Granta | The Home of New Writing

Explore Granta books writing

What Silence Knows

Anthony Shadid

‘Words can’t quite re-create the smell of war. I have found myself trying to wash it out of my hair, off my fingers. More than once, I have run water over the soles of my shoes.’

To the Castle and Back

Václav Havel

‘I am announcing that I have returned from the USA. I thank all of those who worked in the domestic resistance. Likewise I thank all of us who worked in the foreign resistance.’

Court

Blake Morrison

‘One by one they’re led into the box. They swear their oath. They confirm their name, their employment, why they were where they say they were, what it was they saw.’

West

Carys Davies

Carys Davies' new novel is a mesmerising depiction of the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River

Karl Kraus and Veza

Elias Canetti

‘It was natural that the rumors about both these people should reach me at the same time; they came from the same source, from which everything new for me came at that time.’

Painter to the King

Amy Sackville

This is an excerpt from Painter to the King, Amy Sackville's account of the life of Diego Velázquez. Now available from Granta Books.

Terminus

Pedro Rosa Mendes

‘We hope that the copilot knows the terrain well. That his mask of youth conceals the face of a seasoned veteran of war. That he knows the minefields because he helped plant them.’

Who Killed Tolstoy?

Elif Batuman

‘I walked along the birch-lined alleys of Yasnaya Polyana, looking for clues. Snakes were swimming in the pond, making a rippling pattern. Everything here was a museum.’

The Great Israeli novel of War and Doubt

Anne Meadows

Granta editor Anne Meadows writes about Khirbet Khizeh, the great Israeli novel of war and doubt.

Khirbet Khizeh

S. Yizhar

‘No one knows how to wait like soldiers. There is no time or place that soldiers are not waiting and waiting.’

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Wells Tower

‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’

Exquisite Corpse

Frances Stonor Saunders

‘Europe awoke to a freezing post-war dawn. The winter of 1947 was the worst ever recorded.’

Asymmetry

Lisa Halliday

An excerpt from Lisa Halliday's Asymmetry

Typing Practice

Barbara Ehrenreich

‘I didn’t start my journal with the idea of recording my progress toward the ultimate truth.’