Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

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

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.’

A Thousand Splendid Stuns

Morwari Zafar

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

Alexis Wright | Is Travel Writing Dead?

Alexis Wright

‘In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world.’

Ali the Muscle

Johnny West

‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’

All I Know About Gertrude Stein

Jeanette Winterson

‘The more I love you, the more I feel alone.’

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

An Afghanistan Picture Show

William T. Vollmann

‘The windbreakers of the passengers standing at the rail fluttered violently.’

Arithmetic on the Frontier

Declan Walsh

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

Barrenland

A Yi

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

Best Book of 1926: Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel

Sun Yisheng

His is a force more penetrative than all the bogus machismo of Hemingway.

Best Book of 1970: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

Callan Wink

Why Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is the best book of 1970.

Best Book of 1984: Amalgamemnon

Joanna Walsh

Joanna Walsh on why Christine Brooke-Rose's Amalgamemnon is the best book of 1984.

Best Book of 2010: Mr Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt

Emma Jane Unsworth

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

Body Snatchers

William T. Vollmann

‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Bush House

Mirza Waheed

‘I first stepped into Bush House on a dreary November day in 2001. It was a trepid walk.’

Clean

Matt Young

An excerpt from Matt Young's memoir Eat The Apple, which explores his three deployments to Iraq as a member of the US Marine Corps.

Common Cyborg

Jillian Weise

‘I’m nervous at night when I take off my leg. I wait until the last moment before sleep to un-tech because I am a woman who lives alone’

Cricket in Samoa

Gavin Young

‘Balls flew towards the beach or into dense jungle. Enthusiastic young fielders tumbled head over heels in the morning glories. Village elders, large, heavy-breasted, critical men, lay in the shade on cushions discussing the course of play like contented sea lions on their favourite rocks.’

Cry of Machines

Kao Kalia Yang

‘Time cannot erase my memories of fear and shame.’

Diego Garcia

Simon Winchester

‘How do you persuade a thousand dogs to walk into a fire? How do you persuade them, as it were, to commit suttee?’.

Fairbourne

Adam Weymouth

‘Climate change, I realise, is already here. Not the drama of it, not yet, but in the mundane.’

Field Burning

William Wharton

‘I thought after what had happened to us in the past twenty-four hours I’d never be scared to die again, but I am.’

First Sentence: Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora

‘Immigration has become a physical thing, like a tumor inside us, between us.’

Five are the fingers, and five are the sins

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson on the life of the man who prototyped fascism, the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio

Forbidden Games

Tia Wallman

‘We do not understand why, nor did we covet such long life, but here we are, our respective addictions and madness with us to the end.’

Fortune

Tobias Wolff

‘We’d left Sarasota in the dead of summer, right after my tenth birthday, and headed west under low flickering skies that turned black and exploded and cleared just long enough to leave the air gauzy with steam.’

Frank’s Place

Richard Williams

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

Gentlemen

Eudora Welty

‘There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down.’

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.’

Here Come the Tanks

Patrick Wright

‘In these civilian circumstances, unhampered by any opposition from aircraft, landmines, artillery or other tanks, the tank seems unstoppable.’

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.’

Home: Peckham

Evie Wyld

‘Peckham is the place of my adolescence, my first cobbled together attempts at dressing myself from the charity shops on Rye Lane.’

Hotel Haunting

Joanna Walsh

‘There was a time in my life when I lived in hotels. Around this time, the time I did not spend in hotels was time I did not live.’