Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


First Cut

Jonathan Kaplan

‘I grew up with the expectation that I would serve.’

Letter From Pondicherry, India

Akash Kapur

‘When I was growing up in Pondicherry, a former French colony on the south-east coast of India, I would go with my family each Sunday to the beach.‘

Christmas Eve in Uganda

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘In fact, from the moment I spotted Amin, I made a point of neither accelerating nor slowing down – no turning or stopping.’

Outline For A Book

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘I have come home from Africa, jumping from a tropical roasting-pit and dropping into a snow-bank.’


Ryszard Kapuściński

‘On the flatbed lies a coffin. Atop the black box is a garland of haggard angels.’

A Tour of Angola

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘You have to learn how to live with the check-points and to respect their customs, if you want to travel without hindrance and reach your destination alive.’

Warsaw Diary (Part Two: 1983)

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘History as class struggle? As a struggle of systems? Agreed: but history is equally the struggle between culture and the mob, between humanity and bestiality.’

A Warsaw Diary

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘In Poland we read every text as allusive; every situation described - even the most remote in time and space - is immediately applied to Poland.’

When There is Talk of 1945

Ryszard Kapuscinski

‘All through the war I dream of shoes.’

Grandma Moore’s Cancer

Mary Karr

‘Those are only rumours of suffering. Real suffering has a face and a smell. And it knows your name.’

Laura Kasischke | First Sentence

Laura Kasischke

‘There really was a moth I found in a toolbox (not as musical or interesting as ‘strongbox’), alive, in the attic, in that box.’

Lunch with the Surgeon

Kapka Kassabova

‘Last month, a plastic surgeon in Buenos Aires tried to seduce me.’

The Magic Place

Kapka Kassabova

‘My arrival in Edinburgh seven years ago was almost a blind date.’

An Escape from Kampala

Wycliffe Kato

‘‘Be brave,’ she said, ‘pull yourself together. What you are about to see is worse than you ever imagined.’ She asked if I knew what Winston Churchill had called Uganda. He had called it the pearl of Africa.’

Rooms That Have Had Their Part

Joanna Kavenna

‘Rooms jaundiced by bad lighting, so you wondered, what is ague, and could we have it? Rooms that hummed, a hum you couldn’t quite identify, or that seemed in the end to come from your own head.’

Blue Moon

Hiromi Kawakami

‘Rather than death itself, it is the disappearance of traces that seems unbearable and sad. The disappearance of all signs that I existed.’

The Lord in his Wisdom

Jackie Kay

‘I realize with a fresh horror that Jonathan is seeing me as the sin’

Remembering Iain M Banks

Stuart Kelly

Stuart Kelly remembers Iain Banks, and assesses the influence he's had on this generation of writers.

The Handbag Studio

Thomas Keneally

‘In Los Angeles in late October of 1980, I was feeling the strange, malign electricity the Santa Ana winds bring to the city.’

Captain Scott’s Biscuit

Thomas Keneally

‘Those who took anything out of any of the huts could excuse themselves in the belief that they were merely saving a relic from gradual climatic destruction’.

A Blow to the Head

A.L. Kennedy

‘I am looking for my dead grandfather in the British Library.’

A.L. Kennedy | God and Me

A.L. Kennedy

‘Faith: the greater it is, the more unsupported it must be’

Summer with my Grandmother

A.L. Kennedy

‘And this was my grandmother, this man-destroying tyrant, this magnificent perfectionist with untireable arms and unfathomable ways of seeing.’


A.L. Kennedy

‘I was tempted to let the pages blow overboard and start again...But they have very stern laws about littering at sea.’


A.L. Kennedy

‘After dinner and schoolwork and dog-walking and the rest, even if I’d put the light out and laid myself down for definite rest, little ideas and scraps and nonsenses would tickle in and start to shake me. They would make the nights too bright to resist.’

That Whole London Thing

A.L. Kennedy

‘But London has always been impossible and yet possible and has always called me.’

Introducing Tatiana Salem Levy

A.L. Kennedy

Tatiana Salem Levy is introduced by previous double Best of Young British Novelist, A.L. Kennedy.

A.L. Kennedy | First Sentence

A.L. Kennedy

‘I have never seen anyone eat figs in the street and feel I am unsurprised.’

Our Adder

Richard Kerridge

‘Our zoo needed something more thrilling, more dangerous, we had decided. We wanted an adder.’

Today is a Sunny Day

Porochista Khakpour

‘For the past ten years I have been trying to write about the events that occurred on 9/11.’

The Work of War

Martin Kimani

‘Work is so common that it is rendered invisible.’

War and Peace on the Big Sandy River

Dean H. King

‘Far from the canyons of lower Manhattan or the rugged peaks of Afghanistan, 9/11 led to an unexpected breakthrough in an ancient feud.’

Like We Are

Binnie Kirshenbaum

‘My father can speak just fine. Nonetheless, he does not speak to me; nor I to him.’

The Casualties

Katie Kitamura

‘The following are some of the Japanese players who also appeared in the major leagues during the Age of Ichiro.’