Granta | The Home of New Writing

Explore Essays and memoir

On Mistaking Whales

Bathsheba Demuth

‘The people who lived here lived in the heads of whales.’

A historian from New England goes to the Bering Strait.

The Steepest Places: In the Cordillera Central

Ben Mauk

‘In the mountains, however, Duterte seemed to have met his match.’

Ben Mauk meets the mountains of Luzon.

The Dam

Taran N. Khan

‘Invisible borders are not the same as open borders.’

Taran N. Khan on Hamburg’s Steindamm.

Travelling Secretary

Emmanuel Iduma

‘My life unfolded within the net effect of my father’s choices.’

Memoir by Emmanuel Iduma.

Graffiti Mobili

Jennifer Croft

‘The picture of a postcard is a geograft, a scion of a place thrust into the life of a resident of somewhere else.’

Jennifer Croft on graffiti and the history of the postcard.

The Ninth Spring: One Day at the Kolibi

Kapka Kassabova

Kapka Kassabova visits the Osmanovi family in the southern Balkans.

Tala Zone

Pascale Petit

‘Even when I travel as far as India, you are with me and I am re-entering our cellar.’

Memoir by the poet Pascale Petit.

A Wider Patch of Sky

Javier Zamora & Francisco Cantú

‘We’re so much more than those things. Citizen or undocumented. Border Patrol or immigrant.’

Letters between Javier Zamora and Francisco Cantú.

Boarding Pass

Carlos Manuel Álvarez

‘But the crime did exist; it was Cuba itself.’

Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne.

From an Untouched Landscape

James Tylor & Dominic Guerrera

‘It’s hard to find a spot where the colony hasn’t reached; the landscape is consistently interrupted.’

Dominic Guerrera introduces artwork by James Tylor.

回 | An Alley (Return)

Jessica J. Lee

‘I had never known an alley to be so green.’

Jessica J. Lee returns to Taipei.

Primitive Child

Jason Allen-Paisant

‘My roots seemed to be in the ocean; the ocean being symbolic of my absent father.’

Memoir by Jason Allen-Paisant.


Kate Harris

‘The creek was fringed with tall grass and clear as breath.’

Kate Harris in the Taku River Tlingit First Nation.

From the Center of the World to the End of the World

Eliane Brum

‘For tourists to have this “experience”, six scientists were obliged to interrupt their research and wait until that afternoon, when the weather turned and time in the field shrank.’

Translated from the Portuguese by Diane Grosklaus Whitty.