Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir

Filter

King’s Girls

Lindsay Watson

‘The effeteness of a small number of King's students was fascinating to me at first, then repellent, and before long completely uninteresting. They dressed in peculiar clothes, talked in silly voices and appeared to me to be living caricatures of the human race. At times I longed for some familiar ordinariness and found it with boys from other colleges who introduced me to football and pool and pubs.’

The Last Eighteen Drops

Vitali Vitaliev

‘Drinking vodka is just a memory for me now. Vodka was hurting me .’

One Ridge Over

Josh Weil

‘Some mornings I see him coming up through the mist. The grey shape of a long-haired man carrying a long-barreled gun amid the bare grey branches of the old apple trees.’

The Art of Moving On

David Ulin

‘This felt like the moment New York disappeared for me.’

Naples is Closed

Barry Unsworth

‘Naples had always been high on the list of places I wanted to visit‘.

Shrinks

Edmund White

‘Did the Rorschach lay bare my essence or my becoming? Was I becoming better or worse?’

My First European

Edmund White

‘I belong to the last generation of Americans obsessed with Europe and intimidated by it.’

Gentlemen

Eudora Welty

‘There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down.’

Here Come the Tanks

Patrick Wright

‘In these civilian circumstances, unhampered by any opposition from aircraft, landmines, artillery or other tanks, the tank seems unstoppable.’

An Afghanistan Picture Show

William T. Vollmann

‘The windbreakers of the passengers standing at the rail fluttered violently.’

Italo Calvino

John Updike

‘Post-modernism, if it can be said to exist at all, had in Calvino its most seductive showman.’

All I Know About Gertrude Stein

Jeanette Winterson

‘The more I love you, the more I feel alone.’

Home: Peckham

Evie Wyld

‘Peckham is the place of my adolescence, my first cobbled together attempts at dressing myself from the charity shops on Rye Lane.’

The One True God, Allah

Richard Watson

‘This is the story of the British jihad.’

Fortune

Tobias Wolff

‘We’d left Sarasota in the dead of summer, right after my tenth birthday, and headed west under low flickering skies that turned black and exploded and cleared just long enough to leave the air gauzy with steam.’

The Merry Widow

Edmund White

’She met my father in Texas and then they moved north, where I was born in Cincinnati.‘

The Last Post

Simon Winchester

‘It is the roar, however, that is most magnificent and daunting’

The Metaphoreign Body

Tod Wodicka

‘Finally, I was reduced to a piece of matter, solid and real and mute and totally absorbed inside a foreign system.’

Zagreb

Dubravka Ugrešić

‘‘We’ll print your book if you bring us 140 kilos of paper,’ says my friend, a publisher. ‘Where can I find 140 kilos of paper?’ ‘I don’t know. That’s your problem, you’re the writer.’’

Women’s Shadow in the American Western

Thirza Wakefield

‘The wild is no place for women—the film would seem to say.’

We Went to Saigon

Tia Wallman

‘I thought that this must be the sort of plane that crashes. What were a few more dead, travelling to the city of the dead?’

Pariah

Viramma

‘All my children have been buried where they died’

Diego Garcia

Simon Winchester

‘How do you persuade a thousand dogs to walk into a fire? How do you persuade them, as it were, to commit suttee?’.

Saigon Dreaming

Tela Zasloff

‘In the summer of 1964, when we arrived in Saigon, our house belonged to the United States military, whose cheerful Vietnamese employees moved us in.’

Jihad Redux

Declan Walsh

‘American patience snapped, and Washington took matters into its own hands.’

Ali the Muscle

Johnny West

‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’

Getting The Words Out

John Updike

‘No, it is not confrontation but some wish to avoid it, some hasty wish to please, that betrays my flow of speech.’

Introducing Daniel Galera

Alejandro Zambra

‘It’s hard to introduce Daniel Galera’s tale without resorting to adjectives that are more likely to arouse distrust than interest.’

Cricket in Samoa

Gavin Young

‘Balls flew towards the beach or into dense jungle. Enthusiastic young fielders tumbled head over heels in the morning glories. Village elders, large, heavy-breasted, critical men, lay in the shade on cushions discussing the course of play like contented sea lions on their favourite rocks.’

In Cyberspace: a love letter

Joanna Walsh

‘I’m at a cafe table. It doesn’t matter which country. I’ve been travelling for a long time. By train. Nine, ten different countries in thirty days, a couple of nights in each, maybe three at most.’

Field Burning

William Wharton

‘I thought after what had happened to us in the past twenty-four hours I’d never be scared to die again, but I am.’

Soundings

Abraham Verghese

‘On the first day of June, 1972, I was taught how to percuss the body.’

Bush House

Mirza Waheed

‘I first stepped into Bush House on a dreary November day in 2001. It was a trepid walk.’

Body Snatchers

William T. Vollmann

‘The All-American Canal was now dark black with phosphorescent streaks where the border’s eyes stained it with yellow tears.’

In the Shadow of the Hospital

Tim Winton

‘All that yearning spilling down amid the treetops and roof ridges, a shadow I’d never properly considered before.’

Veterans of a Foreign War

Elliott Woods

‘If they’re willing to do this for their country then I should be willing to make the same sacrifices.’