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Explore Essays and memoir

The Trouble with Old Men

Samuel Moyn

‘The choicest parts of the world’s richest cities, according to demographers, are dense with aged residents.’

Samuel Moyn on gerontocracy.

Five O’Clock Somewhere

Gary Indiana

‘It’s when things fail to return to normal, that finally you get it: this is normal.’

Gary Indiana on growing older.

From Zanzibar to Marbach

Abdulrazak Gurnah

‘The tragedies inflicted on the people of East Africa as a result of European rivalries are belittled and forgotten.’

Abdulrazak Gurnah on German East Africa.

What the Germans Left Behind

Anna Parker

‘My Czech family’s house stands on a geopolitical rift: it occupies a place the political storms sweep through, uprooting everything that is settled.’

An essay by Anna Parker.

Internal Affairs

Andrea Brady

‘The burden in law on the pregnant person is to show that they are at risk, in need; they must ask, and hope, rather than demand.’

Memoir by Andrea Brady.

Don’t Wake Me Up Too Soon

Daniel Kehlmann

‘Satire only comes into its own against the powerful; against the powerless it is cheap mockery from above.’

Daniel Kehlmann on writing, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin

Evaporation in the Boundary Zone

Ilija Matusko

‘From a dish washer to an author who writes about washing dishes.’

Memoir by Ilija Matusko, translated by Jen Calleja.


Urs Mannhart

‘I can’t help Lentille. Even though she roars. As long as she roars, I won’t be able to work.’

An essay from Urs Mannhart, translated by Christine Müller


Rebecca May Johnson

‘How can I accept a trauma or a loss that I cannot define?’

Rebecca May Johnson on pregnancy and divining the future.


Thomas Meaney

‘This issue of Granta collects writing headed full tilt in the opposite direction from the literary lassitude of the land.’

The editor introduces the issue.

Today We Just Say Germany

Alexander Kluge

‘A philosopher will reflect on the world from any place.’

Alexander Kluge on Germany, translated by Peter Kuras.

Auto Mind

Adrian Daub

‘Today, Germany knows it’s supposed to talk about cars.’

Adrian Daub on car-washing the past.