeting seemed completely unreal but then everything at that time seemed unreal, so I said ‘Yes, by all means make the film,’ and went back to the hospital and forgot about her.’

Rabih Alameddine | Portrait of My Father

Rabih Alameddine

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

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?’

On the Roof

Geoff Dyer

‘Destiny, I think, is not what lies in store for you; it's what is already stored up inside you—and it's as patient as death.’

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.’

More Fat Girls in Des Moines

Bill Bryson

‘I didn't really expect my grandparents to be waiting for me at the gate, on account of them both having been dead for many years.’

Inside Intelligence

Anthony Cavendish

‘Good heavens, old boy! It isn't the Russians we worry about; it's the British public that we don't want to know about it.’

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.’

To the Lighthouse

Helen Dunmore

‘There are novels which have an almost uncanny power to renew themselves in the reader’s imagination.’

A Poet in Cuba

Reinaldo Arenas

‘Perfect totalitarian systems have always been in the vanguard: they modify not only the past and the future, but they also abolish the present.’

Mao Comes to Sydney

Georgia Blain

‘After all, it was only politics, and I was too young to understand.’

Alive, Alive-Oh!

Diana Athill

‘She thought of herself as a rational woman, but while she could sleep alone in an empty house for night after night without worrying, there were other nights when her nerves twitched like a rabbit's at the least sound.’

A Literature for Politics: Introduction

Bill Buford

‘‘A Literature for Politics' is dedicated to a different set of possibilities - the possibilities of political engagement.’

Life Among the Pirates

Daniel Alarcón

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

We Have No Minorities

George Bowater

‘The state can burn houses but it can't stop the rain, can't round up all the sheep. It isn't an easy place to control.’

Where he was: Memories of my Father

Raymond Carver

‘June was summer nights and days, graduations, my wedding anniversary, the birthday of one of my children. June wasn't a month your father died in.’

Loot

Christopher de Bellaigue

‘As I observed the foreigners at the museum, who turned out mostly to be archaeologists, two American soldiers crossed towards the group’.