Explore essays and memoir
The Last Shopkeepers of London
‘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.’
‘Wildlife foundations find themselves calling for the deaths of tens of thousands of wild animals.’
‘Swifts come closer than any other creature to living in the sky and having air and ceaseless movement as their home.’
Louise Bourgeois as I Knew Her
‘The portrait is built up of tiny strokes, one added upon another, like dashes of pencil.’ Translated from the French by Cole Swensen.
‘I would peel wrappers off sandwiches, remove noodles from their boxes, fry up meat before any authorities had the chance to track me and my bounty down.’
Jeremy Gavron | Notes on Craft
‘Is the conventional novel the closest model we have to our condition? Or simply the bedtime story that most comforts us?’
‘What idiom or instrument captures how the weather is felt by the animals, in their bodies, their nests and niches?’
The Leech Barometer
‘To be consumed by leeches is to be vital, to be animate, though it is also to be reminded you are something else’s prey, and therefore porous and mortal.’
Webs of Fiction
‘The complexity of stories is not singularly reliant on an abundance of words.’
‘I wonder whether there’s a real moral difference between killing an animal and killing a human being.’ Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett.
‘Silence allows me to pretend that this happened to someone else a long time ago, and not to me.’
Cumbrian Fell Pony
Sarah Hall writes about the Cumbrian fell pony for Granta 142: Animalia.
Above the Tree Line
Teva Harrison visits and illustrates the Northwest Passage through the Canadian arctic for Granta 141: Canada
To the Castle and Back
‘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
‘Reading Well is more than just a booklist – it represents the power of reading to change lives.’
The Munduruku People Against Brazil
‘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.’
The one/many problem
‘Other creatures literally stop me breathing. There are so many of them, and only one of me.’ Daisy Hildyard writes about her research into the animal kingdom.
Han Suyin: A Friendship
'Han Suyin, elegant postcolonial diva avant la lettre, icon of the new, nonaligned Asia, thorn in the side of the dying British Empire and the American Right.'
Climb the Mountains
'Harm that comes through the hands of those we love must be wrestled with; it does not simply disappear.'
Cormac James | Notes on Craft
‘My most recent writing lesson came from Elizabeth Strout, a few months ago. Pay attention, is all she taught me, and it was plenty.’
‘These bored, frustrated and hungry animals appear as reluctant figures in some unsolvable puzzle, or as victims of a grand experiment whose original purpose is lost in time.’