Issue 1 - New American Writing
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Granta plays an integral part in the history of literature in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1889 by students of Cambridge University, the magazine featured authors like A.A. Milne, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, before being relaunched in 1979 as the literary quarterly it is today.
In its early years, Granta introduced what are now thought to be the staples of the British literary landscape, publishing multiple issues that developed the genres of Travel and Nature writing. It also coined a new literary genre in its issues on ‘Dirty Realism’. In the 1980s, Granta was the only venue running hitherto-unknown voices in American fiction – many of them now Nobel Prize winners and Guggenheim fellows – and was this country’s leading publisher of long-form investigative journalism. Granta broke news about the Snap Revolution in the Philippines, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and life in Saigon after the end of the Vietnam war – with writing by world-famous correspondents like Martha Gellhorn, James Fenton, Svetlana Alexievich and Ryszard Kapuściński.
With the launch of its much-imitated Best of Young British Novelists issue in 1983, released decade by decade, Granta forecast the most important voices of each generation of writers – first in Britain, then in America, and now in Brazil and Spain. These lists continue to define the contours of the literary landscape to this day. As the Observer writes: ‘In its blend of memoirs and photojournalism, and in its championing of contemporary realist fiction, Granta has its face pressed firmly against the window, determined to witness the world.’
The myriad of esteemed contributors to Granta over the years include Margaret Atwood, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Don DeLillo, offering a treasure trove of inspiration and commentary for students of literature.
Granta 154: I′ve Been Away for a While deals with absence and presence, immediacy and distance in a time when these concepts are increasingly troubled.
Our 2021 winter issue features Rory Gleeson on an Italian doctor who was at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak; Lindsey Hilsum, author of the award-winning In Extremis, on cholera in Hutu refugee camps; and photography by Gus Palmer of an Islamic morgue in London, with an introduction by Poppy Sebag-Montefiore. Even more memoir comes from Ian Jack on the toxic slag heaps of Glasgow and the aristocratic lives built on them and Vidyan Ravinthiran on the civil war in Sri Lanka. A photoessay by Fergus Thomas of bareback horse racing in the Colville Reservation is accompanied by an interview with its subject, Duane Hall.
Plus, an excerpt from Eva Baltasar′s Permafrost, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches; a new story by Paul Dalla Rosa, previously shortlisted for the 2019 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award; an extract from the new novel by Gwendoline Riley, author of First Love; fiction by Diaa Jubaili, translated from the Arabic by Chip Rossetti; and fiction set in working-class Philadelphia from Dan Shurley.
Plus, poetry by Jason Allen-Paisant, Jesse Darling and Nate Duke.