Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Amateur Dramatics

Jonathan Lee

‘I heard the news from a nurse with a piece of tinsel tied around her waist: my father had become a hypochondriac.’

Crow Fair

Thomas McGuane

‘You’re in a different world when your own mother doesn’t recognize you, or thinks you’re the stranger who gave her a hickey.’

Late in Life

A.L. Kennedy

‘Eating figs is different for girls.’

Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle

Herta Müller

‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’

From Dream to Dream

Yiyun Li

‘At what point had one’s life stopped belonging to one?’

Success

Adriana Lisboa

‘They hadn’t tried them yet but the girls both knew, from the adverts, that Hollywood cigarettes were awesome.’

Tombouctou

Jamal Mahjoub

‘After about three days in Djenné the lizards begin to talk.’

The Captain

Rattawut Lapcharoensap

‘I was with Dora. We were in love. Things were cheap and plentiful and the money from the insurance was going to last us forever.’

Things with faces

Zoë Meager

‘This is all you remember. The sound of her pacing the house at night.’

The Sarong-Man in the Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night

Michael Mendis

‘I say his fingers are dying because he is old. Because he is and alone. On that sloping armchair. But more because there is no turning back for him.’

The Whale House

Sharon Millar

‘By morning the dreams are gone, flying through the tiny holes in the net in sudden starling movements.’

Filsan

Nadifa Mohamed

‘Silence takes the place of all these words and her loneliness remains as dense and close as a shadow.’

You Don’t Have To Live Like This

Benjamin Markovits

‘It felt like everything that had happened to me in college, everything I had learned to be comfortable with, had produced this jerk standing naked in the water, splashing his best friend’s girlfriend in the chest.’

Tomorrow

Joanna Kavenna

‘She was living as herself, in herself, without ever thinking about what that meant.’

Boy, Snow, Bird

Helen Oyeyemi

‘I didn’t enclose a note, though there were a few things I’d have liked to say. Restraint is classier.’

Happiness

Andrés Neuman

‘My name is Marcos. I’ve always wanted to be Cristóbal.’

Blue Jay

Lillian Li

‘Like romantic love, you can’t ever replicate your first best-friendship.’

The Quality of the Affection

Lloyd Lynford

‘What thou lovest well cannot be reft from thee. But maybe Ezra was mistaken, maybe it can be reft, but maybe that was her fault.’

The Loyalty Protocol

Ben Marcus

‘The tally, indeed, on that particular activity, in that particular location – or, in fact, on any couch ever – was, indeed, zero.’

Clough

Jon McGregor

‘She probably thinks this is all a game. There’s time yet.’

That Year in Rishikesh

Adriana Lisboa

‘The pulp from her processing of the world was a mixture of past, present, dreams, imagination, films, books, newspaper articles, anything.’

Animals

Michel Laub

‘I only stopped playing with him when he began biting the fingers of anyone who tried to pet him.’

Blazing Sun

Tatiana Salem Levy

‘It’s never easy to trade one love for another.’

Evo Morales

Ricardo Lísias

‘Loneliness also makes our victories melancholy.’

Far from Ramiro

Chico Mattoso

‘Through the eyes of the intruder, Ramiro saw the invasion of his own space.’

Accident

Etgar Keret

’Thirty years I’m a cabbie,’ the small guy sitting behind the wheel tells me, ’thirty years and not one accident.’

In Transit | New Voices

Dina Nayeri

‘Now it seemed that the rest of life was only a bright, eye-burning white expanse, like the sun-bleached concrete slabs just outside this building.’

Two Girls in a Boat

Emma Martin

‘This was a tiredness that caused Hannah to walk into a travel agent in Clapham High Street on a grey Tuesday morning and buy a ticket to New Zealand.’

The Dolphin Catcher

Diana McCaulay

‘Lloyd heard his grandfather’s voice in his mind: I come from a line of fishermen.’

The Ghost Marriage

Andrea Mullaney

‘I did not meet my husband until six years after he died.’

John Saturnall’s Feast

Lawrence Norfolk

‘After a turn they came to a high arched entrance from which cooking smells drifted.’

The Celt

Mario Vargas Llosa

‘He stood, rubbing his arms. How long had he slept? Not knowing the time was one of the torments of Pentonville.’

The Slight Difference Between Leaving and Running Away

Andrés Neuman

‘Like him, the bathroom mirror had lost brightness over the years.’

Big Blue Bus

Etgar Keret

‘I want to I want to I want to I want to I want to I want to I want to.’

God Bless You, 2011

Hiromi Kawakami

‘Allow me to give you this fish. As a memento of our day together.’

Runs Girl | New Voices

Chinelo Okparanta

‘The year Mama fell sick was the year Njideka confessed to me that she was a runs girl.’