Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


The Rainy Season

Lindsey Hilsum

‘In Rwanda today so much is unspoken or only whispered.’

The Imam And The Indian

Amitav Ghosh

‘We were both travelling, he and I: we were travelling in the West. The only difference was that I had actually been there, in person.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

Ian Jack’s introduction to Granta 87: Jubilee.

Janesville, Wisconsin

Steven Greenhouse

‘To them, the emphasis was on the ‘creative’ part of creative destruction. But in Janesville, few could see beyond the destruction.’

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.’

Motley Notes

Ian Jack

‘The last issue of Granta celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and retraced a little of its pre-1979 history as a magazine for and by the students of Cambridge University.’

A Dynasty of Album Cover Art

Lemi Ghariokwu

‘The music is as powerful as it gets and beneath his knife-edge, cutting sarcasm, Fela’s voice rages.’

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.’

The Last Vet

Aminatta Forna

‘Jalloh likes to keep accurate records of such things. After all, nobody else does.’


Philip Hensher

‘So there is music and music. It is not easy, after all.’

The Fall of Vukovar

Jean Hatzfeld

'Jean Hatzfeld returned to the former Yugoslavia and was severely wounded by gunfire in June 1992'.

A Sign of Weakness

Terrence Holt

‘Fast asleep, even comatose, a living body moves.’

The Tin Drum In Retrospect

Günter Grass

‘With the baggage of stored-up material, vague plans and precise ambitions - I wanted to write my novel and Anna was looking for more rigorous ballet training - we left Berlin early in 1956 and, penniless but undaunted, went to Paris.’

Physics and Bonkology

Janice Galloway

‘Sex Education, like winning the pools, was something that did not happen to us.’

Two Farms: One Black, One White

Lindsey Hilsum

‘They were both in their early forties. We drank tea on the veranda, watching the dogs play as the water sprinkler greened the lawn. This was the Africa of the white man's dream, where nature can be subdued inside the compound, but where the bush extends in its thrilling wildness just beyond the fence.’

Those Who Felt Differently

Ian Jack

‘The bedside radio came on. A solemn voice, a plain sentence or two, the tune of 'God Save the Queen' played at its most mournful pitch’.

A Fight in Bethnal Green

Jeremy Harding

‘There was no sizing up, no graceful footwork, none of the rhetoric of the game: this was unmitigated invective.’

The Two Gardens

Lorna Gibb

‘There are two gardens in my memory. The first was hidden behind the rows of shabby council houses where I grew up.’

Women and Power in Cuba

Germaine Greer

‘For a feminist like me who considers that the combination of dazzle with drudgery is one of the most insidious ways in which women in our society are subject to stress, the multiplication of contradictory demands upon the Cuban women is a cause for concern.’

House Style: Editing Brazil

Yuka Igarashi

‘We’re freaks . . . Why are we still talking about typos?’

Anjali Joseph | First Sentence

Anjali Joseph

‘I kept returning to the Beckett stories, a favourite since I came upon them in my late teens.’


Jeremy Harding

‘The wall began to look impressive, but its lethargy, the lack of activity anywhere along it, was exasperating.’

The Smoking Diaries

Simon Gray

‘The inside of my head feels soft and thoughtless, with a muzzy ache going round its rim.’

El Salvador: An Aide-Mémoire

Carolyn Forché

‘Between 1978 and 1981 I travelled between the United States and Salvador, writing reports on the war waiting to happen, drawing blueprints from memory, naming the dead.’

Lost Cat

Mary Gaitskill

‘I wish I had thought back: “Don’t worry. Stay where you are. I will find you.” Instead I thought “I’m scared too. I don’t know where you are.”’

Growing up with the King of Pop

Marlon James

‘The thrill of Thriller was being part of something global and local at once.’

The Making of a Writer

Kent Haruf

‘I learned to live completely inwardly in those years.’

Xiaolu Guo | My Writing Playlist

Xiaolu Guo

‘The challenge of flowing in one continuous outpouring of language in a novel is my killer.’

Klever Kaff

Ian Jack

‘She was an extraordinary person, and an ordinary one.’

God and Me

Simon Gray

‘I'd grown up and become too educated to allow God's breath on my skin.’


Seamus Heaney

‘Birch is the tree of desire, ashimmer with sexual possibility even when it arrives swathed in botanical Latin.’


James Hamilton-Paterson

‘My daydreams were full of explosions.’

Foreign Bodies

Peregrine Hodson

‘We'd reached the end of the journey: a day and a night and then home. Perhaps that was our first mistake. We forgot where we were.’

Introduction: India – Another Way of Seeing

Ian Jack

Ian Jack's introduction to Granta 130: India.

Beirut Diary

Robert Fisk

‘The nun beside me on the helicopter this morning had a tight, self-righteous face.’

Flowers Appear on the Earth

Samantha Harvey

‘In their deepest sorrow the islanders buried the ashes of their forty-six dead’