Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


Saved to ‘Drafts’

ZZ Packer

‘I know you’ll make the right choice; even if you don’t, you’re still beloved family.’

Letters to My Father, Now Dead

Teresa Pàmies

‘I was glad to see General Pavel at your funeral, Father.’

Famous People

Orhan Pamuk

‘Life is dull if there's no story to listen to or nothing to watch’.

The Boy Who Watched the Ships Go By

Orhan Pamuk

’For the last thirty years I've been keeping track of the ships that sail through the Bosporus’.

Scarp | New Voices

Nick Papadimitriou

‘His imagination lingers in the woods and fields like a slowly drifting plant community and then dissolves into ditches lined with black waterlogged leaves – a residue of previous summers – and the ghosts of dead insects.’


Ian Parker

‘Just how far would a person go under the experimenter’s orders?’

Ants of Accra

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

‘Ants became an obsession with her – she darted with them as they changed paths, watched them find their way around obstacles placed in their way.’


Tim Parks

‘My last glimpse of Paolo was on the platform at Verona station when I pointed him out to the police.’


Tim Parks

‘It was explained to me that in Italy a formality is a sort of dormant volcano.’

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

‘Everyone I met in West Kalimantan had tales of Dayak magic’.

Prison Echoes

Shahrnush Parsipur

‘When you are free, you inevitably feel compelled to act, but when incarcerated, you are powerless to do so.’

The Mercies

Ann Patchett

‘Once you knew what God wanted from your life, you would have to be ten different kinds of fool to look the other way.’

Paradox of Plenty

Michael Peel

‘The blend of volatile domestic politics and geostrategic oil interests is at best opaque and at worst thoroughly corrosive of all involved.’

Kashmir’s Forever War

Basharat Peer

‘Yes, the gun was from Pakistan, but the stones are our own. That is our only weapon against the occupation.’

The Golden Goat to Communist Ratio

Miroslav Penkov

‘Few people can pinpoint where Bulgaria is on the map. Some people might tell you they can, but you shouldn’t believe them.’

Miroslav Penkov | First Sentence

Miroslav Penkov

‘It was an old woman’s racism that inspired the first line of ‘Blood Money’.’

Attempt at an Inventory

Georges Perec

‘Nine beers, two Tuborgs, four Guinnesses.’

Portrait of Jinnah

Jane Perlez

‘God made Pakistan, not Jinnah.’

Be Careful with that Fan

Andre Perry

‘I was stuck in Texas for a month. The days passed like slow-motion films.


Chris Petit

‘One afternoon I woke up in a porno cinema with no memory of getting there.’


Chris Petit

‘From an early age I stalked movies for clues to a life I didn't understand.’

The Last Modernist

Chris Petit

‘If there were any sense of cultural justice in this country, the Westway – that chunk of concrete modernism – would be renamed after J.G. Ballard.’

Jim Magee’s Hill

Pamela Petro

‘No one who’s seen The Hill has been able to describe it to me without visceral discomfort. Actually, no one’s been able to describe it at all.’


Caryl Phillips

‘Curling herself into a tight fist against the cold, Martha huddled in the doorway and wondered if tonight she might see snow.‘

England, Whose England?

Darryl Pinckney

‘My Anglophilia was something like haemophilia - that is, I was easily bruised by facts so stayed away from them.’


Harold Pinter

‘What I want to know is quite simple. Was she spanked?’

A Note on Shakespeare

Harold Pinter

‘Shakespeare writes of the open wound and, through him, we know it open and know it closed. We tell when it ceases to beat and tell it at its highest peak of fever‘, Harold Pinter in 'A Note on Shakespeare' in Granta 59: France: The Outsider.

A Summer’s Evening in Beijing

Elizabeth Pisani

‘The air is light with the intoxicating fumes of impending martyrdom.’

The River Potudan

Andrei Platonov

‘Grass had grown back on the trodden-down dirt tracks of the civil war, because the war had stopped.’

The Migration

Edward Platt

‘It was like stepping into the interior of a submarine.’


Norman Podhoretz

‘As a result of Vietnam, the Pentagon has grown extremely gun-shy. These days it is virtually pacifist: it buys a lot of weapons, but doesn't really like the idea of using them.’


Donald Ray Pollock

‘I began working at the Mead Paper Company in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the summer of 1973.’

The Problem Outside

Linda Polman

‘About 150,000 refugees, standing shoulder to shoulder on a mountain plateau the size of three football fields‘.

Rosalind Porter | What I’m Reading

Rosalind Porter

‘Despite the difficulties booksellers have selling the stuff, the short story isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.’