What is travel writing? One of this magazine’s former editors, Bill Buford, described it as ‘pre-eminently a narrative told in the first person, authenticated by lived experience’ – a definition that appeared in Granta’s travel issue of 1984, around the time that the genre reached the height of its post-war literary fashion. Bill might have added that the narrative usually finds its focus in a journey, though not necessarily a long journey. Apsley Cherry-Garrard travelled nearly to the South Pole; George Orwell went to Lancashire.
Ian Jack | Is Travel Writing Dead?
Rebecca Giggs watches the slow death of a beached humpback whale.
As a child, Primo Levi discovered the surprising brutality to raising tadpoles.
Witness: Butterflies on a Wheel
Anthony Doerr on the most marvellous thing he's ever seen: the migration of butterflies in Wyoming.
The loss of a cat leads to recollections of other losses in this memoir by Mary Gaitskill.
Hilary Mantel grew up with a dog she called Victor and a brother she called pig.
Best of Young American Novelists 2: Introduction
Ian Jack introduces Granta 97: Best of Young American Novelists 2.
Loved Ones: Introduction
One of the world's unfair divisions is that between the writer and the written-about, and this is nowhere more true than in the literary form called the memoir.
Best of Young British Novelists 2003: Introduction
‘What had been an exercise to publicize the literary novel, at a time when there were few spotlights on this particular branch of culture, might now have a new role as an independent consumer's guide to novelists who deserved to be read in an era where 'a thrilling debut by a young writer of enormous talent' is the standard blurb, and where there are now so many spotlights directed by marketing money and the size of the writer's advance.’