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How I Write My Books

Anne Serre

Anne Serre on how she writes. Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson.

How to Write About Africa

Binyavanga Wainaina

‘Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.’

Imperium

Ryszard Kapuściński

Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.

In Search of Beauty: Blackness as a Poem in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia on the slow process of rediscovering the beauty of black skin after moving to Saudi Arabia as a child.

Introduction

Devorah Baum & Josh Appignanesi

‘Troubling though they may be, feelings also tell us something about power and its limitations.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

Editor Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta 147: 40th-Birthday Special.

Karen Olsson | Notes on Craft

Karen Olsson

Karen Olsson shares her notes on the craft of writing: ‘Every book is an unsolvable problem, and yet every time I convince myself I’m just on the verge of cracking it.’

Kiltykins

Ved Mehta

‘When I was seeing Kilty (how, even today, the word 'seeing' mesmerizes me), the fact of my blindness was never mentioned, referred to, or alluded to’.

Lazy Boy

Josh Cohen

‘I don’t see him staring back at me from the La-Z-Boy, I see me, I see a crystalline image of my own burned-out soul’

Lemons in Winter

Mika Taylor

‘I wonder why I am always the last to let go. I wonder if there is any amount that will ever be enough.’

Lost Cat

Mary Gaitskill

‘Which deaths are tragic and which are not? Who decides what is big and what is little?’

Martin Goodman | Notes on Craft

Martin Goodman

Martin Goodman on why it took him twenty years to write his latest novel, J SS Bach.

Mother and Son:
Life and Fate

Robert Chandler

‘Nothing made her happier than to sacrifice herself for her son’s happiness.’

My Writing Playlist

Ed Vulliamy

Ed Vulliamy on the nine best songs to listen to while you write.

Night on Fire

Darcey Steinke

‘I know what’s going to happen and I know that it’s going to be bizarre.’

Nina Leger | Notes on Craft

Nina Leger

‘To say nothing about her was the only way to allow her to be everything.’

Normalnost

Peter Pomerantsev

‘Is there another way to look at the Russianisation of reality?’

Nostalgia in Blue

Viviana Peretti & Caroline Brothers

‘To step inside Viviana Peretti’s camera obscura is to witness the very process by which memory is made.’

On High Heels and Lotus Feet

Summer Brennan

Summer Brennan on high heels, foot-binding, and our ongoing performances of gender.

On Meeting Mrs Obama

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

‘Michelle’s story, while deeply rooted in the American story, speaks to experiences that are universal.’

On Taking Time

Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook on the art of slow writing.

Pajtim Statovci | Notes on Craft

Pajtim Statovci

‘My childhood was pierced not only by the violence in Kosovo but also by the violence my immigrant family was confronted with in Finland.’

Politics in the Consulting Room

Adam Phillips & Devorah Baum

‘In politics people think they know what they want, and in psychoanalysis the assumption is that they don’t know.’ Adam Phillips in conversation with Devorah Baum.

Populism and Humour

William Davies

‘As reality has grown more absurd, the job of satirists has grown harder.’

Radicalisation in the Digital Age

Marc Weitzmann

Marc Weitzmann on how radicalisation happens in the digital age.

Self-Consciousness

Edward W. Said

‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.‘

Shrinks

Edmund White

‘Self-doubt, which is a cousin to self-hatred, became my constant companion.’

Stuck in Trees (with Apologies to Ian Frazier)

Jessica Francis Kane

‘On 8 January 2018, I noticed a large bunch of purple balloons in a tree near my apartment building.’

Surrender

Joanna Pocock

‘How could having sex with the Earth ever be consensual?’

Tadpoles

Primo Levi

‘It was a harsh and brutal puberty: the tiny creatures began to fret, as if an inner sense had forewarned them of the torment in store’

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Rebecca Tamás

‘Death is terrifying and impossibly big, but life is even bigger – vulgar, relentless, ruthless.’

The Fall of Saigon

James Fenton

‘I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see the fall of a city.’

The Guests

Hisham Matar

‘Strangely, it was Joseph Conrad who introduced me to Edward Said and not the other way around.’

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.’

The Nine Circles

Margo Rejmer

‘The body wants to escape suffering at all costs. The body wants to live.’