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Bookshelves: John Berger in My Family Album

Amitava Kumar

‘The contours of the family arranged on the bookshelf shifted.’

H+

Matthieu Gafsou & Daisy Hildyard

‘It’s a shadow-world: strangely familiar, all the same.’ Daisy Hildyard introduces Mattieu Gafsou’s photoessay on transhumanism.

A Woman Screaming

Saskia Vogel

‘I realized that neither revenge nor compulsive storytelling would release me from this pain.’

Going Home

Raja Shehadeh

Read an excerpt from Raja Shehadeh’s Going Home, a reflection on ageing, failure, the occupation, and the changing face of Ramallah.

Karen Olsson | Notes on Craft

Karen Olsson

Karen Olsson shares her notes on the craft of writing: ‘Every book is an unsolvable problem, and yet every time I convince myself I’m just on the verge of cracking it.’

Night on Fire

Darcey Steinke

‘I know what’s going to happen and I know that it’s going to be bizarre.’

My Writing Playlist

Ed Vulliamy

Ed Vulliamy on the nine best songs to listen to while you write.

Stuck in Trees (with Apologies to Ian Frazier)

Jessica Francis Kane

‘On 8 January 2018, I noticed a large bunch of purple balloons in a tree near my apartment building.’

The Resurgence of the Monstrous Feminine

Hannah Williams

‘Despite the sheer and uncommunicable amount of violence enacted upon the female body throughout history, it’s woman as terroriser, as beast, that we keep coming back to.’

David Harrison | A London View

David Harrison

Whatever we make ugly, nature will correct.

Surrender

Joanna Pocock

‘How could having sex with the Earth ever be consensual?’

Boxing

Fatima Farheen Mirza

Fatima Farheen Mirza on navigating gender roles in a Muslim family, wearing hijab and learning how to box.

The Way to the Sea

Caroline Crampton

‘Alone in the silent dark, she traversed the mouth of the estuary in mile-long sweeps, making a little more progress up the river each time she turned. Wind and tide were pushing her away, back towards the sea.’

Daddy Issues

Katherine Angel

‘We need to keep the modern, civilised father on the hook.’

Mother and Son:
Life and Fate

Robert Chandler

‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’

Distributed Denial of Service

Merritt Tierce

‘Once you learn to seal the shell, to make it watertight, you can let anything roil around in there.’

The Ungrateful Refugee

Dina Nayeri

‘I was born in 1979, a year of revolution, and grew up in wartime.’ Dina Nayeri on growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Sigrid Rausing

Granta’s editor Sigrid Rausing remembers Binyavanga Wainaina.

How I Write My Books

Anne Serre

Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness

Zanele Muholi & Anne McNeill

‘Zanele Muholi is a photographer, often described as one of the most powerful visual activists of our time, and a long-time advocate for their black LGBTQ+ community.’

To Zinder

Sven Lindqvist

Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.

Pajtim Statovci | Notes on Craft

Pajtim Statovci

‘My childhood was pierced not only by the violence in Kosovo but also by the violence my immigrant family was confronted with in Finland.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 147: 40th-Birthday Special.

A Coup

Bruce Chatwin

‘You do not understand. In this country one understands nothing.’

The Fall of Saigon

James Fenton

‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’

Tadpoles

Primo Levi

‘It was a harsh and brutal puberty: the tiny creatures began to fret, as if an inner sense had forewarned them of the torment in store’

The Imam and the Indian

Amitav Ghosh

‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’

His Roth

Philip Roth

‘I naively believed as a child that I would always have a father present, and the truth seems to be that I always will.’

Glitches

John Gregory Dunne

‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’

The Snow in Ghana

Ryszard Kapuściński

‘We always carry it to foreign countries, all over the world, our pride and our powerlessness.’ Translated from the Polish by William Brand.

The Zoo in Basel

John Berger

‘To create is to let take over something which did not exist before and is therefore new.’

Dreams for Hire

Gabriel García Márquez

‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.

Editorial

Bill Buford

Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.

Where is Kigali?

Lindsey Hilsum

‘Evariste was the nightwatchman. He and I were alone in the house in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, when the killing started.’

Those Who Felt Differently

Ian Jack

‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’

Self-Consciousness

Edward W. Said

‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.‘