Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Persist

Zaina Arafat

‘I grew obsessed with the place, thinking that getting to see it, to experience it, would make the pain of that fall go away.’

The Glitch

Rebekah Frumkin

‘Them and not me, thought EJP. I can be invisible. I’m glitching.’

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.’

The Diplomat’s Daughter

Chanelle Benz

‘Natalia used to be a wife. His name was Erik. His name was Viggo. His name was Christien. His name was Lucas. His name was Nils.’

This Is Not A Test

Stuart Evers

‘In the end, because he loved her still, still so very much, he let her win.’

How We Got Mother Back

Valério Romão

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

Sea Bean

Tim Fitts

‘Fred was the type whose worldview gazed through a shadow of things that could go wrong, like most of the South Philly lifers.’

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?’

After the War

Patrick French

‘My antipathy to military culture started early and it wasn't helped by living in a garrison town.’

Success

Adriana Lisboa

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

A Letter From Wales

Cynan Jones

‘Believe me – it will be impossible for you not to wonder – when I vow I am entirely sane.’

The Bridge Over Shuto Expressway No. 1

Alex Preston

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

What Happened to Us

Humera Afridi

‘Trouble. There’s always trouble of some kind or other bringing the city to a standstill.’

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.’

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Lina Wolff

‘No one here is normal except you, and you’re not even from Spain.’

The Man at the River

Dave Eggers

‘All he wants is to be a man sitting on a riverbed.’

Blood Money

Miroslav Penkov

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

There’s a Small Hotel

Andrew Holleran

‘Returning to Manhattan was like seeing someone who’d once been your lover but was now with someone else.’

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 New Customers

Julian Jackson

‘All the time I could sense the watchful eyes and listening ears at the end of the bar.’

The Whale House

Sharon Millar

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

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.’

Vipers

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.’

Glow

Ned Beauman

‘Growing up, you got so used to all your secrets being sad or shameful that you came to assume they were, like alkyl halides, intrinsically neurotoxic, and now he had learned for the first time that they weren’t.’

Anwar Gets Everything

Tahmima Anam

‘Two ways a man can go here, in the direction of God or the direction of believing there is nothing up there but a sun that will kill you whether you pray five times or not.’

Soon and in Our Days

Naomi Alderman

‘It is not often, even in Hendon, that one witnesses a miracle.’

Filsan

Nadifa Mohamed

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

Europa

David Szalay

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

After the Hedland

Evie Wyld

‘I feel the pull of being alone, of answering to no one, the safety of being unknown and far away.’

Driver

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.’