Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

‘My wife and I were both the children of Pakistanis, immigrants, Muslims, and we had faith that our union was of things greater than ourselves.’

The Ship at Anchor

Frederic Tuten

‘Those words made me wonder why I ever wanted to be an artist, why I ever wanted to live, though I never thought I wanted to die.’

Wavery’s Last Post

Nicholas Shakespeare

‘At five in the afternoon, the Bahia de Abyla sailed out of Algeciras.‘

The New Veterans

Karen Russell

‘Pain unwound itself under her palms‘


Mona Simpson

‘‘I have a body now,’ I whisper.’

Just Right

Zadie Smith

‘There’s no romance in that child whatsoever. No clue of the magic of storytelling. I’ll bet you a dollar she wears a girdle already.’


Madeleine Thien

‘You can follow the trail but you can’t know in which direction you are headed’

Heavy Weather

Helen Simpson

‘The baby was now three months old, and she had not had more than half an hour alone since his birth in February.’


Lucía Puenzo

‘She would leave everything behind not to lose him.’


Tanya Rey

‘Desire was a slapping, bone-chilling wind the likes of which did not exist this close to the equator.’

Danner, 1965

Jayne Anne Phillips

‘She was sliding down on the seat under him and it was like the soundtrack at the drive-in – a surface closed over her.’


Ross Raisin

‘It is obvious now that we can have no control over our journey, or its end.’

At The Villa Moro

Paul Theroux

‘This is my only story. Now that I am sixty I can tell it’.

New World (Part Two)

Jonathan Raban

‘It was how Europeans had always seen American nature – as shockingly bigger, more colourful, more deadly, more exotic, than anything they’d seen at home.’


Kamila Shamsie

‘Cover your nose and mouth, the order came, swift and useless; if they’d had their turbans they would have wound them around their faces but there were only the balaclavas.’

Alice fell

Emma Tennant

‘Agony belonged to night and would take advantage of the union, increase the whirligig of pain.’

Memoirs of an Anti-Semite

Gregor von Rezzori

‘For our kind it was impossible to fall in love with a Jewish girl. It meant being unfaithful to our flag.’

The Argentine Episcopate

Bernard Quiriny

‘I started working for the Bishop of San Julián in 1939, not long after the death of my husband.’

Marek Marek

Olga Tokarczuk

‘It hurt for no particular reason, just as the sun rises each morning and the stars come out each night. ’

Early One Morning

Helen Simpson

‘He's the only person in the world who listens to me and does what I tell him (thought Zoe).’


Clive Sinclair

'My nubile companion, assuredly no intellectual, continued to masturbate in front of me.'

The Beginner’s Goodbye

Anne Tyler

‘Sometimes the most recent moments can seem so long, long ago.’

The Death of His Excellency, The Ex-Minister

Nawal El Saadawi

‘A minister like myself had to be vigilant, both in body and mind, in order to retrieve correct facts from incorrect information.’

Our Circle

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

‘I am afraid that my memory is confused about these events, the final events of my life, by which I mean what happened before I started to go blind.’


Taiye Selasi

‘I am the full-time driver here. I am not going to kill my employers. I have read that drivers do that now.’

Athena Sees Good Things for You

Patrick Ryan

‘Dear X1, the first document began, On X2, as X3 moves into X4, I want you to turn X5 years into golden wealth.’

The Man in The Van

Lucretia Stewart

‘On Friday 20 March 1998 at ten-thirty in the morning I was lying in the bath, washing my hair’.


Ben Ratliff

‘There’s Bo Diddley. Big hips, pointy shoes, glasses. A gap between his teeth, and a bow tie, in 1965.’

After the War, Before the War

David Peace

‘At last, at last. His first steps, on Chinese soil.’

The Hotel Capital

Olga Tokarczuk

‘At the same time I take off my exotic language, my strange name, my sense of humour, my face lines, my taste for food not appreciated here, my memory of small events—and I stand naked in this pink and white uniform as if emerging from the sea mist.’

The Surgery of Last Resort

Daniel Smith

’Early one morning in the fall of 1999, Steven R., a forty-seven-year-old man with fair skin and grey hair, was in the front yard of his home in suburban Nebraska, picking up leaves‘.

The Golden Bough

Salman Rushdie

‘The same face. At every interview the same bland features. It could not be - but it was. I was sure of that.’

Phantom Pain

Lydia Peelle

‘Something’s out there. Something has shown up in the woods of Highland City.’

From The Diaries of Lenny Abramov

Gary Shteyngart

‘Today, I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die.’

The Lawyer’s Story

Paul Theroux

‘Bow tie, blue shirt, tight suit, cowboy boots—he was overdressed for Singapore.’

Keepers Of The House

Lisa St Aubin de Terán

‘Lydia Sinclair was just seventeen when she arrived on her husband's estate in the Andes.’ Lisa St Aubin de Terán's fictional memoir.