Explore essays and memoir
Water, Water, Everywhere
Darrell Hartman on water: from diving to climate change, hurricanes Irma and Harvey to the advent of ‘Blue Mind’.
The BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist
Here are the authors on this year's BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist
‘The cortex shrinks where the cells used to be. The spaces in between expand. Islands in the sea of the mind. An archipelago of the former self.’ Sinéad Gleeson on Alzheimer's disease.
Battle of the Booker: Meet the Shortlist
The fight-to-the-literary-death that is the Man Booker continues – six authors remain in the race.
If Mother’s Happy
‘Towards the end of my pregnancy, like many women, my emotions were taut, stretched thin like the skin round my middle.’
Godzilla and Sadism | Discoveries
Godzilla, Kathy Acker, Roald Dahl, Frank Bidart and a tribute to John Ashbery in this week's Discoveries – a round-up of writing by the Granta editors.
The Fashion of Kathy Acker
An extract from Chris Kraus’s new biography, After Kathy Acker.
Erika Krouse on her work as a private investigator. ‘An escort service was providing prostitutes for football recruits, directly solicited by the university.’
Hallelujah! A Brief History of Bombing People
Ben Mauk on the West’s longstanding love of missiles, drones, bombs and nukes.
Desire | State of Mind
‘My burgeoning sense of my own attractiveness, so fragile and recently developed, withered in this less than fertile ground.’
Possessed | State of Mind
‘I am neither fully awake nor entirely asleep. In fact, I wonder if I am even alive.’
We are living through a period of pop-up populism, where each political movement redefines ‘the Many’ and ‘the People’, where we are always reconsidering who counts as an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’, where what it means to belong is never certain.
Would You Care to Enlarge on That? | Discoveries
Once a fortnight, we make a shameless plea for your elusive attention by sharing our favourite links from across the web.
Nothing to be afraid of | State of Mind
‘Life in the first person is both magical and terrifying. But it is circumscribed.’ Anil K. Seth on the ties between our brains, bodies and consciousness.
Soon Comes Night
‘I’d become so used to hiding away inside myself I couldn’t respond with any spontaneity. I was stuck in the shallows of my emotions.’ Ekow Eshun on success, night terrors and therapy.
‘What’s in a state of mind? How do we describe emotions, or the complex relationship between individuals and the state?’
Notes on a Suicide
‘The problem was that, for the most part, it did not matter how widely broadcast your discontent was: no one cared.’
One Picture, A Thousand Words
‘I think they are not on the right path. It’s wrong. What they are doing is wrong.’
Out of the Cradle
‘What had formerly been a sedative, a tranquilizing soporific, had morphed into a facilitator of reflection, contemplation, deliberation, even inspiration.’
A Mingling | State of Mind
‘My empathy may become a vehicle of insight for me and therefore help me to help you or it may debilitate me altogether, make me so sad I am no good to you whatsoever.’
The Recall of Herman Harcourt
‘I had the queer feeling of looking into a mirror of the projected future, of perhaps seeing how easily his fall could be a rehearsal for my own.’
‘The idea that football might provide an opportunity to overcome our dumber instincts seemed ridiculous now: football was a chance to set our idiocy free.’
Monster | State of Mind
‘Today’s a day for you to feel blocked and impeded; a coward in work and love; resenting duty; suspecting pleasure.’
Coming Home to the Counter-Revolution
‘My Cairo is an inverted city, one that wears its innards above the skin.’
Gay and Depressed | State of Mind
‘It would be a bit more tolerable if we lived in a society that didn’t blame depression on its victims.’
Brother | State of Mind
‘We don’t often talk seriously or in depth about our childhood these days, but we know we could, and we know what good it did us.’
Marcel Proust’s letters to his neighbour, translated from the French by Lydia Davis.
Books Do Furnish a Room
‘The shelves say something about the person who has stocked them; they say much.’
Threshold | State of Mind
‘What we’re about to see is greater than the thing you’re running from.’
The Peripatetic Penelope Fitzgerald
Lucy Scholes on the highs, lows and package tours of Booker-prize-winning author Penelope Fitzgerald. ‘Fitzgerald’s life can only be attributed to the caprices of fate.’