Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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How to Write about Africa

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.’

One Day I Will Write About This Place

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘We are, it seems, in the middle of nowhere.’

Arithmetic on the Frontier

Declan Walsh

‘These days the tempest of Taliban violence ripping across the frontier has shaken Peshawar to its core.’

Frank’s Place

Richard Williams

‘Marilyn Monroe spent a couple of nights at the Cal-Neva. Sinatra knew she was in a bad way.’

Letter from Wyoming

Brad Watson

‘Before I moved to Wyoming in 2005, I was – like a lot of people outside this region, it turns out – not quite sure just where it was.’

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Woman’s Body: An Owner’s Manual

Evie Wyld

‘In the year before my first period, my mother gives me a book called Woman’s Body, An Owner’s Manual.’

Ventimiglia

Joanna Walsh

‘Love is constant revolution, pure disruption, it can never be stilled.’

Persian Love

Alan Warner

‘It is 6:22 of what beauty and life's joy there is to extract’

Life and Breasts

Ludmila Ulitskaya

‘My reminder of mortality came in early 2010, and I found the narrative that followed raw but completely engrossing. For the present, but only for the present, it is behind me.’

A Thousand Splendid Stuns

Morwari Zafar

‘More important than anything else that fateful year was the life-defining transcendence of Peter Gabriel.’

Self-Consciousness: Memoirs by John Updike

Edmund White

‘The freedom conferred by masks. Children and current wives cannot blame you for what your characters do and say.’

Notes from New York

James Wolcott

‘Now and then it can appear that an entire magazine is opening up the silks, searching for a soft place to land.’

Stevenage

Gary Younge

‘In 1988 my mother took the bus to Stevenage town centre to do the weekly shop, came home and died in her sleep.’

The Case Against Babies

Joy Williams

‘Babies, babies, babies. There’s a plague of babies.’

Joburg

Ivan Vladislavić

‘When a house has been alarmed, it becomes explosive.’

Wrestling with Translation

Jeffrey Yang

‘As I embarked on my adventure I immediately started to feel that old hatred for simplified Chinese characters.’

The Aesthetics of Resistance

Peter Weiss

‘His whole life, he had declared while still at work on this painting, was nothing less than a continual struggle against the backwardness of thought and the killing of art.’

Searching for Pavese

Alejandro Zambra

‘Something’s gone awry with this article. My intention was to remember, in his birthplace, a writer I admire, and it’s clear that my admiration has waned.’

In Gikuyu, for Gikuyu, of Gikuyu

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘My first name, Binyavanga, has always been a sort of barometer of public mood.’

Barrenland

A Yi

‘I no longer feared that she would entrap me; my heart would not soften.’

Liberation Day

Christa Wolf

‘The world stubbornly refused to end and we were not prepared to cope with a world that refused to end.’

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

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.’

Notes from Italy

William Weaver

‘It was easy to meet people, especially if you were a wide-eyed American and spoke Italian. The literary world was particularly accessible, for all the intellectuals wanted to know about the States.’

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.’

Petty Thief

A Yi

‘Stop what you’re doing, I’ve caught the guy! He says he knows kung fu.’

The Coral Reef

Tran Vu

'"So, our last night of socialism," Dzung said as he squatted down beside me. I pulled two cigarettes out of my pocket and handed one to him, but didn't reply.'

The House of Provisions

Lois Williams

‘A world of soft things stacked deeply.’

The Romanovs Come to Stay

Frances Welch

‘When I was a child I seemed to live in a fog of inattention which cleared only when I was alone.’

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

‘Could we somehow have avoided feeding the killer at our own breast?’

New York

James Wolcott

‘Shiny and bright and compact, 'Heartburn’ whirrs along, not so much a novel as an appliance - an appliance whose inner workings are on the fritz.’

Waterway

Geoffrey Wolff

‘Six months unwinding, bristling with pitfalls and Sirens and drug dealers and drug agents and anxiety and shoals and snags and reefs and the worst gear-busting winter winds ever recorded in the southern Bahamas.’

Holy Solitude

Kong Yalei

‘I always think, either as a reader or as a writer, one person – anyone – can struggle against this filthy world by entering into a world of literature.’

The Sins of the Flesh

Margaret Visser

‘The message that vegetarianism imparts to the rest of us is ascetic and exclusive.’

What It’s Like

Anya Yurchyshyn

‘I’d been telling myself I would get there and get through it. I’d been telling myself I was doing the right thing, that no one could escape doing this thing and that was why the thing was right, not wrong.’