Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Parrot

Peter Carey

‘You might think, who is this, and I might say, this is God, and what are you to do?’

Persist

Zaina Arafat

‘I grew obsessed with the place, thinking that getting to see it, to experience it, would make the pain of that fall go away.’

Parakeets

Kevin Brockmeier

‘The birds studied the mute as though he were a puzzle.’

Under Ice

Iain Banks

‘Andy runs out across the ice.‘

Honk Honk to Udvada

Chandrahas Choudhury

‘Oh Uncle, it’s such a historical day,’ said Zahra. ‘The eight hundredth anniversary of our arrival in India after we faced so much persecution in Iran, and we’re going to such a big bash, and all you can think about is emus. What will Dr Billimoria think of our family?’

I’m a Mad Dog Biting Myself for Sympathy

Louise Erdrich

‘I had never seen a child this little before, so small that it was not a child yet.’

Money

Martin Amis

‘How did I get like this? It can't just be the booze and all the junk food I put away. I must have been booked in for this a long time ago.’

Emma Bovary’s Eyes

Julian Barnes

‘Her eyes are black: passion and depth. Her eyes are green: wildness and jealousy. Her eyes are brown: reliability and ordinariness. Her eyes are violet: the novel is by Raymond Chandler.‘

Sitting on Top of the World

T. Coraghessan Boyle

‘It was like floating untethered, drifting with the clouds, like being cupped in the hands of God.’

Democracy

Joseph Brodsky

‘Nothing, really, Petrovich. That Georgian, you know, that foreign minister of theirs, says that half an hour ago, Himself announced at a press conference that democracy is being introduced here.’

Five Hours to Simla

Anita Desai

‘He had his hands deep in his pockets, and his face was lined with a frown deeply embedded with dust.’

The Blood Drip

Brian Evenson

‘They had stumbled upon a town and tried to approach it, but had been driven off with stones.’

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

‘Your problem is not that you misread signs; it’s that you see them everywhere.’

Punnu’s Jihad

Nadeem Aslam

‘It is as though the metal itself is bleeding.’

The Falcon

Gilad Evron

‘He once called Gihon a limb of his own body.’

Dick Contino’s Blues

James Ellroy

‘June 22, 1958. Dig, hepcats: it’s me, five minutes after the fuzz told me my mother had been murdered.’

The Wall

Jurek Becker

‘That afternoon a different soldier is standing at the gate. He calls out something that sounds dangerous.’

Sparks

Carol Bensimon

‘Your anywhere is a river you watch as you smoke.’

Othello Sucks

Upamanyu Chatterjee

Younger Daughter’s declaration that ‘Othello sucks’ prompts a conflicted response from Father.

Dizzy

Paul Auster

‘The method's not important. The only thing that counts is that you go along with it–and that you understand why it has to be done.’

Menudo

Raymond Carver

‘I can't sleep, but when I'm sure my wife Vicky is asleep, I get up and look through our bedroom window, across the street, at Oliver and Amanda's house.’

To the City

Tash Aw

‘He knew he had to find this faraway city.’

Hush . . . Hush Sweet Charlotte

Kazushige Abe

‘The crucial thing was to cool the baby off, bring the fever down.’

Coming down from the Mountains

Reinaldo Arenas

‘There is nothing to be heard now; just, in the darkness, the racket of the victrolas in Loma Colorada barrio, and the organ lording it over all the other noises.’

The Grief of Strangers

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Chinechelum said little as her mother drove her to the airport.’

The Ivory Acrobat

Don DeLillo

‘She lay in a kind of timeless drift, a mindwork spiral, carried on half-formed thoughts. She passed into a false sleep and then was listening again. She opened her eyes.’

Vampire

Robert Coover

‘His wife comes in, baring, with a wink, her incisors, and offers him a Bloody Mary.’

The Visiting Child

Karen E. Bender

‘The future lay before them, limp and endless.’

Real Time

Amit Chaudhuri

‘He sighed; his wife never satisfied him when he needed her most; and quite probably it was the same story the other way round.’

This is for You

Emmanuel Carrère

‘I have a proposition for you. From this moment on, you will do everything I tell you to do.’

Haunted

Seamus Deane

‘If we destroy it in another, we destroy it in ourselves.’

Scenes From A Comfortable Life

Andrés Ressia Colino

‘That nothing that’s consumed is real; what’s real is expensive, and gets consumed slowly.’

Saving the World

Tahmima Anam

‘Today, my brothers, Mohammed and Rubel, are going to foreign.’

Integration

Sherman Alexie

‘Anonymous cries up and down the hallways. Linoleum floors swabbed with gray water. Mop smelling like old sex.’

Sweet Truth

Walter Abish

‘I believe in the harmony of my friendship to Gisela rather than in the binding force that the institution of marriage is said to represent.’

Blasphemy

Fatima Bhutto

The tourists are gone. They’ve fled to Islamabad, along with the landlords and the hoteliers and the battalions of police that used to defend them, and certainty has left with them.