Fans of Cloud Atlas, a sextet of sweeping stylistic range, know well that Granta-recognized author David Mitchell has a knack for mimesis. But they may not know that he is also “uncommonly good at imitating nonhuman noises.” In anticipation of his new “psychovoltaic” novel, The Bone Clocks, Catherine Schultz walks with him through the Irish countryside as he discusses turning young adult “stew” into serious literature, dropping coins into the “slot called plot,” and writing using Google Maps....more
Posts Tagged: granta
The news of Michael Brown’s death cannot be ignored. When one of our young people dies from shots fired by a police officer, there will be sadness and confusion. There will inevitably be questions, and questions left unanswered will lead to anger. This is a week, perhaps, when we need fiction and art to help us try to make sense of who we are and where we go from here....more
Over at Granta, Francisco Vilhena interviews Adrian Tomine, the artist and illustrator responsible for bringing us Shortcomings, Summer Blonde, and any number of illustrations for the New Yorker. Tomine riffs on the origins of his stories, landing a job in pre-9/11, and the dynamics of imperfection:
I’ve heard people mention – and sometimes criticize – this unresolved quality in my stories.
Granta has a stirring excerpt from Maria Choudhuri’s forthcoming memoir Beloved Strangers, about growing up in the capital of Bangladesh and then moving to New York.
The excerpt starts to explore the topic of her parents’ arranged marriage and what it meant for her mother to trade in a music career for a domestic life in a new town full of Pakistani soldiers....more
Saturday 11/9: The Comic Arts Festival features guest speakers, indie publishers, and self-published comic zines. Mt. Carmel Church -and- The Knitting Factory, 11am to 7pm, free....more
“At eleven, I felt that I might actually play anything on this violin,” writes Catherine Tice, the daughter of two musicians. Her essay in Granta, “A Brief History of Musical Failure,” raises the question of what it means to have “the makings of a prodigy,” and whether, in order to succeed, one must be immune “to the dark side of self-criticism.”
Still, Tice believes that she almost “gave [herself] over to the violin completely.”...more
Granta is three posts into a new series in which authors unpack opening sentences they have written.
Héctor Abad’s opening sentence is “The first thing I felt when I returned from the jungle was a paralysis of willpower.”
His explanation is completely unexpected, involving testosterone gel, reckless driving, and the power of fate....more
When I’m in the US, I argue with those who think Lagos is too dangerous a place to visit….I’m less defensive about Lagos when I’m actually there. After a few days back home, I begin to accumulate irritations and fears…The city makes everyone tense and grouchy.
We reached out to several of the worst offenders to ask where they thought they had gone wrong…but got very little in the way of responses. So we decided, instead, to reach out to the editors of the publications that actually had managed to show a relatively gender-equitable byline distribution in 2012.
Yuka Igarashi of Granta wrote an introspective piece on the trappings and fussiness of copyediting.
The presence of the unedited, the wrongfully edited, and the misspelled can be infuriating to an editor. Igarashi discusses her fight against the urge to edit beyond the office and scrutinize the grammar of her surroundings....more
Granta and ZYZZYVA are getting together in San Francisco for a “traditional British pub quiz with a California twist.”
There will be a show-down between teams comprised of audience members and contributors to both magazines, followed by music and dancing!...more
“Certainly novels can and should take risks but maybe I feel more freedom in the short story form because if it fails halfway in, I don’t feel an urge to toss myself out the window.”...more
Aleksandar Hemon writes about finding a way to play soccer after moving to the States, the characters on his team, and most importantly, this:
“…The moment of transcendence that might be familiar to those who practise sports with other people; the moment, arising from the chaos of the game, when all your team mates occupy the ideal position on the field; the moment when the universe seems to be arranged by a meaningful will that is not yours; the moment that perishes – as moments tend to – when you complete the pass; and all you have left is a vague, physical, orgasmic memory of the instant you were completely connected with the world around you.”...more
Helen Dunmore wrote the beautiful new introduction to Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, published online by Granta, in conjunction with their latest, feminism-themed issue, The F-Word. The beginning of summer and the new intro are both reasons to revisit this classic....more
This week in New York, Granta’s Sex Party, The Moth Mainstage presents Saints and Sinners, SLEIGH BELLS perform, Emily Gould celebrates her new memoir with a party, Sebastian Junger discusses his latest work, Chip Kidd, The Thing Quarterly presents issue 10 with Starlee Kine and Arthur Jones, Eteam in a group show Resurrectine and Jonathan Horowitz’s exhibit “Go Vegan!” returns....more
“When, they ask, are things going to get dirty again?
“If you want an answer to that question, ladies and gentlemen, let me propose one. In 2010, the only sex that’s truly dangerous and unbounded is solitary.”...more
The books blogs always like to talk about the future, but this week was like some sort of official book blog crystal ball week, what with this new decade they tell me we’re in now and everything....more
John Wraith’s penis is a neat literary device. It provides character depth and motivation, and is central to every plot twist in the book....more
“. . . This is a critical time not just for Granta but also for the future of the literary journal as an art form. It is no longer enough for a literary magazine to publish ‘good writing,’ or even ‘new writing.’ We’ve got the Internet now.”...more