Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


Bad Women, Good Feminists?

Damian Barr

‘I was told I was not a feminist and never could be, because I was a man.’

Baghdad Diary

Nuha al-Radi

‘Other countries do wrong: look what Russia did in Afghanistan, or Turkey invading Cyprus, or Israel taking over Palestine and Lebanon. Nobody bombed them senseless. They were not even punished. Perhaps we have too much history.’

Beirut | Dispatches

Lana Asfour

‘I was determined that this latest crisis wouldn’t keep me out of the country of my birth.’

Benjamin Anastas | Portrait of My Father

Benjamin Anastas

‘For years when I was growing up, I passed underneath this double-nude every time I climbed up or down the stairs in my father’s house.’

Benjamin Pell Versus the Rest of the World

Tim Adams

‘You hear Benjamin Pell long before you see him.’

Blind Spot

Teju Cole

‘I heard faint noises, the occasional car going down another street, a voice lightly thrown from its unseen body, the hum of distant machines, and the sound of my own breathing as I put one foot in. ’


Urvashi Butalia

‘Stories are all that people have, stories that rarely breach the frontiers of family and religious community’

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich

‘I was trying to present a history of feelings, not the history of the war itself.’

Bread of Beirut

Annia Ciezadlo

‘Whenever there’s the threat of violence, people rush to the bakery for bread, of course, but also, I suspect, for reassurance.’


Ian Buruma

‘Once upon a time, on top of a green hill, high above the red roofs of Weimar, there was an oak tree.’

But Why Write? The Writer-To-Be

Walter Abish

‘How to explain this resolve to write, this firm unwavering intent to become a writer on the part of someone who may not even really care for books?’

Capital Gains

Rana Dasgupta

‘The society that has emerged in post-liberalization India is one consumed both by euphoria and dread.’

Captain Mbaye Diagne

Mark Doyle

‘The Rwandan town of Nyamata is thirty kilometres south of Kigali, the capital'.

Caste Wars

William Dalrymple

‘Bad things went on in Bihar, my friends told me’


Ariel Dorfman

‘But it is not only external, physical problems that Chilean culture is facing. By suddenly being forced into the open, artists and intellectuals are now coming up against an internal dilemma.’


Bruce Chatwin

‘The island of Chiloé is celebrated for its black storms and black soil, its thickets of fuchsia and bamboo, its Jesuit churches and the golden hands of its woodcarvers.’

Chinua Achebe’s Legacy

Ike Anya

‘Who will speak out for us now? Who will ask the hard questions of us and the world that he did?’

Chloe Aridjis | Portrait of My Father

Chloe Aridjis

‘My father has always said that he was born twice.’

Christmas in Nicaragua

Peter Davis

‘Soaring and plunging, the revolution is like a kite in an uncertain wind.’

City of Dis: The Fiction of Don DeLillo

Norman Bryson

‘It has been his fate to be imminent for what is by now an unconscionably long time.’

Claudia Cardinale is a Mexican Revolutionary

Duncan Bush

‘One of these days, I've often thought, I'll go to Hollywood. Just to see if the old studios are standing, wander round the lots. See the famous palmprints in cement outside that Chinese restaurant.’

Coming to America

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

‘As a child in Germany I knew next to nothing about America’.

Confessions of a Middle-Aged Ecstasy Eater


‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and there is much being wasted when one deliberately chooses not to explore the ecstasy of its deeper horizons.’

Cristhiano Aguiar | On Tour

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘Rabbits running across a campus and a beer named Hobgoblin: these are two of the topics noted in my small travel notebook.’

Dad’s the Word

Soumya Bhattacharya

‘There is no escaping the fact that parenting involves treasuring those rare moments of solitude.’

Delinquent in Derry

Nik Cohn

‘Across the river, in a Catholic enclave in the Waterside district, there was a disused funeral home in which, three nights a week, at 6d a shot, contraband teen movies could be sat through and sometimes seen, according to the state of the projector.’


Noam Chomsky

‘Postwar US policy has been designed to ensure that the victory is sustained by maximising suffering and oppression in Indochina.’

Dr Gonad

Atom Egoyan

‘Few careers fascinate me more than that of Paul Thomas.’


Bruce Chatwin

‘In Alice Springs – a grid of scorching streets where men in long white socks were forever getting in and out of Land Cruisers – I met a Russian who was mapping the sacred sites of the Aboriginals.’

Editor’s Letter: The men who made us

Alex Clark

‘Time comes round and takes your stories.’


Bill Buford

‘A new fiction seems to be emerging from America, and it is a fiction of a peculiar and haunting kind.’


Bill Buford

‘The twentieth century has tolerated a number of mythologies about the role of the writer, and one of the most commonplace is the writer as inspired genius.’


William Buford

‘Dr O’Brien’s column was a curious achievement. And a mystifying one. It somehow succeeded in making Granta an accomplice in its own kidnapping.’


Bill Buford

‘Certainly the most obvious attraction of travel writing is in what it represents: escape.’

Editor’s Letter

Alex Clark

‘In 1979, when Bill Buford introduced his first issue of Granta, a penetrating, bravura survey of American fiction, he proclaimed his efforts to be ‘a kind of energetic failure’.’

Encounter: The visions of Kurt Jackson

Mark Cocker

‘A thing of colour and elemental contest and of beauty.’