Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir



Jacob Newberry

‘I met Jay two summers after Katrina, two years after my parents separated, two years after I came out.’

The Madonna of the Sea

Maaza Mengiste

‘If you can survive, all of this will pass.’

Lessons from a Hustler

Peter Mountford

‘With Buck, pool was clearly an intellectual exercise and he was scarily cool at the table.’

Our Adder

Richard Kerridge

‘Our zoo needed something more thrilling, more dangerous, we had decided. We wanted an adder.’

Vanishing Virgil

Maaza Mengiste

‘We want to believe that we will die with dignity; that death is a confrontation and the battle is somewhat fair.’

Airports: Frontier Nations

Andrés Neuman

‘1.In the waiting area of the Málaga airport for departing flights, a flock of birds nests on the beams. They fly back and forth across the high ceiling.’


A.L. Kennedy

‘After dinner and schoolwork and dog-walking and the rest, even if I’d put the light out and laid myself down for definite rest, little ideas and scraps and nonsenses would tickle in and start to shake me. They would make the nights too bright to resist.’

Double Vision: The ‘Other’ Twin Towers

Christopher Merrill

‘Two pairs of towers celebrating economic might, two visions of modernity: a double-sided mirror of the international order.’

War and Peace on the Big Sandy River

Dean H. King

‘Far from the canyons of lower Manhattan or the rugged peaks of Afghanistan, 9/11 led to an unexpected breakthrough in an ancient feud.’

Of Moustaches and Megalomaniacs

Alia Malek

‘Proper syllabic emphasis was mere collateral damage in the war crescendo of the global coalition that would eventually rumble with Iraq.’

Today is a Sunny Day

Porochista Khakpour

‘For the past ten years I have been trying to write about the events that occurred on 9/11.’

Doctor, Doctor

Sophie Lewis

‘Five months after I moved to Rio de Janeiro, on a Monday at around ten at night while doing the washing up, I managed to cut my hand deeply and bloodily on a chipped plate.’


A.L. Kennedy

‘I was tempted to let the pages blow overboard and start again...But they have very stern laws about littering at sea.’

A Train in Winter

Caroline Moorehead

‘It was clear that not all would, or could, or would choose to, survive.’

Selling Your First Soul

Kseniya Melnik

‘The Russia of my memories was largely imaginary – a cauldron of nostalgia-tinted material, which I calibrated with scrupulous research.’

Like We Are

Binnie Kirshenbaum

‘My father can speak just fine. Nonetheless, he does not speak to me; nor I to him.’


Leo Mellor

‘A rustle in the bracken; then, almost immediately, a snout and some wiry black hair.’

On Riker’s Island

David McConnell

‘A lifelong backlog of unimparted knowledge must corrode the flesh.’

My Body

Sarah Manguso

‘When I was twenty-one I became a citizen of the hospital.’

The B.O.G. Standard

Philip Oltermann

‘Like most northern Europeans, we were dedicated Anglophiles.’

They Always Come in the Night

Dinaw Mengestu

‘Tell them truth. Tell them we are out here dying.’

George Orwell: Diaries

George Orwell

‘A jagged stone skimming across ice makes exactly the same sound as a redshank whistling.’

Colombia | Snapshot

Jaime Manrique

‘Two obsessions dominated my life during adolescence: to become a writer and to find my true love.’

El Salvador | Snapshot

Horacio Castellanos Moya

‘Don’t mind the sun that beats leadenly down, or the light that stings their eyes, or the danger that lurks nearby, because that’s what life has always been: a little air gulped down amid the crowd.’


Zaiba Malik

‘I knew I was Pakistani long before I knew I was English, just as I knew I was Muslim long before I knew I was British.’

White Girls

Sarfraz Manzoor

‘Not drinking was disastrous for my love life.’

Summer with my Grandmother

A.L. Kennedy

‘And this was my grandmother, this man-destroying tyrant, this magnificent perfectionist with untireable arms and unfathomable ways of seeing.’

Mum and Fritz

Tiffany Murray

‘That hot afternoon I lay back on Mum’s old Chesterfield, ill, and watched this new man in a blue, velvet jacket, fingers tick-tack-ticking through his record collection.’


Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch’s letters to Raymond Queneau.


Joseph O’Neill

‘Late at night, we took an exit at Sharon and checked into a Holiday Inn.’

What I’m Listening To

Adam Mars-Jones

‘Obscure repertoire is a sensible hiding-place for mediocre technique.’

Lunch with the Surgeon

Kapka Kassabova

‘Last month, a plastic surgeon in Buenos Aires tried to seduce me.’

My Queer War

James Lord

‘The ascent into oblivion was utter caesura of self.’


Rebecca Lenkiewicz

‘I’m twenty-­one. On a Greyhound bus going from New York to San Francisco.’