Jonathan Levi | Interview
‘It’s a miracle that Granta survived our mutual adolescence. And yet, it was that smell of teenage spirit that brought Graham Greene and Martha Gellhorn and Hanif Kureishi to our pages.’
Stuck in Trees (with Apologies to Ian Frazier)
‘On 8 January 2018, I noticed a large bunch of purple balloons in a tree near my apartment building.’
‘There she is: Dolores. Newly named. Sitting at the kitchen table inside the convent, conscious of how bad she must smell.’
An excerpt from ZED, the forthcoming novel by Joanna Kavenna, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
‘The sister has a headful of fine hair down to the small of her back. The golden colour of maize silk, her weave is not stiff and waxy like Chipo’s, but moves in the breeze.’
The Resurgence of the Monstrous Feminine
‘Despite the sheer and uncommunicable amount of violence enacted upon the female body throughout history, it’s woman as terroriser, as beast, that we keep coming back to.’
The Girls and the Dogs
‘Maurice turns left, turns right, to loosen out the kinks in his neck. Images slice through him.’
Fatima Farheen Mirza on navigating gender roles in a Muslim family, wearing hijab and learning how to box.
Constantia Soteriou’s ‘Death Customs’, translated from the Greek by Lina Protopapa, is the regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2018 for Canada and Europe.
All silky and wonderful
A trip on a commuter train takes a surreal turn in new fiction by Ben Pester.
The Way to the Sea
‘Alone in the silent dark, she traversed the mouth of the estuary in mile-long sweeps, making a little more progress up the river each time she turned. Wind and tide were pushing her away, back towards the sea.’
My Mother Pattu
Saraswathy M. Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ is the Asian regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
A Memory Palace for Brothers Who Flew Just Close Enough to the Sun & Created the Storm
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey remembers Binyavanga Wainaina.
Harley Hern’s ‘Screaming’ is the Pacific regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Mother and Son:
Life and Fate
‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’
A Season on Earth
‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’
Distributed Denial of Service
‘Once you learn to seal the shell, to make it watertight, you can let anything roil around in there.’
The Sole Purveyor of Madame Bovary in Beijing circa 1989
‘In the day, his bevy of besotted rustics were coached in maxims of libertarian socialism. By night: rice wine orgies and folk punk sing-alongs.’
The Ungrateful Refugee
‘I was born in 1979, a year of revolution, and grew up in wartime.’ Dina Nayeri on growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
How I Write My Books
Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.
‘Just look at those nasty trees flaunt / their leaves, each one a tra-la-la.’
‘The bro has a pair of plump dogs over which he deploys nauseating quantities of ketchup.’
Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.
Rules for Visiting
‘It wasn’t until the end of dinner, when my aunt started clearing and my grandmother demanded another bottle of wine, that I began to understand.’