Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Lessons

Justin Torres

‘We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.’

The Buddhist

Alan Rossi

‘Loneliness is the extra, the part that’s unnecessary.’

The Barn at The End of Our Term

Karen Russell

‘Eleven of the stabled horses are, as far as Rutherford can ascertain, former presidents of the United States of America.’

A Few Words on the Life Cycle of Frogs

Patricio Pron

‘I wasn’t going to abandon the dream of literature, I was going to keep dreaming.’

The New World Order

Harold Pinter

‘He hasn’t got any idea at all of what we’re going to do to him.’

Numb

Lauren Schenkman

‘She felt things under the skin: scars where the body had torn during childbirth, clumps of cellulite, lobules and ducts.’

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.’

Destiny

Tim Parks

‘Destiny: there are those who still believe this word has meaning’.

To Rio de Janeiro

Gonçalo M. Tavares

‘In the end, what one understands in Rio de Janeiro is that joy is the only coherence of a living being.’

The White Hole of Bombay

Nicholas Shakespeare

‘If you like people who hate each other, it’s paradise.’

To Zagreb

Yoko Tawada

‘You didn’t know where you wanted to end up, had never considered how much time you had left.’

The Moon and Back

Jessica Thummel

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

Unguided Tour

Susan Sontag

‘The more that places, customs, the circumstances of adventures are changed, the more we see that we amidst them are unchanging.’

After That, We Are Ignorant

Bilal Tanweer

‘He used to see things in his dreams and made them his policies. Yup, Americans loved his dreams because he was screwing the Soviets and Comrades in them.’

Put Not Thy Trust In Chariots

Jonathan Tel

'David had nothing against Arabs personally.This despite the fact he was religious (he wore a blue-and-white kippa which had been knitted by his wife, Devorah, as an engagement present.'

Tokyo Year Zero

David Peace

‘The song, the voice, and the heat; men on their knees, heads in hands, sobbing and now howling.’

The Sex Lives of African Girls

Taiye Selasi

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

The Emotions are not Skilled Workers

Elliot Perlman

‘He is wrong, though. You didn’t read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry but you didn’t.’

Plastic

Graham Swift

‘Sorting out the world! He should have sorted out himself and his own jeopardized household.’

Fast Lanes

Jayne Anne Phillips

‘I was vanished, invisible, another apartment left empty behind me, my possessions given away, thrown away, packed away in taped boxes fit into an available vehicle.’

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.’

The Five Of Us

Lisa St Aubin de Terán

‘The freezing of the money signalled the beginning of virtual penury. It also signalled the beginning of our fame.’

Fishing with Wussy

Richard Russo

‘Until I was six I thought of my father the way I thought of ‘my heavenly father’, whose existence was a matter of record, but who was, practically speaking, absent and therefore irrelevant.’

Scale

Will Self

‘Some people lose their sense of proportion; I've lost my sense of scale.‘

The New Veterans

Karen Russell

‘Pain unwound itself under her palms‘

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

‘My wife and I were both the children of Pakistanis, immigrants, Muslims, and we had faith that our union was of things greater than ourselves.’

Why I Love Country Music

Elizabeth Tallent

‘The harmonica player is left standing alone in the light, talking to himself. He cleans the spit from his instrument with a white handkerchief so old it is nearly transparent.’

Jesus Who?

Alison Smith

‘Jesus came walking across the lawn, a grin on his face. I waved. “Hi, Jesus.”’

The Ship at Anchor

Frederic Tuten

‘Those words made me wonder why I ever wanted to be an artist, why I ever wanted to live, though I never thought I wanted to die.’

Holiday

Mona Simpson

‘‘I have a body now,’ I whisper.’

Resolution

Jim Shepard

‘Everything suggests an ongoing and immemorial enervation. A kind of trance in the air.’

A Battle

Patrick Süskind

‘Early one August evening, when most people had already left the park, two men sat confronting one another across a chessboard.’

Every Tuesday

Carola Saavedra

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

Martha, Martha

Zadie Smith

‘Outside a plane roared low like some prehistoric bird, Pam shuddered; Martha did not move.’

Mother And Son

Akhil Sharma

‘I also tried holding my breath for a moment longer than necessary and asking God to give the unused breaths to Birju.’

Wavery’s Last Post

Nicholas Shakespeare

‘At five in the afternoon, the Bahia de Abyla sailed out of Algeciras.‘