Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Fourteen and After

Nick Hornby

‘We were fourteen and had recently discovered irony.’

Eyes That Have Seen the Sea

Tomás González

‘He had just finished unpacking his rucksack, new only ten days ago and now a sodden, salty, decomposing rag, when they called him.’

May We Be Forgiven

A.M. Homes

‘Now I understand the meaning of — it just happened. Or — it was an accident.’


Ellen Gilchrist

‘He drove off in her car. He was wearing a white visor, a white shirt with long sleeves. I don't believe the world I lived to see.’

Broken Star

Jennifer Haigh

‘I’d never heard her say an unkind word about anybody.’

Pronek in History

Aleksandar Hemon

‘This happened on a night train to Linz: swarthy-faced robbers startle Adolf and strip his felt jacket halfway down his arms so he cannot move them (their long nails scratching him just above his elbow)’.

In Utah There Are Mountains Too

Federico Falco

‘No one had ever spoken her name in a foreign language.’

Dreams of a Leisure Society

Adam Foulds

‘They were citizens of a multidimensional universe and they liked to get high.’

Homage to Mount Desert Island

Mark Haworth-Booth

‘A cow was on the wrong side of the fence on Crooked Road on May 26.’

Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black

Nadine Gordimer

‘Once there were blacks wanting to be white. Now there are whites wanting to be black.’


Nadine Gordimer

‘I correct the spelling because I’m a lawyer and I’m accustomed to precision in language; in legal documents the displacement of a comma can change the intention expressed in a sentence and lead to new litigation.’

Nothing But Ghosts

Judith Hermann

‘Afterwards Ellen liked to say she had once been to America but couldn't remember it very well.‘


Daniel Galera

‘I could make you promise much worse things.’ Daniel Galera muses on unknown family histories.

The Development Game

Leonard Frank

‘We are six on the mission to the North-west Frontier: an old Japanese, a Korean, an American, a Bangladeshi, a Dutch girl, me. ... We've got four weeks to come up with a project for, say, thirty million dollars.’


Pablo Gutiérrez

‘There’s no finding a telephone booth with anything more than an amputated cable hanging like a terrible extremity.’

City of the Dead, City of the Living

Nadine Gordimer

‘While I'm ironing, he cleans the gun. I saw he needed another rag and I gave it to him.‘

The Grandson of Jesus Christ

Apricot Irving

‘His heart is a tired engine with too many loose screws and faulty wires, not weightless like the tissue-thin kites he used to fly with his grandfather as the string danced between his fingers.’

A House in the Country

Romesh Gunesekera

‘The nights had always been noisy: frogs, drums, bottles, dogs barking at the moon.’

There’s a Small Hotel

Andrew Holleran

‘Returning to Manhattan was like seeing someone who’d once been your lover but was now with someone else.’

The Red Coral Bracelet

Judith Hermann

‘My first and only visit to a therapist cost me my red coral bracelet and my lover.’

Still Life

Vinicius Jatobá

‘You see the house and its time, the house and the house alone, though your secrets, your fears and silences still exist there, locked away behind the denseness of the closed doors’

The Universal Fears

John Hawkes

‘He was most seriously injured, as it turned out, not in the groin or flanks or belly, but in the head.’

Where East Meets West

Nell Freudenberger

‘How can we presume to know what other people's experiences are like?’

Bachelor Life

M.J. Fitzgerald

‘At nine o’clock the man leaves the flat dressed in an elegant salmon-pink dress’.

The Family Friend

Julia Franck

‘We’ve got a lot of family friends but Thorsten has been coming round far too often recently and I wonder whether I shouldn’t tell her that sometime.’

The Virgin of Esmeraldas

Nell Freudenberger

‘Everything was okay until Marisol accidentally broke a china cup with a rose on it that her stepmother had brought with her from DR.’

We Are the Kings

Michel Houellebecq

‘Smoking cigarettes has become the only element of real freedom in my day-to-day existence.’

Lessons in Inhaling

Esther Freud

‘Lisa was meeting her father for supper.‘

Blessed Assurance

Allan Gurganus

‘I sold funeral insurance to North Carolina black people.’

The Drawer

Nicole Ward Jouve

‘A husband was a leech. Sucked, sucked your substance, and no feedback ever, and where were you to refuel?’


Luisa Geisler

‘The better they were at escaping, the quicker, more daring they were, the harder the cat chased them.’

A Conversation with the Head of Orpheus

Russell Hoban

‘Far, far away in the night are live human beings whose breathing can be heard as they speak, and they're looking at their illuminated dials as I look at mine at this end of the darkness that curves with the night miles to the heave and swell of the ocean dawn.’

The Boat Train

Russell Hoban

‘The train wheels, now authorized to take up their song of distance, clacked and clattered their traditional shanty of miles.’

The Ramada Inn at Shiloh

Allan Gurganus

‘I think Lincoln's face predicted the twentieth century.’


Alan Judd

‘She responded to him with a mixture of haughty refusal and a suggestive acknowledgement, a grudging yielding which was what the play demanded.’

Even Pretty Eyes Commit Crimes

M.J. Hyland

‘My father was sitting on my doorstep. He was wearing khaki shorts, his bare head was exposed to the full bore of the sun, and he was holding a pineapple.’