Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore essays and memoir


Afrikaners and the Future

André Brink

‘What is the future of Afrikaners in South Africa?’

After Gandhi

Trevor Fishlock

‘His room is as he left it, furnished with a carpet, a spinning wheel, a low white table, a mattress and cushion.’

After Lockerbie

George Rosie

‘I’ve seen many images from the Lockerbie calamity since but none has stayed with me like the picture of Shannon’s pretty, smiling face.’

After Silk Road

Mike Power

‘The Dark Web is a shadow internet, an unindexed, unseen and lawless corner of cyberspace.’


Rachel Cusk

‘The gears of life had gone into reverse.’

Against Travel Writing

Robyn Davidson

’Shortly after its publication in 1980 I was surprised to learn that I had written a travel book’.


René Belletto

‘Having told his story, the thief had said goodbye to Agnès, regretfully, she thought’.

Airds Moss

Kathleen Jamie

‘It could almost have been Neolithic, an ancient and mysterious earthworks.’

Airports: Frontier Nations

Andrés Neuman

‘1.In the waiting area of the Málaga airport for departing flights, a flock of birds nests on the beams. They fly back and forth across the high ceiling.’


Javier Marías

‘We live in an age that tends to depersonalize even people and is, in principle, averse to anthropomorphism.’

Alexander Chee | Portrait of My Father

Alexander Chee

‘He left for the US while his father was away on business so he couldn’t stop him.’

Ali the Muscle

Johnny West

‘All individuality is collapsed by the dog-eat-dog language of ‘us and them’ into a choice between one of two separate, irreconcilable identities.’

Alive, Alive-Oh!

Diana Athill

‘She thought of herself as a rational woman, but while she could sleep alone in an empty house for night after night without worrying, there were other nights when her nerves twitched like a rabbit's at the least sound.’


Dorothea Lynch & Eugene Richards

‘We women, how in the dark we are about our bodies and what can happen to them. We ask in whispers in the corner at a party or on the telephone, what does a breast lump feel like? What does cancer look like? Will I be all right?’

Amazon Adventure

Redmond O’Hanlon

‘Having spent two months travelling in the primary rain forests of Borneo, I thought that a four-month journey in the country between the Orinoco River in Venezuela and the Amazon in Brazil would pose no particular problem.’

America’s Secret War

Leslie Cockburn

‘Morales’s troubles began in the spring of 1984, when he was indicted for conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine. It was this awkward development that made him particularly receptive to the proposal he received from a delegation of Contras and a CIA man that turned up at his Opa-locka office soon after the bad news.’

American Folk

Greil Marcus

‘Smith placed murder ballads, explosions of religious ecstasy, moral warnings and hedonistic revels on the same plane of value and meaning’

American Vogue

Edmund White

‘Mumbling is proof of artistic verisimilitude.’

Among Chickens

Jonathan Miller

‘The joke makes us aware that we have complex notions about those things for which we can be praised and blamed, those things which could be said to be voluntary or involuntary, those things which we can do half-heartedly, those things which we do flat out and those things we can't help.’

Among the Pipemen

Andrew Martin

‘It was as though, after a period of wariness, my pipe had warmed to me.’

Among the Tulips

Richard Holmes

‘When young James Boswell arrived in Holland in August 1763 at the age of twenty-two, his first impulse was to commit suicide.‘

An Ofrenda for my Mother

Sandra Cisneros

‘She was a prisoner-of-war mother, banging on the bars of her cell all her life.’

An Accidental Spy

Phillip Knightley

‘The CIA had become concerned about Soviet influence in India in the early 1960s.’

An Afghanistan Picture Show

William T. Vollmann

‘The windbreakers of the passengers standing at the rail fluttered violently.’

An Education

Lynn Barber

‘Alan was adept at not answering questions, but actually he rarely needed to, because I never asked them.’

An Education

Lynn Barber

‘The whole meeting seemed completely unreal but then everything at that time seemed unreal, so I said ‘Yes, by all means make the film,’ and went back to the hospital and forgot about her.’

An Egyptian in Baghdad

Amitav Ghosh

‘It was exactly three weeks since Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, and miraculously, Abu-Ali, the old shopkeeper, was on his feet.’

An English Exile

Jeremy Seabrook

‘I was never a revolutionary, not really a Marxist.’

An Escape from Kampala

Wycliffe Kato

‘‘Be brave,’ she said, ‘pull yourself together. What you are about to see is worse than you ever imagined.’ She asked if I knew what Winston Churchill had called Uganda. He had called it the pearl of Africa.’

An Irrelevant Parochialism

Frederick Bowers

‘What strikes an ex-patriate most about the contemporary British novel is its conformity, its traditional sameness, and its realistically rendered provincialism.’

An Open Letter to Mbeki

Petina Gappah

‘You are human, Mr Mbeki, and are therefore prey to the resentments and obstinacies that plague the mere mortal.’

An Unfathomable Ship

Uwe Johnson

‘It is the name of an American ammunition ship which went aground in the summer of 1944; as a result the ship sank, since which time only the tips of its derricks and masts and a corner of the bridge are visible.’

Anatomy of a Cheeseburger

Jeremy Rifkin

‘Ray Kroc, one of the founders of the McDonald's hamburger chain, changed American eating habits as effectively as Henry Ford changed the way Americans travel.’


Ann Beattie

‘Christine’s hair had begun to dry, and she looked different, with her hair down and her glasses on. Her earnestness made her look younger, and took me back to the bar where we’d sat in Pennsylvania years ago.’