Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Passport Control

Kwame Dawes

‘I am Ghanaian. This is my legal label. I was born there. It is my inheritance.’

Into the Cosmos

Chloe Aridjis

‘In those fervently atheist times, it wasn’t God or his angelic messengers who would come forth from the sky, but the cosmonaut.’

War in Donbas

Julian Evans

Six days on the front lines of Ukraine’s ongoing battle with pro-Russian separatists

Lavande

Ann Beattie

‘It seemed impossible, but probably everyone marries thinking such a thing impossible.’

The Life and Death of a Homosexual

Pierre Clastres

‘There was no sweetness in the air that day: the corpse gave off a terrible stench’.

The Pretty Women of Paris

Anonymous

‘For the last fifteen years she has been richly kept by a Russian prince, who revels in her brutality, viciousness, extravagance and love of brandy.’

Six Brazilian Songs

Teju Cole

Teju Cole shares six favourite Brazilian songs.

Mona’s Story

Urvashi Butalia

‘I’m a woman, I’ve always wanted to be one, it’s that simple.’

Tales Out of School

Kees Beekmans

‘But it seems I’ve said something stupid again, and blasphemous to boot.’

The Meaning of Zombies

Naomi Alderman

‘They’re the interchangeable anonymous people we encounter on our daily commute, those whose humanity we cannot acknowledge.’

Delinquent in Derry

Nik Cohn

‘Across the river, in a Catholic enclave in the Waterside district, there was a disused funeral home in which, three nights a week, at 6d a shot, contraband teen movies could be sat through and sometimes seen, according to the state of the projector.’

LA Women

Douglas Brooker

‘I was bored. That was how it started. Anything I ever did that amounted to anything–or not–has always been the result of being sick of doing something else.’

Antediluvian

John Biguenet

‘To the inexperienced, hurricane stories always sound like exaggerations.’

Meat Country

J.M. Coetzee

‘What the imagination cannot encompass is death. Death, it says to itself, is the end of pain. Death is a relief.’

How to Read the Comics

Ariel Dorfman

‘Unlike the other comic strips in the magazine, ‘The Adventures of Mampato’ was conceived, illustrated, and entirely produced in Chile.’

God and Me

Diana Athill

‘Perhaps it’s just that the human mind is incapable of imagining anything that doesn’t begin.’

Ann Beattie | First Sentence

Ann Beattie

‘Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea.’

Rabih Alameddine | Portrait of My Father

Rabih Alameddine

‘I come from a family that hangs pictures of family on its walls.’

Means of Transport

John Berger

‘Use these photos as means of transport. Ride on them. No passes needed. Go close. Imprudently close. They leave every minute.’

When Did I Become a Writer?

Mia Couto

‘I am often asked when I became a writer, and I have taken to not rushing my answer.’

People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria

Ike Anya

‘I open the newspaper and the word ‘Nigeria’ catches my eye.’

How to Fly

John Burnside

‘I flew for the first time when I was nine years old.’

An Education

Lynn Barber

‘The whole meeting seemed completely unreal but then everything at that time seemed unreal, so I said ‘Yes, by all means make the film,’ and went back to the hospital and forgot about her.’

New New World

Peter Conrad

‘I left Australia at the age of twenty, carrying with me everything I thought I would need.’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

‘Ever since this happened to me, I haven’t really believed in free will.’

Moscow

Patrick Cockburn

‘Despite all the secrecy, what was happening in the Soviet Union was obvious enough: the old order, the wartime generation, was dying.’

The Second Night is Ending

Mikail Eldin

‘This winter and this forest will leave you with a shiver in your heart, which will appear whenever you see a winter forest, even in pictures.’

Kiss Daddy!

John Borneman

‘The whole family giggles and I am standing there, holding his father’s hand, looking into his eyes, hesitating. Time seems to slow down.’

According to Your Will

Naomi Alderman

‘Thank you, God,’ said the boys, ‘for not making me a woman.’ ‘Thank you, God,’ said the girls, ‘for making me according to Your will.’

Bandit

Molly Brodak

‘There are fragments of a criminal alongside fragments of a dad, and nothing overlaps, nothing eclipses the other, they’re just there, next to each other. No narrative fits.’

Under Ice

Iain Banks

‘Andy runs out across the ice.‘

On the Roof

Geoff Dyer

‘Destiny, I think, is not what lies in store for you; it's what is already stored up inside you—and it's as patient as death.’

More Fat Girls in Des Moines

Bill Bryson

‘I didn't really expect my grandparents to be waiting for me at the gate, on account of them both having been dead for many years.’

After Maidan

Oliver Bullough

‘A woman asked the steward behind the registration desk if our flight to Moscow was domestic or international. “We are still working on that,” the man answered.’

Glitches

John Gregory Dunne

‘What I felt, oddly enough, was a sense of guilt, mixed with shame and embarrassment.’

Inside Intelligence

Anthony Cavendish

‘Good heavens, old boy! It isn't the Russians we worry about; it's the British public that we don't want to know about it.’