Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


Brazilian Diary

Cynan Jones

‘It’s quite a phone call to get: ‘Will you go to Brazil for us?’’

Dividing the Kingdom

Pico Iyer

‘I get on the train to hear the funereal call of my boyhood: ‘Reading, Didcot Parkway, Oxford.’’


Caspar Henderson

‘Often, a road is the least interesting path to follow.’


Scott Johnson

‘Sometimes, these sorts of details made their way into wire stories as bullet-pointed footnotes. Other times, the stories screamed into the lives of people I knew.’

Barely Imagined Beings

Caspar Henderson

‘Monsters of one kind or another are woven into virtually all the cultures of which we have record.’

Novel Terrors

Yuka Igarashi

‘Violence and genius and terror and mysticism reside in equal parts in the so-called heroes and so-called villains. It wells up and pervades us. We swim in it.’

You Want Gunfire With That?

Dan Hind

‘The end of Soviet communism was supposed to have brought with it the end of ideological struggle and even, according to a significant few, history itself.’

Feeding the Fire: The Political Context of 9/11

Adam Haslett

‘9/11 was the bullet to the powder keg of an already heated domestic conflict.’

At War With Writing About War

Gabe Hudson

‘Perhaps a more precise and academicish moniker for War Literature would be, Suicide Averted In Favour of Writing.’

Unplanned Road Trip

David Guterson

‘I had a dark, journalistic interest in Ground Zero but also, apprehension.’

Somalia Then and Now

Mary Harper

‘Madam, you are a potential terrorist. You and every other person in this room.’

In a Land of Silence

Janine di Giovanni

‘She tells me that he died because he refused to be silent.’

The Terminal Check

Pico Iyer

‘The world is all mixed up these days, and America can no longer claim immunity.’

The Politics of Grief

V. V. Ganeshananthan

‘It is a way of humiliating people, to say that their dead are not dead, to say that people are not even allowed to mourn.’

1911, The Other Revolution

Isabel Hilton

‘Anniversaries, of course, can be a two-edged sword: they invite historical reappraisal.’

Memory and Invention

Mavis Gallant

‘When I happened to be working all day, every day, on a story set in the Paris of 1953, I was stunned and bewildered to step outside and discover the shape of the cars, the casual clothing and clean facades of the 1990s.’

The Blazing Light in August

Gabriel Gbadamosi

‘The basic social contract that I won’t break the law by being in a riot and that, in return, my society will keep me safe is being ripped apart in this confrontation with the hard reality of violence: we must break them or they will break us.’


Ted Hodgkinson

‘There are few things worse than being rebuked by the very books you have promised yourself you will read.’

I Like Being a Woman (And I Hate Hysterical Women)

Leila Guerriero

‘One day my father called me over to explain to me about the little seed, patting my head as if he were offering me his condolences.’

We’re Not in This Together

Janice Galloway

‘Abstain was the only advice we were getting.’


Mark Gevisser

‘The city was also a place of possibility and even, paradoxically, liberation.’

Guatemala | Snapshot

Eduardo Halfon

‘The roads of Guatemala have always been its best and worst theatre.’

Tropics of Redemption

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

‘Lest we forget: the novel was invented in Spanish. We entered modern times through the spirit of a novel written in that language.’

The House by the Gallows

Intizar Hussain

‘Along with religion, an unthinking nationalism had become the other god of Pakistan.’


Aamer Hussein

‘No one to greet us at Heathrow.’

Where do we put Mark Twain?

Malcolm Jones

‘Twain does have his literary heirs, as Hemingway pointed out in his famous proclamation that all American literature comes from one book, Huck Finn.’

A Voice from the Vault

Benjamin Griffin

‘You ought never to edit except when awake.’

Finding Nusrat

Janine di Giovanni

‘We sat for sometime, and I found after a while that there was little I could say.’

The Book of the Dead

Janine di Giovanni

I always begin bedtime stories to my son the same way: ‘Once upon a time, a long, long time ago . . .’


Colin Grant

‘It was a big news day. We were going to look for a piece of lino for the back room.’

First Story

William Fiennes

‘We talked a lot about voice – the idea that everyone has a voice, their own voice, and this is something to be valued and celebrated.’

I & I: The Natural Mystics

Colin Grant

‘Such a spectacle could not have been envisaged ten years previously at the time of Bob Marley’s death from cancer.’

The Greenland Pump

Matthew Hart

‘On the morning of our eleventh day at sea we came out of the Atlantic on to the inshore stations of the western shelf’.

Bone Litter

Marian Botsford Fraser

‘'Hey, I saw an Inuk once with a hat that said: INSTANT ASSHOLE. JUST ADD ALCOHOL'.’

Do Fish Feel Pain?

James Hamilton-Paterson

‘Our mistake in this debate is to think that these issues can be resolved by science and ethics and the passing of nice clear laws’.

A Plausible Portrait

Ted Hodgkinson

‘My friends say I am secretive and devious,’ he wrote in the introduction to Picasso and Dora. ‘They’re right.’