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.’
Just some of writers you’ll find inside the pages of Granta are… Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Daniel Alarcón, Martin Amis, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks, Julian Barnes, Ned Beauman, Louis de Bernières, Fatima Bhutto, Roberto Bolaño, Bill Bryson, A.S. Byatt, Peter Carey, Anne Carson, Raymond Carver, Eleanor Catton, Noam Chomsky, Rachel Cusk, Edwidge Danticat, Lydia Davis, Don DeLillo, Anthony Doerr, Bret Easton Ellis, James Ellroy, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Martha Gellhorn, Janine di Giovanni, Nadine Gordimer, Germaine Greer, Romesh Gunesekera, Mark Haddon, Seamus Heaney, Aleksandar Hemon, Patricia Highsmith, Alan Hollinghurst, A.M. Homes, Nick Hornby, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.L. Kennedy, Stephen King, Nicole Krauss, Hanif Kureishi, Doris Lessing, Yiyun Li, Mario Vargas Llosa, Robert Macfarlane, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Mantel, Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, David Mitchell, Lorrie Moore, Katherine Faw Morris, Neel Mukherjee, Herta Müller, Alice Munro, Julie Otsuka, Ruth Ozeki, Cynthia Ozick, David Peace, Harold Pinter, Barbara Ras, Arundhati Roy, Mary Ruefle, Salman Rushdie, Rachel Seiffert, Taiye Selasi, Will Self, Gary Shteyngart, Helen Simpson, Mona Simpson, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Solnit, Andrea Stuart, Graham Swift, Paul Theroux, Adam Thirlwell, Rose Tremain, John Updike, Binyavanga Wainaina, Claire Vaye Watkins, Joy Williams, Jeanette Winterson, Tobias Wolff and Gary Younge.