Top Reads 2022 | Essays | Granta

Top Reads 2022 | Essays

As 2023 approaches, and we wonder where all the time went, here are our most-read essays from 2022, covering the value of marble, young motherhood, Haitian theatre and astrology addiction.


Tuna | Katherine Rundell

Extinction isn’t just happening because of our inertia: it’s incentive-driven. The tuna migrate across the vast blue world, and up above them the gamblers watch, keeping their stocks close and secret, and waiting for the end to come.

Katherine Rundell on tuna.


The Trip to Rose Cottage | Cal Flyn

‘Two roof tiles are missing to the rear: the kiss of death. Without repair, ruination is now inevitable. Until then, this is my best hope of shelter.’

Cal Flyn visits Swona in northern Scotland in this extract from Islands of Abandonment.


She Used to Sing Opera | Imogen Crimp

‘The director, midway through the rehearsal process, decides I should be the cover for a major role, despite having never heard me sing, because I look right for the part, he says.’

Imogen Crimp remembers training for the opera.


Personal Growth | Marina Benjamin

‘I am attempting to extend my spine. Hanging there, I imagine its train of toothy little bones pulling apart so the shock-absorber discs between them can fill out like wet sponges.’

Marina Benjamin on not growing and not eating.


The Hour of the Wolf | Fatima Bhutto

‘Though I have had dogs all my life, Coco is my first real companion.’

Fatima Bhutto on grief in our winter issue, Granta 158: In the Family.


Letters from Ukraine | Lindsey Hilsum

‘As every soldier and every journalist who has ever covered a war knows – sleeping and eating are the most important things.’

Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor of Channel 4 News, writes home from Ukraine during the early stages of the war in our summer issue, Granta 160: Conflict.


A World Run by Mothers | Saba Sams

‘In all the years I spent dreaming of motherhood, not once did I dream of men. If anything, I expected that romance would be my downfall.’

An essay by Saba Sams. The BBC National Short Story Award 2022 was awarded to Saba Sams for her story ‘Blue 4eva’, from her collection Send NudesGranta published another story, ‘Snakebite’, from the same collection


The Stars Are Blind | Anna Dorn

‘My Virgo Sun would frequently tell my Leo Rising to shut the fuck up and put a bra on. My Leo rising would retort, get a personality, loser.’

Anna Dorn on the need for astrology.


On Marble | Rachel Cusk

‘The grandiosity of marble, for instance, bequeathed it by classicism and religion, easily becomes the grandiosity of fascism.’

Rachel Cusk on marble.


Joy and Insecurity in Port-au-Prince | Jason Allen-Paisant

‘The body is the first measurement of time: to reclaim time is to reclaim the body.’

Jason Allen-Paisant in Haiti. An essay from Granta 159: What Do You See? which can be read alongside a photoessay by Phalonne Pierre Louis.


Feature image © Bill Smith