Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Outside the Whale

Salman Rushdie

‘For a man as truthful, direct, intelligent, passionate and sane as Orwell, ‘politics’ had come to represent the antithesis of his own world-view.’

Tommy

Donald Ray Pollock

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

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.’

How to be Gay and Indian

Manil Suri

‘This was supposed to be my great in-your-face coming-out campaign, which I’d fretted over for months beforehand. Had India suddenly lost its conservativeness, turned enlightened, even hip?’

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.’

Cold Storage

Oliver Sacks

‘Uncle Toby was alive, but suspended, apparently, in some strange icy stupor.’

Election Night in Nicaragua

Sergio Ramirez

‘There was no room in our dreams for another war.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

‘The thing about a circular walk is that you end up where you started’

The Road to Abyei

John Ryle

‘Bor is a long way from Khartoum – more than 700 miles. There were other hostile groups on the way and precious little food.’

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.’

West

Caryl Phillips

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

A Guide to the City of Beirut

Fawwaz Traboulsi

‘In Beirut, a well reveals layer upon layer, generation after generation, of ruins.’

Going Abroad

W.G. Sebald

‘In Vienna I visited none of the sights and spoke not a word to a soul’.

Cinema’s Invisible Art

Jeremy Sheldon

‘Audiences don’t know somebody sits down and writes a picture.’

Letters to My Father, Now Dead

Teresa Pàmies

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

When Skateboards Will Be Free

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘My mother and father believe that the United States is destined one day to be engulfed in a socialist revolution.’

Medtner

Philip Pullman

‘It feels like being a child in a room where adults are having a deep and passionate conversation about important things’

Nuclear Arms And The Fate Of The Earth

Jonathan Schell

‘We have lived in the shadow of nuclear arms for more than thirty-six years, so it does not seem too soon for us to familiarize ourselves with them - to acquaint ourselves with such matters as the ‘thermal pulse’, the ‘blast wave’, and the ‘three stages of radiation sickness.’’

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

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

Other Women

Francine Prose

‘Feminism is as basic to my sense of self as the fact that I have brown eyes.’

Eating the Eggs of Love

Salman Rushdie

‘Forested mesas flanked the road to Matagalpa; ahead, the multiform mountains, conical, twisted, sinuous, closed the horizon.’

Six Snapshots of Partition

John Siddique

‘He hands me my inheritance: a box of conversations. Fragments of memory, blank spaces, things which there are no words for.’

The Many Voices of Africa

John Ryle

‘This is worth remembering: if it were not for Africa we would not be here at all.’

The Old Silk Route

Colin Thubron

‘If I had charted the most landlocked spot on earth, the arms of my compass would have intersected here, in China's far northwest.’

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.’

The Josser

Nell Stroud

‘When I was ten we moved to the country, to a village called Minety.’

Cyclone

Jonathan Raban

‘It began as a vacuum in the atmosphere, far out over the Atlantic. Trying to fill itself, it set up a spinning mass of air, like a plughole sucking water from a bath; but the faster the winds blew, the more the vacuum deepened.’

Bad Land

Jonathan Raban

‘What the bottom line always comes to is the old two a.m. cry: We can’t go on living like this.’

Person of the Year

Roy Robins

‘This conflation of hard-nosed realism and bright-eyed idealism has confused the aims of the award.’

Polling in New York City

Owen Sheers

‘It’s been said more than once during this US presidential campaign that the rest of the world should be allowed a vote as well.’

Keeping it in the family

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘He had abandoned me, after all, when I was nine months old, mostly so that he could devote his time, energy and money to the cause of workers’ revolution.’

After Lockerbie

George Rosie

‘I’ve seen many images from the Lockerbie calamity since but none has stayed with me like the picture of Shannon’s pretty, smiling face.’

A Prisoner of the Holy War

Wendell Steavenson

‘Thayr held out. He would not betray his country, he would not betray his leader.’

God and Me

Lucretia Stewart

‘It’s almost impossible to describe how it feels to believe in God. There really aren’t words elevated enough to explain it.’

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.’