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.’

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

Tommy

Donald Ray Pollock

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

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?’

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.’

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

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.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

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

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.’

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 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.’

A Guide to the City of Beirut

Fawwaz Traboulsi

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

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.‘

Eating the Eggs of Love

Salman Rushdie

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

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

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

Letters to My Father, Now Dead

Teresa Pàmies

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

Medtner

Philip Pullman

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

Cinema’s Invisible Art

Jeremy Sheldon

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

Other Women

Francine Prose

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

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.’

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.’’

Going Abroad

W.G. Sebald

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

Poland

Ronald Sukenick

‘Most of those released have trouble finding work, some have been suspended with seventy-five per cent pay, and others must now work freelance or get jobs writing for publications like technical journals.’

Closing Time

Jeremy Treglown

‘The effect is brutal and frightening, and rightly so.’

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.’

Deng’s Dogs

Santiago Roncagliolo

‘My earliest memory of Peru is a newspaper photograph from 1980 of dead dogs hanging from lamp posts in downtown Lima.’

Chatwin Revisited

Paul Theroux

‘He was such a darter he seldom stayed still long enough for anyone to sum him up.’

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.’

Mona Simpson | First Sentence

Mona Simpson

‘A year later, still in third person, I’d taken five days off my character’s long wait. I’d moved to present tense, though, for more immediacy.’

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.’

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.’