Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Best Book of 2008: The Alphabet

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout on why Ron Silliman's The Alphabet is the best book of 2008.

Best Book of 1901: The Octopus

Rob Magnuson Smith

Rob Magnuson Smith on why Frank Norris' The Octopus is the best book of 1901.

Best Story of 1965: ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender on why Flannery O’Connor's ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is the best story of 1965.

Best Book of 2003: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke

Daisy Hildyard

Daisy Hildyard on why Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hooke is the best book of 2003.

Best Book of 2015: After The Dance

Dimitry Elias Léger

Dimitry Elias Léger on why Jan Gaye's After the Dance is the best book of 2015.

Best Book of 1981: Lanark

Lorna Gibb

Lorna Gibb on why Alasdair Gray's Lanark is the best book of 1981.

Best Book of 2017: Shadowbahn

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem on why Steve Erickson's Shadowbahn is the best book of a year to come.

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 2006: The Re-Emergence of Global Finance

Oliver Bullough

Oliver Bullough on why Gary Burn's The Re-Emergence of Global Finance is the best book of 2006.

Best Book of 1955: Pedro Páramo

Louise Stern

Louise Stern on why Pedro Páramo is the best book of 1955.

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.

Bad Luck, Britain

Fredrik Sjöberg

‘It was a wonderful day of high summer in the Stockholm archipelago.’

Barnby Dun

Colin Grant

‘Restored nature would be a phantom of its former self. The experience would be akin to visiting a wildlife park.’

Night Watch

Tim Dee

‘A nightjar is a dusty carpet whose pattern has absorbed into it every tread.’

Introduction: What Have We Done

Sigrid Rausing

‘There is an apocalyptic feeling in the air. I write the day after the news that the IS have blown up parts of the ancient site of Palmyra.’

The Invitation

Barry Lopez

‘The effort to know a place deeply is, ultimately, an expression of the human desire to belong, to fit somewhere.’

Whale Fall

Rebecca Giggs

‘The whale as landfill. It was a metaphor, and then it wasn’t.’

The Legacy

Fred Pearce

‘It created not just a climate of fear, but also a landscape of secrets.’

Upriver

Kathleen Jamie

‘I liked the way she travelled: with her iPod in one pocket, her traditional Yup’ik woman’s knife, or ulu, in the other.’

The Hand’s Breadth Murders

Adam Nicolson & Gus Palmer

‘It is what happens in a place where revenge is the only justice.’

Fragments

Roger Deakin & Robert Macfarlane

‘Entering a wood is to enter an element as different as the sea.’

Lessons

Diana Athill

‘My two valuable lessons are: avoid romanticism and abhor possessiveness.’

An (almost) perfect day

Anne De Gelas

‘I think of the self-portrait as a mirror of all the violence that befalls us.’

Saving Mesopotamia

Alexandra Lucas Coelho

‘What they are excavating is the birth of a civilisation.’

Greg Jackson | First Sentence

Greg Jackson

‘I am being, I believe, about as forthright as I am being coy.’

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.’

Budapest 2015

Wojciech Tochman

‘To the delight of the little kids, who had seen a good deal of killing in their lives, a middle-aged man blew soap bubbles.’

Refugees and Europe: The Swedish Exception

Göran Rosenberg

‘What would it take to turn the downward spiral of anti-refugee policies around?’

On the Refugee Crisis

Sarah Moss

‘I imagine that each of my migrant forebears needed a bit of help on each arrival, a bit of human decency’

Pinter for Dogs

Livi Michael

‘If everyone let someone in there wouldn’t be a problem.’

Empathy and the New Refugee Crisis

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

‘What does it take to remind people that you are human?’

On the Refugee Crisis

Gazmend Kapllani

‘Europe, my love. You have such a long history; and oftentimes such a short memory.’

Fatima Bhutto on the Refugee Crisis

Fatima Bhutto

‘In a connected world, how can anyone close their doors?’

First Sentence: Molly Brodak

Molly Brodak

‘A name is a single small token of selfhood issued at birth, upon which all the rest of one’s person must be built.’

The Exorcism of Doctor Escudero

Gabi Martínez

‘His body was like a rock. It wasn’t his. It was like he was possessed.’