Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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The Man at the River

Dave Eggers

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

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.’

The Whale House

Sharon Millar

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

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.’

Blue Jay

Lillian Li

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

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.’

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Lina Wolff

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

Happiness

Andrés Neuman

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

From Dream to Dream

Yiyun Li

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

Zephyrs

Jenni Fagan

‘Every step forward causes the road behind him to disappear.’

Don’t Fall in Love

Mohsin Hamid

‘She does not stare at you, but when your eyes meet, she does not look away.’

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 New Veterans

Karen Russell

‘Pain unwound itself under her palms‘

Tombouctou

Jamal Mahjoub

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

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

‘Your problem is not that you misread signs; it’s that you see them everywhere.’

Filsan

Nadifa Mohamed

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

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.’

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.’

We Need New Names

NoViolet Bulawayo

‘We are back in Paradise and are now trying to come up with a new game.’

Submersion

Ross Raisin

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

Blood Money

Miroslav Penkov

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

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.’

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.’

A Brief History of Fire

Jennifer Vanderbes

‘My happiness was so deep I was afraid to speak of it.’

Interim Zone

Xiaolu Guo

‘His father had sent him into exile.’

What Happened to Us

Humera Afridi

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

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.’

A Letter From Wales

Cynan Jones

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

A World Intact

Adam Foulds

‘His life, unexciting as it may have been so far, was still a detailed, complicated thing.’

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.’

Europa

David Szalay

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

Things with faces

Zoë Meager

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