Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Buffalo Soldiers

ZZ Packer

‘No bullet, no recoil, no shot.’

The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H.

George Steiner

‘At moments Hitler’s head brushed against Gideon’s cheek like a clump of wet leaves.’

The Siege of Leningrad

Mikhail Steblin-Kamensky

‘Alexander Ivanovich woke at six, the hour when radio broadcasting would normally have begun, but the radio had been silent for a month now.’

We Walked on Water

Eliza Robertson

‘Land of the misty giants: cedar, alder, Ponderosa pine. Cascade Mountains pushing out green like grass through a garlic press.’

New World (Part Four)

Jonathan Raban

‘Sleep has disassembled the self: it will take patience to rebuild a person out of the heap of components in the bed.’

Valdir Peres, Juanito and Poloskei

Antonio Prata

‘The only path to tread, from now on, was downward.’

A Conversation Piece

George Steiner

‘No. Listen to me. God's confidence in Abraham was not total. Let me hammer out my meaning.’


Mona Simpson

‘His articulate hands moved around my face as if fashioning an imaginary veil there.’


Suzanne Rivecca

‘The novelist/philanthropist was more vigorous than her wax-figure photographs, and at the same time much frailer.’

At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers

Salman Rushdie

‘The bidders who have assembled for the auction of the magic slippers bear little resemblance to your usual saleroom.’

The Cyrillic Alphabet

Adam Thirlwell

‘Olga was noble. She was Amazonian. She felt exhausted and humiliated, but she also had force.’

In Summer Camps

Jayne Anne Phillips

‘The sky burned white to blond to powder to an almighty blue; the sun fell unobstructed.’

The Cuervo Brothers

Andrés Felipe Solano

‘I was Mister Average, right on the borderline.’

New World (Part Three)

Jonathan Raban

‘To my eyes, airplane always looked impertinently casual on the page; it robbed the amazing machine of its proper mystery.’


Samanta Schweblin

‘Sometimes she lied. She didn’t do it maliciously; she did it to pass the time.’

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.

The Former Mayor’s Ancient Daughter

Rachel Shihor

‘To begin with, she softens her twisted nails in lukewarm soapy water, which she carries in an assortment of bottles.’

Moscow Dynamo

Victor Pelevin

‘That's why they're able to live like normal human beings, he thought, because they never forget about their duty. They don't spend all their time getting pissed like folks here.’


Ben Ratliff

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

Hands Across the Water

Rachel Seiffert

‘Dark red hair. Wee skirt and trainers, bare arms. All those freckles.’

Pig Skin

Andrés Felipe Solano

‘A perfect impostor.’

The Butcher of Bermondsey

Graham Swift

‘Then he led me out into the noise and the glare and the stink.’

Look at Me, I’m Beautiful!

Ben Rice

‘When I came back from Gwen's I had expected to find him in the throes of his midlife koisis—you know—trimming an anal fin in the bath, or nursing a slime coat at the very least.’

Buddy Carmody

Jayne Anne Phillips

‘No one was safe walking to church in the dark, but Buddy knew better than to beg not to go'.

How We Got Mother Back

Valério Romão

‘With the passing of time we got used to hearing our brother being our mother.’

Midnight’s Children

Salman Rushdie

‘We all owe death a life.’

The Cutting

Rose Tremain

‘I could not for too long delay my promise to Violet Bathurst to cut out her Cancer.’

My Wife is a White Russian

Rose Tremain

‘I'm in nickel and pig-iron and gold and diamonds. I like the sound of all these words. They have an edge, I think. The glitter of saying them sometimes gives me an erection.’

Our Nicky’s Heart

Graham Swift

‘Frank Randall had three sons: Michael, Eddy and Mark. That was fine by him‘.


Darcey Steinke

‘I had a new persona I’d been planning to introduce the first day of school: a girl wise beyond her years who was not at all nerdy or spastic or prone to crying jags.’

Stars and Stripes

Santiago Roncagliolo

‘He chewed on the syllables until they sounded the way they did in movies.’


Clive Sinclair

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

A Soap Opera From Hell

Clive Sinclair

‘It comes as no surprise when an ophthalmist informs him that the tears he does produce–the consequence of various allergies–are deficient, poor-quality facsimiles of the real thing.’

The Bastard of Istanbul

Elif Shafak

‘Whatever falls from the sky above, thou shall not curse it.’


George Steiner

‘Now the burn seemed to smart behind his eyes.’

Preserves for Life

Olga Tokarczuk

‘He came upon one under the kitchen sink labelled ‘Shoestrings in vinegar, 2004’, and that should have alarmed him.’