Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

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.’

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.’

Barrenland

A Yi

‘I no longer feared that she would entrap me; my heart would not soften.’

In Cyberspace: a love letter

Joanna Walsh

‘I’m at a cafe table. It doesn’t matter which country. I’ve been travelling for a long time. By train. Nine, ten different countries in thirty days, a couple of nights in each, maybe three at most.’

Mrs de Pelet

Evie Wyld

‘I see her with her hands cupped in front of her shouting ‘The “O”, ladies, The Vaginal O’ as we read Shakespeare.’

In the Shadow of John Ascuaga’s Nugget

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘It would be falsely modest to claim that I appreciate the hot dog on any level beneath that of connoisseur.’

Introducing Daniel Galera

Alejandro Zambra

‘It’s hard to introduce Daniel Galera’s tale without resorting to adjectives that are more likely to arouse distrust than interest.’

The Metaphoreign Body

Tod Wodicka

‘Finally, I was reduced to a piece of matter, solid and real and mute and totally absorbed inside a foreign system.’

Bush House

Mirza Waheed

‘I first stepped into Bush House on a dreary November day in 2001. It was a trepid walk.’

Home: Peckham

Evie Wyld

‘Peckham is the place of my adolescence, my first cobbled together attempts at dressing myself from the charity shops on Rye Lane.’

Stevenage

Gary Younge

‘In 1988 my mother took the bus to Stevenage town centre to do the weekly shop, came home and died in her sleep.’

Petty Thief

A Yi

‘Stop what you’re doing, I’ve caught the guy! He says he knows kung fu.’

Self-Consciousness: Memoirs by John Updike

Edmund White

‘The freedom conferred by masks. Children and current wives cannot blame you for what your characters do and say.’

Holy Solitude

Kong Yalei

‘I always think, either as a reader or as a writer, one person – anyone – can struggle against this filthy world by entering into a world of literature.’

The Art of Moving On

David Ulin

‘This felt like the moment New York disappeared for me.’

Veterans of a Foreign War

Elliott Woods

‘If they’re willing to do this for their country then I should be willing to make the same sacrifices.’

Jihad Redux

Declan Walsh

‘American patience snapped, and Washington took matters into its own hands.’

A Norwegian Nightmare

Alf Kjetil Walgermo

‘Could we somehow have avoided feeding the killer at our own breast?’

Ali the Muscle

Johnny West

‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’

Gentlemen

Eudora Welty

‘There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down.’

All I Know About Gertrude Stein

Jeanette Winterson

‘The more I love you, the more I feel alone.’

One Day I Will Write About This Place

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘We are, it seems, in the middle of nowhere.’

Arithmetic on the Frontier

Declan Walsh

‘These days the tempest of Taliban violence ripping across the frontier has shaken Peshawar to its core.’

Woman’s Body: An Owner’s Manual

Evie Wyld

‘In the year before my first period, my mother gives me a book called Woman’s Body, An Owner’s Manual.’

Letter from Wyoming

Brad Watson

‘Before I moved to Wyoming in 2005, I was – like a lot of people outside this region, it turns out – not quite sure just where it was.’

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

‘Maybe you should consider moving’

Wrestling with Translation

Jeffrey Yang

‘As I embarked on my adventure I immediately started to feel that old hatred for simplified Chinese characters.’

Body Snatchers

William T. Vollmann

‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’

One Ridge Over

Josh Weil

‘Some mornings I see him coming up through the mist. The grey shape of a long-haired man carrying a long-barreled gun amid the bare grey branches of the old apple trees.’

A question of identity

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’

Keeping it in the family

Claire Vaye Watkins

‘My father first came to Death Valley because Charles Manson told him to.’

My First European

Edmund White

‘I belong to the last generation of Americans obsessed with Europe and intimidated by it.’

In Gikuyu, for Gikuyu, of Gikuyu

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘My first name, Binyavanga, has always been a sort of barometer of public mood.’

Simon Willis | What I’m Reading

Simon Willis

‘Like an excitable child, I rushed to the foyer to buy my copy.’

The One True God, Allah

Richard Watson

‘This is the story of the British jihad.’

The House of Provisions

Lois Williams

‘A world of soft things stacked deeply.’