Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

#TeamBaddiel vs #TeamBabel

David Baddiel

‘Social media has allowed everyone in the world to raise their own little flag of self’

10 Schools of Philosophy that should be better known (in the West)

Julian Baggini

The author of How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy explains ten of the most overlooked philosophies from around the world.

A Coup

Bruce Chatwin

‘You do not understand. In this country one understands nothing.’

A Great Lake

Nam Le

‘The system wants us to want to belong, at almost any price.’

A London View

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes shares a view of London from his childhood.

A Night in the Engadine

John Kaag

John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, camps out in the mountains of the Engadine where Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

All I Know About Gertrude Stein

Jeanette Winterson

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

American Orchard

Diana Matar & Max Houghton

‘This unsettling imagery points to a dereliction of civic duty.’ Max Houghton introduces photographs by Diana Matar.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Sigrid Rausing

Granta's editor Sigrid Rausing remembers Binyavanga Wainaina.

Charlotte Collins | Notes on Craft

Charlotte Collins

Charlotte Collins on the craft of translation. ‘Literary translators don’t just translate the ‘meaning’ of a text; we translate the feel of it.’

Confessions of a White Vampire

Jeremy Narby

‘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.

Diana Athill

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood on Diana Athill. ‘Diana was admired by all who knew her, and also by all who read her memoirs, for her honesty, her plain but elegant style, her lack of pretenses, and her stoicism in the face of ever-narrowing possibilities.’

Dinah

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith remembers her friend and cousin, Diana Athill.

Distilling Existence: A Study with Wilson Amunga

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor & Bernd Hartung

‘If the river makes a sound now, it is a drawn-out moan.’ Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor on distilleries in Kenya, with photographs by Bernd Hartung.

Dreams for Hire

Gabriel García Márquez

‘The wave had erupted with such force that it obliterated the glass lobby.‘ Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.

Editing Vidia

Diana Athill

‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’

Editorial

Bill Buford

Bill Buford on his decision to resign as editor of this magazine, which he relaunched in its present form in 1979.

Exhale

Beth Gardiner

‘After all my travels, I can see now what I couldn’t when I started. In the suffering pollution brings, there is also the glimmer of a different future, its outlines visible through the haze.’

Feeling Southern: A Patagonian Story

Fabián Martínez Siccardi

‘I was harbouring a southern feeling, a deep connection with the South of this real world, where I was born and will probably die.’

Fires

James Pogue

‘In 2018 in northern California, 21,000 homes burned.’

First Course

Zoe Tennant

‘Indigenous chefs will tell you that their dishes are Indigenous, not Canadian. With the plate, these chefs demonstrate that the food is the land, and that the land is still theirs.’ Zoe Tennant on Indigenous cuisines.

Ghostlands

Jennifer Kabat

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.

Glitches

John Gregory Dunne

‘I prefer not to speculate about what might have happened if I had not taken the ECG.’

Harmflesh

Margie Orford

‘This burning girl that I am with skin stretched white hot across unfair flesh. Harmflesh.’

Her Left Hand, The Darkness

Alison Smith

Alison Smith on the week she spent with Ursula K. Le Guin.

His Roth

Philip Roth

‘I naively believed as a child that I would always have a father present, and the truth seems to be that I always will.’

How Do You Write a Memoir When You Can’t Remember?

Wendy Mitchell & Anna Wharton

Wendy Mitchell, who has been living with dementia since 2014, discusses the process of writing her memoir with her ghostwriter, Anna Wharton.

How I Became an SJW

Anouchka Grose

‘I had become a pacifist in the time it took to run between the bedroom and the bathroom of a London flat.’

How I Write My Books

Anne Serre

Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.

How to Write About Africa

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.’

Imperium

Ryszard Kapuściński

Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.

In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.

Introduction

Devorah Baum & Josh Appignanesi

‘Troubling though they may be, feelings also tell us something about power and its limitations.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 147: 40th-Birthday Special.