Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Louis de Bernières | Interview

Anita Sethi

‘At four o’clock in the morning, when Louis de Bernières has lines of poetry repeating in his head which won’t stop gnawing away, he writes them down.‘

Pounding a Nail

Studs Terkel

‘It wasn't his first radio interview—he'd done a few in New York the previous year—but certainly among his earliest.’

‘They’: Stalin’s Polish Élite

Teresa Toranska

‘You referred to a comrade as ‘Mister’. That's offensive.’

Maria Venegas | Interview

Maria Venegas

Maria Venegas discusses ‘Bullet Proof Vest’, her essay from Granta 108: ‘Chicago’ about her criminal father, who ‘shot a man when he was twelve years old’.

Richard Ford | Interview

Tim Adams & Richard Ford

‘It may be that writing fiction, imagining agencies, is my most trusted way into the unseen.’

Theodore Solotaroff | Interview

Theodore Solotaroff & William Warner

‘People belong to literary movements which are abstractions rather than to ways of life which are concrete.’

The Stone-Thrower from Eisenhuttenstadt

Max Thomas Mehr & Regine Sylvester

‘It has nothing to do with the question of the foreigners. No one in Eisenhuttenstadt wants the foreigners here.’

Salman Rushdie | Interview

Salman Rushdie & Blake Morrison

‘It’s often said that writers should never explain their work, but perhaps we could agree that these are exceptional circumstances.’

Bruce Chatwin | Interview

Bruce Chatwin & Michael Ignatieff

‘We have everything here, but I always wish I was somewhere else. It's a condition that makes one very difficult to live with.’

Ryszard Kapuściński | Interview

Ryszard Kapuściński & Bill Buford

‘Mine is not a vocation, it's a mission.’

Milan Kundera | Interview

Milan Kundera & Ian McEwan

'If you are a small nation, though, you do not make history. You are always the object of history.'

Moscow Women

Carola Hansson & Karin Lindén

’Yes - it’s terrifying when a woman speaks. The truth comes out, and a very real pain emerges.’

The Transcripts of Eichmann Interrogated

Jochen von Lang & Claus Sybill

‘In the early period the Jewish problem wasn't the main thing. What interested us in Austria was work and bread, freedom and an end to servitude.’

The Game of Evenings

Adolf Hoffmeister & James Joyce

For Bloomsday, James Joyce and Adolf Hoffmeister argue about a Czech translation of Finnegans Wake in a rare and intimate interview from 1930.

Tim Lott | Interview

Tim Lott & Helen Gordon

‘Somehow by putting things into words you’re taking a situation that feels very out of control and creating a kind of illusion of control over it.’

Gordon Burn | Interview

Gordon Burn & Simon Willis

‘The line between reality and its representation has become rivetingly porous.’

P.D. Mallamo | Interview

P. D. Mallamo & Roy Robins

‘Writing and reading in third-person present is like a high-speed drive through Nevada at two a.m.: incredibly invigorating and somewhat dangerous.’

Charlotte Roche | Interview

Charlotte Roche & Philip Oltermann

‘I love that image. Me flying over Germany, throwing sex bombs into people’s minds.’

Evie Wyld | Interview

Evie Wyld & Roy Robins

‘When I was at school I found I received the same satisfaction from writing a short story that I did doing awful self-portraits – only the results were much better.’

Lana Asfour | Interview

Lana Asfour & Roy Robins

‘I do find in fiction the greatest freedom and therefore the greatest potential meaning.’

Julie Klam | Interview

Julie Klam & Marian Brown

‘I’m successful? I can’t wait to call my mother!’

Jonathan Raban | Interview

Jonathan Raban & Helen Gordon

‘The term ‘man of letters’ now seems hopelessly archaic, but I’d like to think there’s still life left in the notion of the writer who’s just a writer.’

Evan James Roskos | Interview

Evan James Roskos & Roy Robins

‘There is a view of American men presented by the media – of men as boorish, insensitive, emotionally immature – that manages to underscore various stereotypes that I feel fiction and poetry have a duty to dismantle.’

Peter Hobbs | Interview

Peter Hobbs & Roy Robins

‘Illness is solitary, because suffering is something you always do alone.’

Andre Dubus III | Interview

Andre Dubus III & Catherine Tung

‘Everybody gets an imagination at birth, and I truly believe that deep down, we all have an intimate knowledge of the other.’

David Heatley | Interview

David Heatley & Simon Willis

‘There’s something magical about a pictographic doodle that’s simple enough to scan and then move on.’

Erin McMillan | Interview

Erin McMillan & Roy Robins

‘The other important component of the why of writing is that I’ve always been a bit of a liar.’

Jess Row | Interview

Jess Row & Ollie Brock

‘What I’m most drawn to in writing about this subject is the way in which very small, intimate acts of violence (not even necessarily physical violence) often serve as a microcosm or incubator for the massive, cataclysmic violence we see all around us in the world.’

Three Questions for Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss & Saskia Vogel

‘It’s easy to make an argument for the importance of literature in general, but almost impossible to sustain any conviction about the specific value of one’s own work.’

Hannah Gersen | Interview

Hannah Gersen & Roy Robins

‘It’s very satisfying to write short stories because it can be a kind of game — to see how much can be revealed with just a few thousand words.’

Soumya Bhattacharya | Interview

Soumya Bhattacharya & Roy Robins

‘The emotion and the impulse of fiction is autobiographical, but the events never are.’

Uwem Akpan | Interview

Uwem Akpan & Jeremiah Chamberlin

‘I just wanted to say something about how decent people struggle in difficult situations.’

Daniel Alarcón | Interview

Daniel Alarcón & Helen Gordon

‘The strangest parts of a story are not necessarily the fictional elements.’

Kevin Brockmeier | Interview

Kevin Brockmeier & Yuka Igarashi

‘The great big real world of sensations and objects and other people’s minds is already deeply strange, but sometimes it takes a change of perspective for us to see it clearly.’

Rhyme and Reason

Katha Pollitt & Adam Gopnik

‘I write for people who like poetry. The people who don’t like poetry are on their own.’