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My Chess Teacher

Ricardo Lísias

‘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

Cynthia Ozick

‘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

Catherine Lacey

‘The possibility that I’d unwittingly tapped into her fate and used it as fuel for a story sickened me.’

Blood Is Usually Red

Katherine Faw Morris

‘A lot of babies were born in skiffs during storms, their umbilical cords cut with rusty pocketknives.’

Melinda Moustakis | First Sentence

Melinda Moustakis

‘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

Adam Nicolson

‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’

Sasayama

Nadifa Mohamed

‘It was in one of those listless summers after graduation that I found myself in the small Japanese town of Sasayama.’

The Casualties

Katie Kitamura

‘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

Valerie Miles

'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.'

Linked

Ruth Ozeki

‘old poems, like polished stones, / tumbled words to break my teeth on.’

Blue Moon

Hiromi Kawakami

‘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

Olivia Laing

‘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.

Please Tim Tickle Lana

Colin McAdam

‘I no longer see human beings as I used to.’

The Emily Dickinson Series

Janet Malcolm

The Emily Dickinson Series is a collection of collages by Janet Malcolm that appear in Granta 126: do you remember.

Laura Kasischke | First Sentence

Laura Kasischke

‘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

A.L. Kennedy

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

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.’

A Walk to Kobe

Haruki Murakami

‘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

Stuart Kelly remembers Iain Banks, and assesses the influence he's had on this generation of writers.

Helen Oyeyemi | My Writing Playlist

Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi on what she listens to while writing and editing.

Rooms That Have Had Their Part

Joanna Kavenna

‘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.’

Leagues Away

Benjamin Markovits

‘A year passed before I could pick up a ball again with pleasure.’

Samba e Choro

Javier Montes

‘I think the cities we remember best are the ones that greet us with the utmost cruelty.’

Introducing Luisa Geisler

Elvira Navarro

‘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

Andrés Neuman

‘And questions, more than heroes, are the material from which good stories are made.’

Javier Montes on Emilio Fraia

Javier Montes

‘Fraia sets himself the most difficult and respectable task a writer can face: unveiling the mystery without revealing the secret.’

Introducing Tatiana Salem Levy

A.L. Kennedy

Tatiana Salem Levy is introduced by previous double Best of Young British Novelist, A.L. Kennedy.

A Dose of Winter Medicine

Kseniya Melnik

‘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.’

The Doctor Will See You Now

Amit Majmudar

‘The patients who really need seeing are usually unaware they are being seen.’