Granta | The Home of New Writing

Explore Essays and memoir

A question of identity

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’

Zagreb

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘‘We’ll print your book if you bring us 140 kilos of paper,’ says my friend, a publisher. ‘Where can I find 140 kilos of paper?’ ‘I don’t know. That’s your problem, you’re the writer.’’

The Art of Moving On

David Ulin

‘This felt like the moment New York disappeared for me.’

Ludmila Ulitskaya | On Europe

Ludmila Ulitskaya

‘It seems clear to me that during the past ten years, Russia has reached the apex of its estrangement from Europe.’ Translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon.

Life and Breasts

Ludmila Ulitskaya

‘Death is here, by our side, and we can make no witty Nabokovian jokes about it.’

Notes on Craft

Deb Olin Unferth

‘People (not me) seem to find chickens inherently funny.’

Naples is Closed

Barry Unsworth

‘Naples had always been high on the list of places I wanted to visit‘.

Best Book of 2010: Mr Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt

Emma Jane Unsworth

‘Hunt writes with brio, the visceral often blooming into the mystical.’

Italo Calvino

John Updike

‘Post-modernism, if it can be said to exist at all, had in Calvino its most seductive showman.’

Getting The Words Out

John Updike

‘No, it is not confrontation but some wish to avoid it, some hasty wish to please, that betrays my flow of speech.’

Root and Branch

Sana Valiulina

‘I am my father’s daughter, a former prisoner of war and “suspicious person” who spent ten years in the Gulag.’ Translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon.

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Soundings

Abraham Verghese

‘On the first day of June, 1972, I was taught how to percuss the body.’

L.A. Diary: Notes from a Mexikorean Country

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘I was reassured to see that my hotel does not resemble the one in The Shining.’