Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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How We Got Mother Back

Valério Romão

‘With the passing of time we got used to hearing our brother being our mother.’

The Bridge Over Shuto Expressway No. 1

Alex Preston

‘Hiro Ōe wakes earlier now that he has the apartment to himself.’

Blood Money

Miroslav Penkov

‘At first the Gypsies didn’t know how to answer their cellphone.’

We Walked on Water

Eliza Robertson

‘Land of the misty giants: cedar, alder, Ponderosa pine. Cascade Mountains pushing out green like grass through a garlic press.’


Kamila Shamsie

‘Cover your nose and mouth, the order came, swift and useless; if they’d had their turbans they would have wound them around their faces but there were only the balaclavas.’


David Szalay

‘What she was like ‘as a person’ he has no idea.’


Taiye Selasi

‘I am the full-time driver here. I am not going to kill my employers. I have read that drivers do that now.’

Slow Motion

Adam Thirlwell

‘It really wasn’t normal for me to wake up and not know how I got there. A normal pastime for me was to be intent on mathematical problems, or models of voting patterns in different democratic states.’

Just Right

Zadie Smith

‘There’s no romance in that child whatsoever. No clue of the magic of storytelling. I’ll bet you a dollar she wears a girdle already.’


Sunjeev Sahota

‘But he couldn’t lose the sense that this was a turning point in his life, that she’d been delivered to him for a reason.’


Ross Raisin

‘It is obvious now that we can have no control over our journey, or its end.’


Colin Robinson

‘My brother and I can’t help but stand out in such a gritty locale.’

The New Veterans

Karen Russell

‘Pain unwound itself under her palms‘

Hands Across the Water

Rachel Seiffert

‘Dark red hair. Wee skirt and trainers, bare arms. All those freckles.’

Every Tuesday

Carola Saavedra

‘A stranger may well function as a projection screen.’

The Count

Leandro Sarmatz

‘There was a touch of magic in surviving all that.’

Valdir Peres, Juanito and Poloskei

Antonio Prata

‘The only path to tread, from now on, was downward.’

The Cutting

Rose Tremain

‘I could not for too long delay my promise to Violet Bathurst to cut out her Cancer.’

The Former Mayor’s Ancient Daughter

Rachel Shihor

‘To begin with, she softens her twisted nails in lukewarm soapy water, which she carries in an assortment of bottles.’


Suzanne Rivecca

‘The novelist/philanthropist was more vigorous than her wax-figure photographs, and at the same time much frailer.’

Marching Songs

Keith Ridgway

‘I believe, though I cannot prove, that my illness is due directly to the perverted Catholicism and megalomania of Mr Tony Blair, former Prime Minister, whom I met once.’

When You Grow Into Yourself

Ross Raisin

‘A few drivers had slowed to look up at the side of the coach as it circled the roundabout.’

The Beginner’s Goodbye

Anne Tyler

‘Sometimes the most recent moments can seem so long, long ago.’

The Moon and Back

Jessica Thummel

‘John Wayne Durler had always needed something to run from.’

Santa Claus is in the Living Room

Santiago Roncagliolo

‘I soon understood that if I wanted to get my father back I was going to have to help him get rid of the competition.’

The Boys of Karachay Lake

Angela Pelster

‘When the fish in Karachay Lake, south of the Ural Mountains, Russia, went blind, not everyone stopped eating them.’

Preserves for Life

Olga Tokarczuk

‘He came upon one under the kitchen sink labelled ‘Shoestrings in vinegar, 2004’, and that should have alarmed him.’

The Infamous Bengal Ming

Rajesh Parameswaran

‘Humans are so unpredictable.’

An Occupation

Adam Stumacher

‘All those years of manipulating the tuning crank have given him the patience to settle in for these more involved jobs, and patience is perhaps the most important quality in a human shield.’

The Death of His Excellency, The Ex-Minister

Nawal El Saadawi

‘A minister like myself had to be vigilant, both in body and mind, in order to retrieve correct facts from incorrect information.’

The Burden of Light

Jessica Thummel

‘Jelly sits on the toilet, folded over, staring at his feet still inches from the floor.’


Yana Punkina

‘His voice had long since lost all superfluous timbral embellishments, he was left with only the raw thread of screeching.’

Returning to the Hague

Georgi Tenev

‘‘Shall I tell you, son,’ I ask him, ‘exactly what I’m guilty of?’’


Victoria Redel

‘A month after turning forty-five, every last egg in her body is a Rockette doing the can-can.’

Night Thoughts

Helen Simpson

‘Don’t be such a MasculiNazi.’

The Sex Lives of African Girls

Taiye Selasi

‘She has the most genuine intentions of any woman out there.’