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Best Book of 1926: Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel

Sun Yisheng

His is a force more penetrative than all the bogus machismo of Hemingway.

Best Book of 2010: Mr Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt

Emma Jane Unsworth

‘Hunt writes with brio, the visceral often blooming into the mystical.’

First Sentence: Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora

‘Immigration has become a physical thing, like a tumor inside us, between us.’

Cassette-tape

Javier Zamora

‘I will etch visas on toilet paper and throw them from a lighthouse.’

Vladimir in Love

Lara Vapnyar

‘He regretted not buying the flowers.’

Witchcraft Today

Diane Williams

‘Two women appeared embracing two of a kind – that is each woman held onto a globular lamp base that had luster.’

The Beauty and the Bat

Diane Williams

‘I knew who she was well enough, by then – a competent woman in earnest who didn’t like me.’

Discipline

Jane Yeh

‘Her / Secrets play on continuous loop, // Like a B-movie.’

Winnie and the Innocence of the World

Joost Zwagerman

‘This is how I became Winnie’s clandestine, outcast and utterly powerless guardian angel.’

Summer Reads

Various

The Granta staff shares what they’re reading over the summer.

Two Poems

Grzegorz Wróblewski

‘Do you think I can get to heaven / with zero balance and a virus?’

Three Poems

Ahren Warner

‘Your promise has been extracted like the cow-horned remains of molars long-soused in a Diet Coke marinade.’

The Mountain Road

William Wall

‘Funeral homes are always cold. There were pine benches in lines like a church. They had been varnished recently and there was that heady smell. It reminded me of my father’s boat, the wheelhouse brightwork newly touched up. It was the smell of childhood.’

The Beacon & The Bane

Malerie Willens

‘In spite of my pining and missing, neither man seemed fully formed and I felt a little lonely in the presence of both.’

Cry of Machines

Kao Kalia Yang

‘Time cannot erase my memories of fear and shame.’

Eight pieces in imitation of Thomas A. Clark

Matthew Welton

‘what it is about the earth / that it won’t absorb the stream’

Reading Comprehension: Text No. 2

Alejandro Zambra

‘Which of the following famous phrases best reflects the meaning of the text?’

Fairbourne

Adam Weymouth

‘Climate change, I realise, is already here. Not the drama of it, not yet, but in the mundane.’