Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Alicja Gescinska | On Europe

Alicja Gescinska

‘Europe has proved to be at its best when it embraced unity in diversity.’

We Do Not Know Each Other

Lara Feigel

‘Is that what family is for? Helping you to understand what formed you?’

Michael Hofmann | On Europe

Michael Hofmann

‘For all its flimsiness, the cage takes itself terribly seriously, restricting access, glorying in the name of Fatherland.’

Romesh Gunesekera | On Europe

Romesh Gunesekera

‘Identity, it seemed, was not so self-determined after all.’

Srećko Horvat | On Europe

Srećko Horvat

‘We are the ones who are responsible for not repeating the mistakes of the past.’

Laurent Gaudé | On Europe

Laurent Gaudé

‘Fervent social awareness and civic passion have deserted today’s Europe.’ Translated from the French by Alison Anderson.

Stasiland

Anna Funder

‘The Berlin Wall ran a couple of kilometres from here and there was no getting over it.’ An extract from Anna Funder’s Stasiland, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

David Harrison | A London View

David Harrison

Whatever we make ugly, nature will correct.

The Fall of Saigon

James Fenton

‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’

The Imam and the Indian

Amitav Ghosh

‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’

Where is Kigali?

Lindsey Hilsum

‘Evariste was the nightwatchman. He and I were alone in the house in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, when the killing started.’

Those Who Felt Differently

Ian Jack

‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’

The View from this End

Alexandra Fuller

‘It lay like a sodden comma, curled up against its mother, and no one realised it was dead.’

Lost Cat

Mary Gaitskill

‘Which deaths are tragic and which are not? Who decides what is big and what is little?’

Exhale

Beth Gardiner

‘After all my travels, I can see now what I couldn’t when I started. In the suffering pollution brings, there is also the glimmer of a different future, its outlines visible through the haze.’

The Poem in the Pocket

Héctor Abad Faciolince

‘The note stated that it was by Borges, and I believed that, or at least I wanted to believe it.’

Martin Goodman | Notes on Craft

Martin Goodman

Martin Goodman on why it took him twenty years to write his latest novel, J SS Bach.

How I Became an SJW

Anouchka Grose

‘I had become a pacifist in the time it took to run between the bedroom and the bathroom of a London flat.’

Best Book of 1921: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Will Harris

‘I wanted to understand the world and why it hurt, and soon I stumbled on the Tractatus’ Will Harris on the best book of 1921.

Best Book of 1934: Bruno Schulz’s Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe)  

David Hayden

David Hayden on why Bruno Schulz’s Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe) is the best book of 1934.

Best Book of 2005: Zadie Smith’s On Beauty

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes on why Zadie Smith’s On Beauty is the best book of 2005

Sobre Cardi B

Rita Indiana

‘Es un himno crudo y catchy escrito por una mujer que ha confesado que escribe sobre lo que le gusta y que lo que le gusta es “fighting bitches”.’

On Cardi B

Rita Indiana

‘A crude, catchy hymn written by a woman who’s confessed to writing about what she likes, and that what she likes is “fighting bitches”.’

A New Front Line

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum shows how investigative reporting has become just as dangerous as frontline correspondence. ‘Investigative reporters are in more peril than ever and the front line has come to Europe.’

Terminology

Callie Gardner

‘In Iris, they speak a language with a hundred pronouns.’

Ali Fitzgerald | Notes on Craft

Ali Fitzgerald

Notes on crafting a graphic memoir from Ali Fitzgerald.

I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be

Colin Grant

'Can the black author really write out of her or his colour? In writing about black characters can they ever escape race?' Colin Grant looks at the evolution of racial politics.

Nine Pints

Rose George

‘My blood is on its way to becoming something that even when given for free can be brokered and sold like ingots or wheat.’

Abscessed Tooth

Debra Gwartney

‘Silence allows me to pretend that this happened to someone else a long time ago, and not to me.’

To the Castle and Back

Václav Havel

‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’

Addressing Mental Health Through Reading Well

Debbie Hicks

‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’

The Munduruku People Against Brazil

Tiffany Higgins

‘The Middle Tapajós Munduruku are not alone. Indigenous and traditional communities throughout the Tapajós River basin are facing increased degradation of their environment and the cultural sustenance practices that form the foundation of their lifeways.’

Cormac James | Notes on Craft

Cormac James

‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’

When Poets Write Novels

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes on the ten best novels written by poets.

Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her

Jean Frémon

‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.

The Last Shopkeepers of London

David Flusfeder

‘It became a kind of mission to find contemporaries of theirs that weren’t closing down, establishments that have continued to flourish, or at least endure.’