Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘To know love is to know (or to imagine) the loss of love.’

Sabine

Jacob Aue Sobol & Joanna Kavenna

‘A series of extraordinary portraits of the Arctic wilderness and the intimacies of love.’

Diaries

Suzanne Brøgger

‘My habit of being a dreamer is filled with the joy of melancholy.’

Raqqa Road: A Syrian Escape

Claire Hajaj

‘The morning Helin walked out to die, she dressed carelessly in a loose T-shirt and jeans.’

Africa’s Future Has No Space for Stupid Black Men

Pwaangulongii Dauod

‘The night was full of energy. The kind of energy that Africa needs to reinvent itself.’

The Decay of Politics

Philip Ó Ceallaigh

‘Britain has made the control of borders and the free movement of people its central obsession, its fundamental national anxiety.’ Philip Ó Ceallaigh on Brexit.

Before They Began to Shrink

Nic Dunlop

‘The numbers killed at Aughrim that day will never be known.’

Mother and Father

Thomas Kilroy

‘Like most wars, this was a war of the young.’ Thomas Kilroy on his parents’ experience of the Anglo-Irish War and the Irish civil war.

Shifting Ground

Una Mullally

‘Living in the only democratic country in the world with a constitutional ban on abortion, I felt an acute and visceral shame.’

Blue Hills and Chalk Bones

Sinéad Gleeson

‘One day, something changes; a corporeal blip. For me, it happened in the months after turning thirteen: the synovial fluid in my left hip began to evaporate like rain.’

Republicans

James Pogue

‘This American says he’s heard of Cross but that he’s still just passing through.’ He laughed and formed the shape of a pistol with his right hand. ‘Well you heard that part, didn’t ya? That is one thing that will never change here.’

First Sentence: Mary O’Donoghue

Mary O’Donoghue

‘It’s the small stuff – and here I mean the odd particulate matter of daily life – that lets me access the sprawl of a place that wasn’t mine but has incrementally become so.’

On Shakespeare and the Quest for Belonging

Minal Hajratwala

‘We may not belong to Shakespeare, nor he to us, ever.’

Shakespeare for Children

Sarah Moss

‘I can’t think, my mother said as we sat down, why people think a play that’s all about unsanctioned sexual desire is suitable for little girls.’

Cracking Up

Kevin Breathnach

‘It has been several weeks since I slept for more than an hour, and lately I’ve been feeling on the verge of cracking up.’

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘But Ireland is Ireland. It resists and relishes its own national images in equal measure.’

The Raingod’s Green, Dark as Passion

Kevin Barry

‘If cities are sexed, as Jan Morris believes, then Cork is a male place. Personified further, I would cast him as low-sized, disputatious and stoutly built, a hard-to-knock-over type.’

The Mask of Night

Lorna Gibb

‘I puzzled over the language but disentangled its meaning slowly, carefully, eager to connect’ Lorna Gibb on Shakespeare’s Juliet.

Hell and Night

Noelle Kocot-Tomblin

‘The implication of Iago’s silence is that there is no hope for his redemption’ Noelle Kocot-Tomblin on ‘Othello’.

On Sonnet 50

Paula Bohince

‘I love Shakespeare’s slow insistence, which mirrors the action within the poem: there is nothing but grief to reach.’ Paula Bohince on Shakespeare’s sonnet 50.

To Thine Own Self Be True

David Flusfeder

‘If Shakespeare’s characters stand for anything, it’s for a slipperiness of identity.’ David Flusfeder on a dog named Shakespeare.

On Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer

Sandra Simonds

‘I gently propose that for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death we stop reading Shakespeare and shift our attention to the poems of Aemilia Lanyer’. Sandra Simonds on Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer.

Ariel’s Song

Romesh Gunesekera

‘It is to Shakespeare’s pages I return whenever I feel I am sinking. There I can be sure to find a lifeline.’

Fugee

Hawa Jande Golakai

‘Now we’ve fizzled into a ridiculous unsaid, a flaccid tale of love, or lack thereof, in the time of Ebola.’

Torn Silk and Garlands of Garlic

Teffi

Teffi remembers the Armenian refugees in Novorossiisk during the Russian Revolution.

Possible

Wendell Steavenson

‘I don’t know how to think about this. How to stretch compassion for one person into a million.’ Wendell Steavenson on Europe’s migrant-refugee crisis.

Cry of Machines

Kao Kalia Yang

‘Time cannot erase my memories of fear and shame.’

First Sentence: Eliza Griswold

Eliza Griswold

‘This, of course, was years before anyone knew or cared who Boko Haram was.’

Crossings

Tim Beckett

‘This was the collective trauma of a community discovering, very abruptly, they’d have to uproot their lives.’ Tim Beckett on the ruins of Uranium City.

Violence in Blue

Patrick Ball

‘One-third of all Americans killed by strangers are killed by police.’

Five Things Right Now: Diane Cook

Diane Cook

Diane Cook shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

The Fencing Master

David Treuer

David Treuer on learning to fence with Maître Michel Sebastiani and learning to write with Toni Morrison.

Introduction: No Man’s Land

Sigrid Rausing

‘We tangle and project, in exile; we make it up as we go along.’

Propagandalands

Peter Pomerantsev

Peter Pomerantsev’s anti-travelogue on Putin’s Russia, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, has won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.