Granta Magazine | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore Essays and memoir

1911, The Other Revolution

Isabel Hilton

‘Anniversaries, of course, can be a two-edged sword: they invite historical reappraisal.’

1979

Aminatta Forna

‘What happened in 1979 has happened many times before and many times since, in places where people have set themselves free and believed with all their hearts that the freedom they had fought for was real and lasting, only to be recaptured.’

(nostalgia)

Juliet Jacques

‘I ended up piecing my life together through other people.’

A Bar on North Avenue

Roger Ebert

‘We regulars knew each other. We dated each other. We slept with each other.’

A Bizarre Courtship

Ben Okri

‘One morning, more golden than yellow, I went outside to our housefront and saw that the beggars had gone.‘

A Blow to the Head

A.L. Kennedy

‘I am looking for my dead grandfather in the British Library.’

A Bosnian Alphabet

Lawrence Norfolk

‘APOLOGY: A should be for Alphabet: the device I am resorting to in some desperation to structure my thoughts on this subject: my relations vis-à-vis two Yugoslavian wars.‘

A Brief Guide to Gender in India

Minal Hajratwala

‘Please be creative. This is only the beginning.’

A Brief History of a Musical Failure

Catherine Tice

‘At the end of the piece, there was silence, followed by a sudden thunder of feet and bows on the stands. A thrilling noise.’

A Childhood in Broadmoor Hospital

Patrick McGrath

‘These were the friends of my early boyhood, men who twenty years earlier would still have been called 'criminal lunatics'‘.

A Childhood in Terezin

Ivan Klíma

‘I am trying to reach, in memory, a time before the war began.’

A Cock Fight

Charles Nicholl

‘And now, the night before the fight, with the moon high and nearing the full, came the final preparation: we were taking him to Auguste.’

A Colossal Hoard

Ian Hamilton

‘For James Boswell, admiration was a busy, intimate affair.‘