Explore essays and memoir
On Meeting Mrs Obama
‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’
Jennifer Kabat on the Anti-Rent War, one of the earliest moments of rural populism in the US, and something few know about outside the Catskill Mountains.
A Night in the Engadine
John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
‘Strangely, it was Joseph Conrad who introduced me to Edward Said and not the other way around.’
‘This burning girl that I am with skin stretched white hot across unfair flesh. Harmflesh.’
Two Keiths and the Wrong Piano
‘My response to the music had reminded me that concealed inside myself was a more excitable and open self raring to get out.’
Confessions of a White Vampire
‘Many of the people I was living with considered me a white vampire, who killed to extract human fat.’ Jeremy Narby on the Amazonian myth of the white vampire.
Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.
Best Book of 2013: Tom Drury’s Pacific
‘There is a remarkable flow to the novel, like that aimless but essential drunken chatter after your third pint.’ John Patrick McHugh on why Tom Drury’s Pacific is the best book of 2013.
The Trouble With Rape
April Ayers Lawson on rape, trauma, and the difficulty of speaking out about sexual abuse.
All Hail the Holy Bone
‘It is part angel, part lepidopteran, part Rorschach inkblot.’
Jack Losh reports from rebel-held Bria in the Central African Republic, where fighting has forced thousands into a displacement camp.
Bohemian Rhapsody in Five Acts
Tiffany Murray on living with Freddie Mercury as a child.
Masculinity Is Leaving The Male Body
‘If we’re gonna imagine this beautiful queer paradise what form does a man take?’ – Seabright D. Mortimer on constructing masculine identity in genderqueer spaces.
‘I again told him I wasn’t ready to have sex, and his only response was to lean in and kiss me. The hallway in which we walked seemed to be shrinking, closing in on us.’ – April Ayers Lawson on intimacy after sexual abuse.
On Paris Hilton and Other Undead Things
‘What sex tapes offer, on a hauntological level, is an impossible closeness to that which is neither dead nor alive.’
See What You Do to Me
‘My intention was to protect myself, and not to have to go back on my word.’
‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’
‘We started the affair in a small booth at Village Inn. I didn’t sleep the night before. You were my teacher, and we discussed my fiction.’
‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’
‘We hope that the copilot knows the terrain well. That his mask of youth conceals the face of a seasoned veteran of war. That he knows the minefields because he helped plant them.’
A Mischief of Rats
‘They slept curled together in a hammock, little scraps of fur, hearts beating madly.’ Joanna Kavenna on her pet rats, Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love.
The Great Israeli novel of War and Doubt
Granta editor Anne Meadows writes about Khirbet Khizeh, the great Israeli novel of war and doubt.
Lisa Moore | Notes on Craft
‘I wanted to explore what a “likeness” is, and how the act of capturing a person through a portrait might compare to writing a character.’
Téa Obreht on a chance encounter with a moose in Wyoming, for Granta 142: Animalia
A Not-So-Pretty History of Pet Care
‘One day after the next I would figure out what was needed, learn from my mistakes, pay attention to what worked.’
Large Black Rooster
‘Early one morning in the month of June, someone ran over a huge black rooster on County Road W in Wisconsin hill country.’
The Bible As Literature, Literature As Scripture
'Literature and literary criticism took me away from the Church as a teenager, and literature and literary criticism brought me back to it later.'
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her - not even her biographers. April Ayers Lawson on Woolf's abuse, and her own.
Equal Recognition | Discoveries
In an article for the LA Review of Books, Deborah Smith discusses the politics of literary translation and the backlash she received after winning the Man Booker International Prize.