Granta | The Home of New Writing

Explore Essays and memoir

Seeing Things

Emily LaBarge

‘The City of the city is jagged and spiky, tangled, twisted – burned down, paved over, rebuilt, unruly with wealth and poverty side by side, as they have always been.’

The Flowers Look More Beautiful Now Than Ever

Mieko Kawakami

‘It’s hard to imagine a country where a lockdown would function perfectly, but in the case of Japan, which lacks basic individualism, the current situation has bred insidious hatred and division.’

Trees, Disease

Philip Marsden

‘The greatest problem with the recent enthusiasm for tree-planting is disease. Large-scale projects mean large-scale movement of tree stock, which in turn has helped spread a number of highly contagious arboreal pathogens.’

Forced Out

Kevin Maxwell

An excerpt from Kevin Maxwell’s exposé of structural racism in the British police force.

To All My Past Neighbors

Jessica Francis Kane

‘Connections are being forged, even as we keep our distance. Let’s hold onto them in the after.’

Jessica Francis Kane on neighbourliness in the time of COVID-19.

On Alice Coltrane

Ashley Kahn

‘I habitually compartmentalize, until an artist so singular and unrooted reminds me to reboot my thinking.’

The Lake

Kapka Kassabova

‘The chalky mountain separates the lake from its higher, non-identical twin, but only overground. Underground, they are connected. Ohrid and Prespa: two lakes, one ecosystem.’

Words for Woman

Susana Moreira Marques

‘What we need, now, is: Mrs Dalloway in London, but as an immigrant’

War and Virus

Vesna Maric

‘Wars, national disasters and pandemics do not cause social disintegration – they reveal it, and deepen it.’

Vesna Maric on the difference between wars and viruses.

Caleb Klaces | Notes on Craft

Caleb Klaces

Caleb Klaces on being inspired by Van Gogh’s third image, found during the X-ray scanning of one of Van Gogh’s early, repainted canvases.

Carolyn

Andrew O'Hagan

‘Where was Denver in all of this, or the wide open road to Mexico, or the woman, hip to the souls of sensitive men, who was played on-screen by Sissy Spacek and later by Kirsten Dunst?’

Andrew O’Hagan remembers Carolyn Cassady, beat writer and widow of Neal Cassady.

Jaan Kaplinski | On Europe

Jaan Kaplinski

‘For European thinkers, defining things has always been a serious hobby.’

Jaan Kaplinski on Europe.

No Justice, No Peace

Chris Knapp

Chris Knapp on the systemic racism and violence of the French police, and the grassroots organisations that are campaigning for change.

Best Book of Any Year: A Thousand and One Nights

Mazen Maarouf

Mazen Maarouf on why A Thousand and One Nights is the best book of any year.