Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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A Play on David Rakoff

A.M. Homes

‘He was rare and singular.’

A Play on Mothering

David Rakoff

‘His hands are a jewel box and I lean forward and peer in.’

A Visit to the Zoo

Colm Tóibín

‘The two chameleons in a glass case appeared to interest all of them, Heinrich thought, because of their beauty and their stillness. They looked like a pale painting.’

Africa’s Future Has No Space for Stupid Black Men

Pwaangulongii Dauod

‘The night was full of energy. The kind of energy that Africa needs to reinvent itself.’

Aftermath

Peregrine Hodson

‘We have to find a way to balance life with memory.’

All that Offers a Happy Ending Is a Fairy Tale

Yiyun Li

‘If you were like me, you would know the obsession of the compulsive reader: every street sign; every bottle label’

All We Shall Know

Donal Ryan

‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’

Arcadia

Emma Cline

‘Could a place work on you like an illness?’

Ariel’s Song

Romesh Gunesekera

‘It is to Shakespeare’s pages I return whenever I feel I am sinking. There I can be sure to find a lifeline.’

Astrid Alben In Conversation: Podcast

Astrid Alben

Astrid Alben discusses her work, the interdisciplinary journal Pars, and developing a poetic alter ego.

Bad Dreams

Eli Goldstone

‘I could do nothing but lie there, locked inside my body.’

Bad Faith

Ken Follett

‘Every sect needs jargon. We did not have churches, we had halls; services were called meetings; the congregation was the assembly; elders were overseers’

Base Life

George Makana Clark

‘This is why he will survive this war to return to his wife and daughter, barring a blind bullet, an errant piece of shrapnel, some careless act of destiny.’

Bastard Alias the Romantic

Yuri Herrera

‘Can you imagine what it would be like if instead of killing we cuddled?’

Before They Began to Shrink

Nic Dunlop

‘The numbers killed at Aughrim that day will never be known.’

Best Book of 1766: Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling

Dave Haysom

Dave Haysom on why Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling is the best book of 1766.

Best Book of 1868: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot

Laurie Sheck

‘The beauty of The Idiot lies in its opposition to closed systems.’

Best Book of 1900: The Autobiography of Dr William Henry Johnson

Jennifer Kabat

‘Johnson is now a ghost of history; he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but I can’t let him disappear.’

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 1941: Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher

Harriet Moore

‘This book is about yearning for the Sunday nights of childhood, or dreams; it is a meditation on hunger in all its forms.’

Best Book of 1943: ­Love In A Fallen City­ by Eileen Chang

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

‘Eileen Chang writes perfectly for the romantic in an unromantic and unrelenting world.’

Best book of 1947: L’Écume des Jours by Boris Vian

Xiaolu Guo

‘In those spring nights, I sat by barbecue stalls in the streets of Beijing, reading this novel under dim streetlights while eating lamb skewers.’

Best Book of 1950: A Natural History of Trees by Donald Culross Peattie

James Pogue

‘Now more than ever environmentalists need to remember what it’s like to write for that real world.’

Best Book of 1955: The Magician’s Nephew

Josie Mitchell

‘Much like Tolkien’s, admittedly vaster, legendarium, Lewis’s world is exquisitely conceived.’

Best book of 1964: Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr

Lisa McInerney

‘In days of such human cruelty and pettiness and stupidity, we need reminding that we are all capable of savage compassion as well as the contagion of hatred.’

Best Book of 1965: Everything That Rises Must Converge

April Ayers Lawson

‘O’Conner has for me the effect of nailing and then blowing up one’s most casual illusions’

Best Book of 1967: A Touch of Mistletoe by Barbara Comyns

Camilla Grudova

‘I bought my copy for a few dollars from a second hand bookshop so stuffy I often faint on the doorstep after browsing inside, my hands swollen and red from dust mites.’

Best Book of 1967: Ice by Anna Kavan

Eli Goldstone

‘What a writer, and what a vision. What a perfect book to read in preparation for the end of the world.’

Best Book of 1970: Moominvalley in November

Aleksi Pöyry

‘This is a book I always return to for its melancholy tone, warm humour and psychological insight.’

Best Book of 1971: Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann

Kevin Breathnach

‘The novel submits to an internalized discipline: it is an observation machine’

Best Book of 1982: Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Eleanor Chandler

‘While the terrible pain of speech is made clear, this book ultimately reminds us that we must not be silenced.’

Best book of 1983: The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek

Sophie Mackintosh

‘After 2016 I’m done with sentimentality, and it’s hard to think of a less sentimental book than The Piano Teacher, objectively a masterpiece, subjectively a book that changed my life.’

Best Book of 1991: Mao II by Don DeLillo

Colin Barrett

‘The ultimate goal of each act of art, each work of terror, is to demolish the old, incumbent reality, and create a new one.’

Best Book of 1993: Written on the Body

Melissa Febos

‘Influences imprint themselves on our consciousness as light does a photograph, or trauma the psyche’