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.’

Six Brazilian Songs

Teju Cole

Teju Cole shares six favourite Brazilian songs.

Mona’s Story

Urvashi Butalia

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

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.’

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.’

Antediluvian

John Biguenet

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

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.’

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.’

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.’

New New World

Peter Conrad

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

God and Me

Diana Athill

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

Rabih Alameddine | Portrait of My Father

Rabih Alameddine

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

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.’

When Did I Become a Writer?

Mia Couto

‘I am often asked when I became a writer, and I have taken to not rushing my answer.’

Ann Beattie | First Sentence

Ann Beattie

‘Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea.’

The Fig Tree and the Wasp

Brian Chikwava

‘The day I first saw the dance was the day we had expected to end with the execution of my maternal grandfather.’

Letter from Greece

Meaghan Delahunt

‘The only thing between Greece and total collapse is the Greek family.’

Saviours

Paul Eggers

'Mr Thanh, originally of Saigon, conducted his camp-wide rat pogrom so thoroughly that the kids were reduced to throwing rocks at each other.'

The Plano Suicides

Stefan Merrill Block

‘My parents moved us to Plano for the reasons so many move to Plano: jobs, good schools, a town perfectly engineered to render successful families.’

Road to Chitral

Azhar Abidi

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

Under Eastern Eyes

Timothy Garton Ash

‘They sit around, feet in slippers, drinking wine and swapping jokes about Chernobyl. They have just produced the best journal of new writing in Czechoslovakia. It took about twenty minutes.’

Mr Harris

Tony D’Souza

‘This is why you don’t go to the West Side, I told myself.’

Moscow

Patrick Cockburn

‘Despite all the secrecy, what was happening in the Soviet Union was obvious enough: the old order, the wartime generation, was dying.’

Witness: Butterflies on a Wheel

Anthony Doerr

‘Butterflies: a long, shimmering curtain.’

Blood

Urvashi Butalia

‘Stories are all that people have, stories that rarely breach the frontiers of family and religious community’

Under Ice

Iain Banks

‘Andy runs out across the ice.‘

The Tailor of Gujarat

Amit Chaudhuri

‘He was desperate for the photograph to cease to exist: as if the man in the photo and he are competing for the same oxygen.’

To the Lighthouse

Helen Dunmore

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