Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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A Walk to Kobe

Haruki Murakami

‘What I’m talking about is a different sea, and different mountains.’ Haruki Murakami walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.

How It Ends

Andrew O’Hagan

‘Seagulls murmur overhead, and nip at the banks. You can hear almost nothing.’

Interesting if True

Phillip Knightley

‘The end of the war in the Pacific came just before I left school.’

Baby Clutch

Adam Mars-Jones

‘Endlessly we reformulate our feelings for each other.’

Night

Alice Munro

‘I read books as usual, nobody knew there was a thing the matter with me.’

The Press Officer

Alvaro Vargas Llosa

‘The threat of Fujimori was well hidden. There was nothing we could do: the die was cast.’

Cary Grant’s Suit

Todd McEwen

‘North by Northwest isn't a film about what happens to Cary Grant, it's about what happens to his suit.’

Coming Down

Ved Mehta

‘I was besieged by family memories.’

Essex

Norman Lewis

‘Essex is the ugliest county. I only went there to be able to work in peace and quiet and get away from the settlers from London south of the river.’

The Lord in his Wisdom

Jackie Kay

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

Two Years in the Dark

Andrew O’Hagan

‘There's no right or wrong about this, there's only style.’

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.’

They tell me you are Big

Todd McEwen

‘Airports like abattoirs are white.’

My Father’s Life

Leonard Michaels

‘Six days a week he rose early, dressed, ate breakfast alone, put on his hat, and walked to his barbershop at 207 Henry Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, about half a mile from our apartment.’

The Writing of ‘Or Shall We Die?’

Ian McEwan

‘There was too the challenge, as I saw it, of writing a singable English, simple and clear, that could express public themes without pomposity and private feelings without bathos.’

Maud Newton | Portrait of My Father

Maud Newton

‘Exactly how long the prostitute, unbeknownst to my father, stayed at our house and slept in my bed is hard to gauge.’

Watching the Rain in Galicia

Gabriel García Márquez

‘Only then did I understand where my grandmother had got that credulity which allowed her to live in a supernatural world in which everything was possible and where rational explanations were totally lacking in validity.’

The Conflicted Legacy of Meles Zenawi

Maaza Mengiste

‘Meles Zenawi’s legacy is as complicated as the life he chose to live, under a name (Meles) that he took from a fallen comrade during his days as a guerrilla fighter. ’

Now A Major Motion Picture

Todd McEwen

‘None of these high-falutin pansy-ass would-be 'technologies' are going to save literature.’

Chromium

Primo Levi

‘Life is full of customs whose roots can no longer be traced ... but in any event, why were pig's feet obligatory with lentils, and cheese on macaroni?’

Early Retirement

John Lanchester

‘My father used to tell the story of a tutor at his university, a Viennese professor of something or other.’

Murderer in the Family (Part Two)

Rian Malan

‘It's not just their skins that are white; their minds are white, too. They are generic whites with western values.’

God and Me

Andrew Martin

‘At the moment, I would say that depends what you mean by ‘believe’ and what you mean by “God”’

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.’

Lessons from a Hustler

Peter Mountford

‘With Buck, pool was clearly an intellectual exercise and he was scarily cool at the table.’

Siam

Norman Lewis

‘Little surprise was aroused when the model chosen for the new Hat Yai was Dodge City of the 1860s as revealed by the movies.’

A Childhood in Terezin

Ivan Klíma

‘I am trying to reach, in memory, a time before the war began.’

Paris or Prague?

Milan Kundera

‘May in Paris was an explosion of revolutionary lyricism. The Prague Spring was the explosion of post-revolutionary scepticism.’

The Story of a Variation

Milan Kundera

‘I have often heard it said that the novel has already exhausted all its possibilities. I have the opposite impression: that in four hundred years of existence the novel has missed many of its opportunities: it has left many great opportunities unexploited, many roads forgotten, many calls unheard.’

Bradford

Hanif Kureishi

‘Bradford, I felt, was a place I had to see for myself, because it seemed that so many important issues, of race, culture, nationalism, and education, were evident in an extremely concentrated way.’

The Ascent of Man

Joseph O’Neill

‘One June dusk in 1999 I found myself walking across a rice field near Fishing Pond, in east Trinidad, in the company of a game warden and a self-described naturalist-at-large sometimes known as the Turtle Man.’

Deeper into the Heart of Borneo (Part II)

Redmond O’Hanlon

‘James, resplendent in leopard skin and hornbill feathers, looked even more solemn than is his habit.’

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.’

Yiyun Li | First Sentence

Yiyun Li

‘But for her, and perhaps for many, the solidity of an invented life is not trustworthy.’

Brand Leader

Fintan O’Toole

‘It was a clear, uncomplicated space, a brand image, a label that could be stuck on a billion sauce bottles.’

The Chelsea Affect

Arthur Miller

‘Despite parboiling myself in the shower a few times I began to like the hotel’.