Issue 1 - New American Writing
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.
Guest-edited by Devorah Baum and Josh Appignanesi, the issue asks questions about feelings, power and politics.
Peter Pomerantsev on the concept of ‘normalnost’, and how the denial and distortion of facts, once privy to post-Soviet culture, is now the new normal.
Poppy Sebag-Montefiore on China's public sense of touch.
Hanif Kureishi on Keith Johnstone and Keith Jarrett.
Josh Cohen inspects his own apathy and the liberal reaction to Trump.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor on the chang’aa distilleries in Mathare Valley, Kenya, with photographs by Bernd Hartung - Wilson Amunga
Hisham Matar on Edward Said and Joseph Conrad.
Fabián Martínez Siccardi on growing up in Patagonia.
David Baddiel probes the outrage of life online.
Chloe Aridjis recalls her teenage years in Mexico city’s under-ground clubs.
Anouchka Grose on becoming a Social Justice Warrior.
William Davies on the role humour plays in populist politics.
Margie Orford on the shame that’s been her lifelong companion.
Adam Phillips, in conversation with Devorah Baum, analyses politics in the consulting room.
A new story by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft.
An excerpt from Benjamin Markovits’ new novel, Christmas in Austin.
A graphic story by Joff Winterhart on road rage.
Diana Matar captures liminal spaces in her photoessay American Orchard, introduced by Max Houghton.
Plus: new poems by Nick Laird and Alissa Quart