Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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The Seventh Man

Haruki Murakami

‘I looked up at the sky. A few grey cotton chunks of cloud hung there, motionless.’

Runs Girl | New Voices

Chinelo Okparanta

‘The year Mama fell sick was the year Njideka confessed to me that she was a runs girl.’

Thailand

Haruki Murakami

‘Living and dying are, in a sense, things of equal value.’

Remission

Adam Mars-Jones

‘There's an awkward interval, when you're ill but not yet conditioned by illness.’

The Dune

Stephen King

‘Being able to read obituaries in advance gives a man an extraordinary sense of power.’

Diem Perdidi

Julie Otsuka

‘When you ask her your name, she does not remember what it is.’

Accident

Etgar Keret

’Thirty years I’m a cabbie,’ the small guy sitting behind the wheel tells me, ’thirty years and not one accident.’

In a Blue Time

Hanif Kureishi

‘When the phone rings, who do you most want it to be?’

The Bridge

David Mamet

‘Surely the world was going to end. And probably in fire - in nuclear destruction, by mistake, or at the hands of madmen.’

Stones and Artichokes

Nicole Krauss

‘As we get older, the world grows to fit our fear of death.’

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.’

Blazing Sun

Tatiana Salem Levy

‘It’s never easy to trade one love for another.’

Mouth

Mario Vargas Llosa

‘I lost my left ear from a bite. . .Through the thin slit that remains I can hear the sounds of the world.’

Agnes of Iowa

Lorrie Moore

‘Her mother had given her the name Agnes, believing that a good-looking woman was even more striking when her name was a homely one.’

The Whale House

Sharon Millar

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

Five Houses

Melanie McFadyean

‘I live here, we say, this is my house, my home. We settle, dwell, adorn. A house feels permanent. But this illusion of security can end in a minute.’

Come, Japanese!

Julie Otsuka

‘On the boat we each had to make choices.’

America

Chinelo Okparanta

‘It is a reluctant kind of disregard that stems from a feeling of shame.’

OIF

Phil Klay

‘A few months later I was strapped up, M4 in condition 1, surrounded by 03s, backpack full of cash, twitchiest guy in Iraq.’

Soul and Body

Milan Kundera

‘What was screaming in fact was the naive idealism of her love trying to banish all contradictions, banish the duality of the body and soul, banish perhaps even time.’

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.’

Soft Core

Joyce Carol Oates

‘They were two sisters of youthful middle age with three breasts between them and a history that might be summed up as much left unsaid. Maggie, the elder, who'd had a mastectomy eighteen months before, rarely alluded to the fact in her younger sister's company and spoke with an air of startled reproach if Esther brought up the subject of her health; as if Maggie's breast cancer were a symptom of a moral weakness, a deficiency of character, about which Esther had no right to know.’

Dunkirk

Ian McEwan

‘It was in his clear moments he was troubled’.

Two Girls in a Boat

Emma Martin

‘This was a tiredness that caused Hannah to walk into a travel agent in Clapham High Street on a grey Tuesday morning and buy a ticket to New Zealand.’

Motorama 1954

Bill Morris

‘It was at sundown on New Year's Day 1954 that Claire Hathaway began to feel embarrassed by her new television set.’

House Fire

Yiyun Li

‘The six friends declared war against love outside marriage.’

The Great Wall

Ismail Kadaré

‘They've been making every imaginable special case for him for all eternity, they even sing hymns in his honour’.

Whale

Panos Karnezis

‘Whale arrived at work a little after seven with black circles round his eyes’.

Blue Jay

Lillian Li

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

Crossing Cut Creek | New Voices

Erin McMillan

‘Light rose over Mama’s tanned arms, Keller’s dirty hair. The air was thick with colour and swirling dust, and we were still, suspended in it.’

Reference Points

Philip Kerr

‘It was eating oysters, four hundred of the bivalve sons-of-bitches, that finally killed my father, in a theatre-bar off St Martin's Lane.‘

From Dream to Dream

Yiyun Li

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

Notes for a Young Gentleman

Toby Litt

‘A gentleman should greet with genuine warmth only the following persons – his sister’s daughters, his maternal aunts and his mortal enemies.’

Moscow, Idaho

Chris Offutt

‘Tilden stopped digging and wiped his sleeve across his forehead, leaving a brown smear on his skin.’

Slim

Adam Mars-Jones

‘My African family doesn't have the money for photographs. My African family may never even have seen a photograph.’