Granta 116: Ten Years Later
I had intended to write about Granta’s September 11 issue on or around that date. As it happened, the book arrived on my desk on the evening of September 10. So I actually spent September 11 reading the special issue. One shouldn’t ask for more.
There is a lot to enjoy in Granta 116. Among them: Declan Walsh’s account of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of northwest Pakistan; an arresting photo essay by Nadia Shira Cohen on the refugees at the Libya-Tunisia border; Nadeem Aslam’s striking story; and Pico Iyer’s essay on how September 11 changed the way we travel.
But what grabs you by the scruff of the neck and sets the tone for the whole issue is the opening piece, a short story titled Redeployment. It is written by Phil Klay, who is a veteran of the US marine corps, and who served in Iraq. This chilling, unforgettable story – a sort of Platoon-meets-All-Quiet-on-the-Western-Front – is the first that Klay has ever published. Whether this is part of a collection or even the opening chapter of a novel in progress we do not know, but whatever it is, it ought to be worth waiting for.
This is why Granta lives up to its subtitle: the magazine of new writing. It is ‘new’ not merely as in ‘previously unpublished’; it is ‘new’ in the sense of spotting and featuring talent that readers may not be familiar with. In this Granta has few equals.
Go to their New Voices section on their website (http://www.granta.com/Online-Only/Interview-Soumya-Bhattacharya), and you’ll see how they feature and help writers.