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Desire | State of Mind

Andrea Stuart

‘My burgeoning sense of my own attractiveness, so fragile and recently developed, withered in this less than fertile ground.’

Pop-Up People

Peter Pomerantsev

We are living through a period of pop-up populism, where each political movement redefines ‘the Many’ and ‘the People’, where we are always reconsidering who counts as an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’, where what it means to belong is never certain.

Nothing to be afraid of | State of Mind

Anil K. Seth

‘Life in the first person is both magical and terrifying. But it is circumscribed.’ Anil K. Seth on the ties between our brains, bodies and consciousness.

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘What’s in a state of mind? How do we describe emotions, or the complex relationship between individuals and the state?’

Coming Home to the Counter-Revolution

Jack Shenker

‘My Cairo is an inverted city, one that wears its innards above the skin.’

Mistaken | State of Mind

Mary Ruefle

‘I take it, if only as a substitute for my unknown name’

Gay and Depressed | State of Mind

Andrew Solomon

‘It would be a bit more tolerable if we lived in a society that didn’t blame depression on its victims.’

Brother | State of Mind

Max Porter

‘We don’t often talk seriously or in depth about our childhood these days, but we know we could, and we know what good it did us.’

Chère Madame

Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust’s letters to his neighbour, translated from the French by Lydia Davis.

The Peripatetic Penelope Fitzgerald

Lucy Scholes

Lucy Scholes on the highs, lows and package tours of Booker-prize-winning author Penelope Fitzgerald. ‘Fitzgerald’s life can only be attributed to the caprices of fate.’

Dead in Venice

Masahiko Shimada

‘If I wasn’t a fish spawned in the Brenta river, why was I so compelled to keep returning?’ Masahiko Shimada on his many trips to Venice.

The Myth of Creative Genius

Natasha Pulley

‘There’s a mysticism that surrounds writing fiction.’

Brontez Purnell Is Everything

Michelle Tea

Novelist, zinester, dancer, go-go-boy, punk, filmmaker, actor, performer, Brontez Purnell is everything.

The American Experience in 737 Novels

Susan Straight

A history of American literature in map form.

The Tamarind is Always Sour

Keane Shum

‘By law, the more than one million Rohingya in Myanmar are almost all excluded from Myanmar citizenship, making them the largest stateless group in the world.’

Remembering Denis Johnson

J. Ryan Stradal

When people ask me what Denis was like, I always think about how he listened far more intently than just about any writer I’d ever met.

Any Idiot Can Write a Book

Nell Stevens

A production company is looking for contestants to participate in a new TV show, modelled on The Apprentice. They are seeking unpublished writers who have completed a novel.

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists 3.

The Land In Winter

Madeleine Thien

Madeleine Thien on the occupation of Palestine.

Cats Explain Things to Me | Discoveries

Typo

Take a paws from your busy day for this week’s Discoveries – guest edited by Granta’s very own Typo the cat.

Wendell Steavenson | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Wendell Steavenson

‘Our globalised world of easyJet and Google Translate does not seem to have fostered any greater understanding’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘Writing about other people doesn’t have to be an exercise of power or a theft of identity.’

Samanth Subramanian | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Samanth Subramanian

‘The first time I ever visited a place I’d read about in a travel book was when my family took a holiday in Hong Kong in 1993.’

Colin Thubron | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Colin Thubron

‘The death of travel – and of the travel book – has been predicted for almost a century.’

Old School

Xan Rice

‘Apartheid had marked him, as it has marked all of us, in different ways. It made me hyper-aware of colour.’

Victim Politics

Ben Rawlence

‘The push and pull of identity politics is the child of slavery and empire.’ Ben Rawlence on empire and the construction of white identity.

The False Lords of Misrule

Peter Pomerantsev

Peter Pomerantsev takes us on a tour of the lewd, crude language of modern politics – from Trump to Putin to Duterte, Milo Yianopoulos, Boris Johnson and more.

Best Book of 1950: A Natural History of Trees by Donald Culross Peattie

James Pogue

‘Now more than ever environmentalists need to remember what it’s like to write for that real world.’

Best Book of 1868: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot

Laurie Sheck

‘The beauty of The Idiot lies in its opposition to closed systems.’

When the World Became White by Dalia Betolin-Sherman | Best Book of 2013

Mira Rashty

‘New poetic expressions can still emerge and evolve in Hebrew – an ancient and almost prehistoric language, with its grumbling sound’

Best Book of 2008: Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

Mika Taylor

‘Rivka Galchen’s debut novel is one of my favourites from the last few years.’

Best Book of 1994: The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller

Eliza Robertson

‘You'd have to have lived through that bleakness. You'd have to know with your body, your hands, your eyes, your mouth, the weight of that fear – how it’s not strictly describable.’

Best Book of 1970: Moominvalley in November

Aleksi Pöyry

‘This is a book I always return to for its melancholy tone, warm humour and psychological insight.’

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby: Best Book of 1995

Ted Robinson

‘It was a story about music and relationships.’

The Cult of the Hindu Cowboy

Snigdha Poonam

‘The Hindu cowboy accords to the cow the holiest status in his imagination: of mother. It is his duty to protect her honour; it is his privilege to kill for her.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘What future youth movement might capture them, those international participants in virtual hunts?’