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Granta 132

The Mother of All Sins

Hanan al-Shaykh

‘Loving life is the mother of all sins.’

Granta 34

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich

‘I was trying to present a history of feelings, not the history of the war itself.’

Granta 14

A Poet in Cuba

Reinaldo Arenas

‘Perfect totalitarian systems have always been in the vanguard: they modify not only the past and the future, but they also abolish the present.’

Granta 117

Gothic Night

Mansoura Ez Eldin

‘He wrote: they called it the city of eternal sun. Its sun set only after the last inhabitant slept, and rose before the first got up. They were all deprived of the night. They were not even aware of its existence.’

Granta 120

German Quasi-Story of Ulrika Thöus

Salvador Espriu

‘For hidden though they may be – and it is incontrovertible that they are – sooner or later the testicles will have to appear.’