Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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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.

Frogs

Mo Yan

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

Blazing Sun

Tatiana Salem Levy

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

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.

To Zagreb

Yoko Tawada

‘You didn’t know where you wanted to end up, had never considered how much time you had left.’

Artichoke

Angélica Freitas

‘amelia, the real woman, / ran away with the bearded lady’

Car Concentrate

Etgar Keret

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

Foreigners

Daniel Gascón

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

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.’

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.

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.’

My Heart

Semezdin Mehmedinović

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

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.’

Animals

Michel Laub

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

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.’

The Count

Leandro Sarmatz

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

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.’

Eight Trains

Alberto Olmos

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

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.’

Returning to the Hague

Georgi Tenev

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

Filling Up With Sugar

Yuten Sawanishi

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

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich

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

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.’

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.'

Preserves for Life

Olga Tokarczuk

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

Flying Towards a Country of Rain

Wang Yin

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

The Mother of All Sins

Hanan al-Shaykh

‘Loving life is the mother of all sins.’