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.’

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.’

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 Whale House

Sharon Millar

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

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Lina Wolff

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

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.’

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

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

Tombouctou

Jamal Mahjoub

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

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‘

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.’

Happiness

Andrés Neuman

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

The New Customers

Julian Jackson

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

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.’

This Is Not A Test

Stuart Evers

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

Blood Money

Miroslav Penkov

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

A World Intact

Adam Foulds

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

Things with faces

Zoë Meager

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

The End of Endings

Steven Hall

‘Entropy is what drives time forwards, and only forwards.’

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.’

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.’

Interim Zone

Xiaolu Guo

‘His father had sent him into exile.’

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.’

Europa

David Szalay

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

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.’

One More Last Stand

Callan Wink

‘It’s funny to think that we existed, us together, before either of our marriages.’

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.’