Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Self-Made Man

Mark Gevisser

Mark Gevisser examines the personal, political and social issues of transgender identity in America.

Scavengers

Adam Johnson

‘I was dying to buy something, anything that would help my wife and children understand the profound surrealism and warped reality I’d experienced on my research trip to North Korea.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

‘What was it like to work in such a place?’

Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road

Russell Hoban

‘Music is a puissant recaller of time past; music is memory's sister and for its very life relies on memory to hold in our minds the passage of sounds through time.’

Made in China

Isabel Hilton

‘Visiting a factory was one thing; working in one quite another.’

The Highway of Brotherhood and Unity

Michael Ignatieff

‘Back in 1989, we thought the new world opened up by the breaching of the Berlin Wall would be ruled by philosopher kings, dissident heroes and shipyard electricians.’

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’

The General

Isabel Hilton

‘The kitchen telephone would ring and it would be Gustavo Stroessner, the General's son, bellowing in that strange accent down a fuzzy line from Brazil, like an unruly fictional character nagging for a larger part in the plot.’

Jenni Fagan | My Writing Playlist

Jenni Fagan

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

Do Fish Feel Pain?

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Our mistake in this debate is to think that these issues can be resolved by science and ethics and the passing of nice clear laws’.

Dogfight Over Karachi

Khademul Islam

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

Footplacers, London Transport, Owls, Wincer-Boise

Russell Hoban

‘All those footsteps have been gathered up into the footplacer, all those goings are gone.’

The House by the Gallows

Intizar Hussain

‘Along with religion, an unthinking nationalism had become the other god of Pakistan.’

Doing the Paperwork: Life in the aftermath of a violent death

David Goldblatt

‘If the pressure of their life didn’t kill her it made the fight too hard.’

Losses

Günter Grass

‘In the summer, my wife and I visited the small Danish island of Møn.’

India! The Golden Jubilee: Introduction

Ian Jack

‘I first went to India twenty years ago as a reporter.’

The Error World

Simon Garfield

‘She said that the stamp gave her palpitations.’

Tibetan Dinner

Amitav Ghosh

‘The last time I'd eaten a mo-mo was as an undergraduate, in Delhi.’

Mess

Romesh Gunesekera

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

The Last Vet

Aminatta Forna

‘Jalloh likes to keep accurate records of such things. After all, nobody else does.’

Brandy

Philip Hensher

‘So there is music and music. It is not easy, after all.’

Asking for it

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Having my hair cut one morning in February 1999, I fell foul of one of those barber-shop discussions which are a feature of life here in Italy’.

White into Black

Martha Gellhorn

‘It is hard to believe that, in 1952, there were only two places on earth where blacks could not be insulted or mistreated simply because of their colour: Haiti and Liberia.’

A Fight in Bethnal Green

Jeremy Harding

‘There was no sizing up, no graceful footwork, none of the rhetoric of the game: this was unmitigated invective.’

Janesville, Wisconsin

Steven Greenhouse

‘To them, the emphasis was on the ‘creative’ part of creative destruction. But in Janesville, few could see beyond the destruction.’

The Politics of Grief

V. V. Ganeshananthan

‘It is a way of humiliating people, to say that their dead are not dead, to say that people are not even allowed to mourn.’

Foreigners

Daniel Gascón

‘It would’ve been a magical moment if my neighbours hadn’t started fucking at that very second.’

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.’

I Like Being a Woman (And I Hate Hysterical Women)

Leila Guerriero

‘One day my father called me over to explain to me about the little seed, patting my head as if he were offering me his condolences.’

The Smoking Diaries

Simon Gray

‘The inside of my head feels soft and thoughtless, with a muzzy ache going round its rim.’

El Salvador: An Aide-Mémoire

Carolyn Forché

‘Between 1978 and 1981 I travelled between the United States and Salvador, writing reports on the war waiting to happen, drawing blueprints from memory, naming the dead.’

The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

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

A Sign of Weakness

Terrence Holt

‘Fast asleep, even comatose, a living body moves.’

The Tin Drum In Retrospect

Günter Grass

‘With the baggage of stored-up material, vague plans and precise ambitions - I wanted to write my novel and Anna was looking for more rigorous ballet training - we left Berlin early in 1956 and, penniless but undaunted, went to Paris.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

Ian Jack’s introduction to Granta 87: Jubilee.

Physics and Bonkology

Janice Galloway

‘Sex Education, like winning the pools, was something that did not happen to us.’