Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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The Crack in the Door

Maria Chaudhuri

‘When my mother practises music, the world is her enemy.’

Dogfight Over Karachi

Khademul Islam

‘I slowly went down the stairs, feeling my being unspooling.’

João’s War

Julia Rochester

‘He repeatedly said, “I should have been a priest.“ He was right. People sought his benediction.’

The Second Night is Ending

Mikail Eldin

‘This winter and this forest will leave you with a shiver in your heart, which will appear whenever you see a winter forest, even in pictures.’

Ninth and Race

Dan Burt

‘Prostitution, gambling, fencing, contract murder, loan-sharking, political corruption and crime of every sort were the daily trade in Philadelphia’s Tenderloin, the oldest part of town.’

Patrick French | First Sentence

Patrick French

‘In Edwardian days, if you were growing up in England (though Maurice was from Ireland) your life was regimented.’

This July

Wiam El-Tamami

‘It felt as though time would fall off a cliff on Sunday. We jokingly called it The End of the World.’

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.’

A.L. Kennedy | First Sentence

A.L. Kennedy

‘I have never seen anyone eat figs in the street and feel I am unsurprised.’

After Silk Road

Mike Power

‘The Dark Web is a shadow internet, an unindexed, unseen and lawless corner of cyberspace.’

The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

‘In Rwanda today so much is unspoken or only whispered.’

Mess

Romesh Gunesekera

‘You have to go on the offensive until you smell victory. Then you have the aphrodisiac and can go full tilt.’

1979

Aminatta Forna

‘What happened in 1979 has happened many times before and many times since, in places where people have set themselves free and believed with all their hearts that the freedom they had fought for was real and lasting, only to be recaptured.’

Stalkers

Hari Kunzru

‘Writer: How do we get back? Stalker: Here, nobody returns.’

Yiyun Li | First Sentence

Yiyun Li

‘But for her, and perhaps for many, the solidity of an invented life is not trustworthy.’

Selvy After the War

Frances Harrison

‘She exudes happiness. Somewhere along the line she understood that this was the best way to defeat the men who tortured her.’

Ange Mlinko | First Sentence

Ange Mlinko

‘I rediscovered the efficacy of meter (or the ‘contrast between fixity and flux’) when I was stuck in a shark tunnel with my kids and was afraid I was coming down with a panic attack.’

World War II Has Never Ended

Michael W. Clune

‘I discovered Hitler the summer I turned twelve. I found him in the centre of a map in a computer game called Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. I destroyed him with a bomb.’

You Remember the Planes

Paul Auster

‘You can’t remember the precise moment when you understood that you were a Jew.’

A Dynasty of Album Cover Art

Lemi Ghariokwu

‘The music is as powerful as it gets and beneath his knife-edge, cutting sarcasm, Fela’s voice rages.’

Teachers

Sandy Tolan

‘They came from Europe, Palestine and America, drawn by the story of Ramzi and Al Kamandjâti, by the young traveller’s spirit of adventure, and by the desire to use their musical talents for work that could make a difference in the world.’

A Brief History of a Musical Failure

Catherine Tice

‘At the end of the piece, there was silence, followed by a sudden thunder of feet and bows on the stands. A thrilling noise.’

Lullaby

Mary Ruefle

‘I wasn’t bored, I was relaxed, and, I suppose, happy (I’ve never been able to figure out how happiness feels).’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

‘Ever since this happened to me, I haven’t really believed in free will.’

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.’

David Searcy | First Sentence

David Searcy

‘When I was a kid, my family doctor, right through high school, was this wonderful, funny guy with a little Boston Blackie moustache who looked a lot like Burgess Meredith.’

Miroslav Penkov | First Sentence

Miroslav Penkov

‘It was an old woman’s racism that inspired the first line of ‘Blood Money’.’

Cristhiano Aguiar | On Tour

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘Rabbits running across a campus and a beer named Hobgoblin: these are two of the topics noted in my small travel notebook.’

Chupa Globo (Globo Sucks)

Sophie Lewis

‘Carnival by stealth: ticketless, leaderless and limitless, a surge of feeling independent of schools, parties, king or queen; a true subversion of the status quo.’

Tao Lin | On Tour

Tao Lin

‘The editor of the Oregonian’s books section (Powell’s employees later confirmed to me that it was him, but they could be wrong) attended, I think, and asked in what sounded to me like an accusatory, non-curious voice if I was on drugs.’

The Third Pole

Gavin Francis

‘I came to the Himalayas not because of a dream of mountains or of animals, but because of a map.’

Notes from Uzbekistan

Chinelo Okparanta

‘The cultural presentations of the students – that juxtaposition of old and new world, of tradition and modernity.’

The Perfect Last Days of Mr Sengupta

Siddartha Mukherjee

‘The point of lucid death,’ he said, ‘is to retain the consciousness of dying, while blunting the agony of it.’

Underland

Robert Macfarlane

‘There are many ways to die underground.’

The Hudson River School

David Searcy

‘The coyote skull is on the table.’

A Rationalist in the Jungle

Héctor Abad

‘A pale-faced, near-sighted urbanite like me is nothing less than handicapped in the heart of the jungle.’