Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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The Seventh Man

Haruki Murakami

‘I looked up at the sky. A few grey cotton chunks of cloud hung there, motionless.’

Runs Girl | New Voices

Chinelo Okparanta

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

Thailand

Haruki Murakami

‘Living and dying are, in a sense, things of equal value.’

Remission

Adam Mars-Jones

‘There's an awkward interval, when you're ill but not yet conditioned by illness.’

The Dune

Stephen King

‘Being able to read obituaries in advance gives a man an extraordinary sense of power.’

Diem Perdidi

Julie Otsuka

‘When you ask her your name, she does not remember what it is.’

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 a Blue Time

Hanif Kureishi

‘When the phone rings, who do you most want it to be?’

The Bridge

David Mamet

‘Surely the world was going to end. And probably in fire - in nuclear destruction, by mistake, or at the hands of madmen.’

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.’

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.’

Blazing Sun

Tatiana Salem Levy

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

Mouth

Mario Vargas Llosa

‘I lost my left ear from a bite. . .Through the thin slit that remains I can hear the sounds of the world.’

Agnes of Iowa

Lorrie Moore

‘Her mother had given her the name Agnes, believing that a good-looking woman was even more striking when her name was a homely one.’

The Whale House

Sharon Millar

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

Five Houses

Melanie McFadyean

‘I live here, we say, this is my house, my home. We settle, dwell, adorn. A house feels permanent. But this illusion of security can end in a minute.’

Come, Japanese!

Julie Otsuka

‘On the boat we each had to make choices.’

America

Chinelo Okparanta

‘It is a reluctant kind of disregard that stems from a feeling of shame.’

OIF

Phil Klay

‘A few months later I was strapped up, M4 in condition 1, surrounded by 03s, backpack full of cash, twitchiest guy in Iraq.’

Stones and Artichokes

Nicole Krauss

‘As we get older, the world grows to fit our fear of death.’

Blue Jay

Lillian Li

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

Crossing Cut Creek | New Voices

Erin McMillan

‘Light rose over Mama’s tanned arms, Keller’s dirty hair. The air was thick with colour and swirling dust, and we were still, suspended in it.’

From Dream to Dream

Yiyun Li

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

Notes for a Young Gentleman

Toby Litt

‘A gentleman should greet with genuine warmth only the following persons – his sister’s daughters, his maternal aunts and his mortal enemies.’

Moscow, Idaho

Chris Offutt

‘Tilden stopped digging and wiped his sleeve across his forehead, leaving a brown smear on his skin.’

Creatures of the Earth

John McGahern

‘They alone among all the creatures of the earth would never have to go that way.’

Slim

Adam Mars-Jones

‘My African family doesn't have the money for photographs. My African family may never even have seen a photograph.’

Drifting House

Krys Lee

‘Houses loomed like ghosts. The government’s face was everywhere: on the sides of a beached cart, above the lintel of the post office.’

Lily

Ian McEwan

‘He'll be ruthless with himself in his pursuit of boundless health to avoid his mother's fate: Mental death.’

Room 536

A.L. Kennedy

‘The world cannot be as this is, I refuse to accept it.’

Five Cats and Three Women

J. Robert Lennon

‘While he didn't mind (not much anyway) being responsible for the death of one cat, his cat, he did not feel good shouldering the death of four cats.’

The War Artist

Margaret Luongo

‘On the third day, the little rosebud teacups rattled in their saucers as the war artist poured the coffee.’

The Moon and the Batteries

Hiromi Kawakami

‘His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him ‘Sensei’. Not ‘Mr’ or ‘Sir’, just ‘Sensei’.’

God Bless You, 2011

Hiromi Kawakami

‘If the god of uranium really exists, then what must he be thinking? Were this a fairy tale of old, what would happen when humans broke the laws of nature to turn gods into minions?’ Hiromi Kawakami on the nature gods of Japan.

Tombouctou

Jamal Mahjoub

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

Lederhosen

Haruki Murakami

‘Please, I beg you. If I do not buy lederhosen now, I will never buy lederhosen.’