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?
Our most popular reads of 2018
Who Killed Tolstoy?
Elif Batuman travels to the International Tolstoy Conference in Russia to determine, once and for all, if Leo Tolstoy was murdered.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her – not even her biographers.
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
Nell Boeschenstein on the fraught discourse surrounding post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Jillian Weise explains what being a cyborg really means.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.
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.’