Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

Dogfight Over Karachi

Khademul Islam

‘I slowly went down the stairs, feeling my being unspooling.’

Patrick French | First Sentence

Patrick French

‘In Edwardian days, if you were growing up in England (though Maurice was from Ireland) your life was regimented.’

The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

‘In Rwanda today so much is unspoken or only whispered.’

Mess

Romesh Gunesekera

‘You have to go on the offensive until you smell victory. Then you have the aphrodisiac and can go full tilt.’

1979

Aminatta Forna

‘What happened in 1979 has happened many times before and many times since, in places where people have set themselves free and believed with all their hearts that the freedom they had fought for was real and lasting, only to be recaptured.’

Selvy After the War

Frances Harrison

‘She exudes happiness. Somewhere along the line she understood that this was the best way to defeat the men who tortured her.’

A Dynasty of Album Cover Art

Lemi Ghariokwu

‘The music is as powerful as it gets and beneath his knife-edge, cutting sarcasm, Fela’s voice rages.’

The Third Pole

Gavin Francis

‘I came to the Himalayas not because of a dream of mountains or of animals, but because of a map.’

The Two Gardens

Lorna Gibb

‘There are two gardens in my memory. The first was hidden behind the rows of shabby council houses where I grew up.’

I Love This Dirty Town

Anjum Hasan

‘What is hard to miss and impossible not to grieve over is how present-day Shillong has been overwhelmed by the material aspirations of its people.’

Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist

Jenni Fagan

Best of Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan selects five songs that she loves to write to.

Introduction: Best of Young British Novelists 4

John Freeman

‘We live in unreaderly times, but our belief is that these novelists will be exceptions to the general rule of irrelevance faced by writers today.’

Xiaolu Guo | My Writing Playlist

Xiaolu Guo

‘The challenge of flowing in one continuous outpouring of language in a novel is my killer.’

Forklift Truck Driver Wins Literary Prize!

Adam Foulds

‘There are two options for the young writer and employment. There is the proper job, whatever it might be – law, advertising, medicine or the default choice for many, academia. Or there’s the menial, rent-paying job.’

Betrayal

Adam Foulds

‘The thrill of this film – and it is thrilling – is seeing that understood and played out by actors of incredible skill.’

Seven Days in Syria

Janine di Giovanni

‘I had come to Syria because I wanted to see a country before it tumbled down the rabbit hole of war’

Flowers Appear on the Earth

Samantha Harvey

‘In their deepest sorrow the islanders buried the ashes of their forty-six dead’

On Waking from a Dream

Stephen Grosz

‘As a psychoanalyst, I feel uncomfortable when I can’t remember a dream.’

Introducing Laura Erber

Dara Horn

‘Do yourself a favour: do not read Laura Erber’s ‘That Wind Blowing through the Plaza’ only once.’

Dry Flowers from the Cerrado

Milton Hatoum

‘People say that Brasilia’s new national library opened before it had any books. Is that a metaphor for many politicians’ minds? Or for these times we’re in?’

House Style: Editing Brazil

Yuka Igarashi

‘We’re freaks . . . Why are we still talking about typos?’

Shackleton’s Medical Kit

Gavin Francis

‘Each box was like the distillation of all that we have learned as a species about our bodies and their infirmities, a time capsule of medicine at the start of the twenty-first century.’

Anthony Shadid

Cecil Hourani

‘Anthony’s life was a triumph and a tragedy. It was a tragedy which I believe he foresaw.’

Throwing Stones at the Moon

María Victoria Jiménez

‘Maybe if I’d participated more when I was a student, I’d have had a well formed outlook about who people really are, and I would have better grasped evil.’

Graft vs. Host

Colin Grant

‘Oftentimes it took so long to ferry the injured that rather than send an ambulance the A&E doctors might as well have sent a hearse.’

Hardy Animal

M.J. Hyland

‘A few weeks after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I made a pact with dying.’

The Perfect Code

Terrence Holt

‘In the hospital where I work, codes go something like this.’

Brazilian Diary

Cynan Jones

‘It’s quite a phone call to get: ‘Will you go to Brazil for us?’’

Dividing the Kingdom

Pico Iyer

‘I get on the train to hear the funereal call of my boyhood: ‘Reading, Didcot Parkway, Oxford.’’

Running

Caspar Henderson

‘Often, a road is the least interesting path to follow.’

Kidnapped

Scott Johnson

‘Sometimes, these sorts of details made their way into wire stories as bullet-pointed footnotes. Other times, the stories screamed into the lives of people I knew.’

Barely Imagined Beings

Caspar Henderson

‘Monsters of one kind or another are woven into virtually all the cultures of which we have record.’

Novel Terrors

Yuka Igarashi

‘Violence and genius and terror and mysticism reside in equal parts in the so-called heroes and so-called villains. It wells up and pervades us. We swim in it.’

You Want Gunfire With That?

Dan Hind

‘The end of Soviet communism was supposed to have brought with it the end of ideological struggle and even, according to a significant few, history itself.’

Feeding the Fire: The Political Context of 9/11

Adam Haslett

‘9/11 was the bullet to the powder keg of an already heated domestic conflict.’