Explore essays and memoir
My Chess Teacher
‘The environment, however, wasn’t a hostile one. Though it was filled with the strangest guys in town, they were only there to play.’
Cynthia Ozick | First Sentence
‘Some stories begin with an incident, or a set of enigmatic circumstances, or a scene indelibly witnessed, or the relationship of unlike temperaments, or even something as gossamer as a mood. And then there is the kind of story that is rooted in an idea.’
The Question of Fate
‘The possibility that I’d unwittingly tapped into her fate and used it as fuel for a story sickened me.’
Blood Is Usually Red
‘A lot of babies were born in skiffs during storms, their umbilical cords cut with rusty pocketknives.’
Melinda Moustakis | First Sentence
‘We all would like to think that with one line, one brush, we could make a reader fall madly in love, and there are writers that elicit such a response with the appropriately gorgeous.’
Chasing Wolves in the American West
‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’
‘It was in one of those listless summers after graduation that I found myself in the small Japanese town of Sasayama.’
‘The following are some of the Japanese players who also appeared in the major leagues during the Age of Ichiro.’
The Power of a Grandmother Named Tranquilina
'Never underestimate the power of a grandmother to leave her mark on coming generations, or the taste of her cooking to cause an epiphany big enough to give the world a shiver.'
‘Rather than death itself, it is the disappearance of traces that seems unbearable and sad. The disappearance of all signs that I existed.’
The Magic Box
‘It never gets dark in Times Square. Sometimes I’d wake at two or three or four and watch waves of neon pass through my room.’ An essay on David Wojnarowicz's work, life and archives.
The Emily Dickinson Series
The Emily Dickinson Series is a collection of collages by Janet Malcolm that appear in Granta 126: do you remember.
Laura Kasischke | First Sentence
‘There really was a moth I found in a toolbox (not as musical or interesting as ‘strongbox’), alive, in the attic, in that box.’
A.L. Kennedy | First Sentence
‘I have never seen anyone eat figs in the street and feel I am unsurprised.’
Yiyun Li | First Sentence
‘But for her, and perhaps for many, the solidity of an invented life is not trustworthy.’
Ange Mlinko | First Sentence
‘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.’
Chupa Globo (Globo Sucks)
‘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
‘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.’
Notes from Uzbekistan
‘The cultural presentations of the students – that juxtaposition of old and new world, of tradition and modernity.’
The Perfect Last Days of Mr Sengupta
‘The point of lucid death,’ he said, ‘is to retain the consciousness of dying, while blunting the agony of it.’
A Walk to Kobe
‘What I’m talking about is a different sea, and different mountains.’ Haruki Murakami walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.
Remembering Iain M Banks
Stuart Kelly remembers Iain Banks, and assesses the influence he's had on this generation of writers.
Helen Oyeyemi | My Writing Playlist
Helen Oyeyemi on what she listens to while writing and editing.
Rooms That Have Had Their Part
‘Rooms jaundiced by bad lighting, so you wondered, what is ague, and could we have it? Rooms that hummed, a hum you couldn’t quite identify, or that seemed in the end to come from your own head.’
Samba e Choro
‘I think the cities we remember best are the ones that greet us with the utmost cruelty.’
Introducing Luisa Geisler
‘To see everything large and to see it all for the first time is what a child’s eyes constantly do.’
Introducing Miguel Del Castillo
‘And questions, more than heroes, are the material from which good stories are made.’
Javier Montes on Emilio Fraia
‘Fraia sets himself the most difficult and respectable task a writer can face: unveiling the mystery without revealing the secret.’
Introducing Tatiana Salem Levy
Tatiana Salem Levy is introduced by previous double Best of Young British Novelist, A.L. Kennedy.
A Dose of Winter Medicine
‘I looked at the carpet in her small living room. This is where she had fallen and lay for twenty-four hours before her younger sister, Auntie Tanya, had found her.’