Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich

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

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.’

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.’

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.’

Foreigners

Daniel Gascón

‘It would’ve been a magical moment if my neighbours hadn’t started fucking at that very second.’

God Bless You, 2011

Hiromi Kawakami

‘If the god of uranium really exists, then what must he be thinking? Were this a fairy tale of old, what would happen when humans broke the laws of nature to turn gods into minions?’ Hiromi Kawakami on the nature gods of Japan.

Car Concentrate

Etgar Keret

‘Women mostly touch it tentatively with the backs of their hands.’

Animals

Michel Laub

‘I only stopped playing with him when he began biting the fingers of anyone who tried to pet him.’

Blazing Sun

Tatiana Salem Levy

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

My Heart

Semezdin Mehmedinović

‘Today, it seems, was the day I was meant to die.’

A Walk to Kobe

Haruki Murakami

‘What I’m talking about is a different sea, and different mountains.’ Haruki Murakami walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.

A Clean Marriage

Sayaka Murata

‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.

Eight Trains

Alberto Olmos

‘To go is always to go somewhere; returning, you return to nowhere. That’s the way it is.’

Deng’s Dogs

Santiago Roncagliolo

‘My earliest memory of Peru is a newspaper photograph from 1980 of dead dogs hanging from lamp posts in downtown Lima.’

The Count

Leandro Sarmatz

‘There was a touch of magic in surviving all that.’

Filling Up With Sugar

Yuten Sawanishi

‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’

From the Past Comes the Storms

Andrés Felipe Solano

‘During the hottest months, the thermometer settles in at 100 degrees like a nonagenarian in a rocker – no one can make it move.’

Teenager

Wislawa Szymborska

‘I know much more — / but nothing for sure.’

Returning to the Hague

Georgi Tenev

‘‘Shall I tell you, son,’ I ask him, ‘exactly what I’m guilty of?’’

The Hotel Capital

Olga Tokarczuk

‘At the same time I take off my exotic language, my strange name, my sense of humour, my face lines, my taste for food not appreciated here, my memory of small events—and I stand naked in this pink and white uniform as if emerging from the sea mist.’

Preserves for Life

Olga Tokarczuk

‘He came upon one under the kitchen sink labelled ‘Shoestrings in vinegar, 2004’, and that should have alarmed him.’

A question of identity

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘One of the first things a child learns is the sentiment: My country is… And so begins the homeland briefing that lasts from the cradle to the grave.’

Frogs

Mo Yan

‘Once the preposterous reality set in, we were overcome by sadness.’

Flying Towards a Country of Rain

Wang Yin

‘Paper phantoms sit beside me / watching a two-hour movie.’

From Site

Daisuke Yokota

‘The photograph we are left with and the memory of that time do not progress along the same time axes.’

Milan Kundera | Interview

Milan Kundera & Ian McEwan

'If you are a small nation, though, you do not make history. You are always the object of history.'