Posts tagged ‘Granta’

October 20, 2020

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, trans. Ginny Tapeley Takemori

by Team Riverside

Granta, Hardback Fiction, £12.99, out now

A genre-defying novel from the bestselling author of Convenience Store Woman, newly translated into English. Natsuki has spent her whole life not fitting in, failing to live up to the expectations of her family. She confides in her mysterious cousin Yuu and her toy hedgehog, Piyuut, who she believes is an emissary sent by the Magic Police on Planet Popinpobopia. But a tragic event during a family vacation in the wild Nagano Mountains sets Natsuki on a path of alienation, with catastrophic consequences.

Murata’s second novel in English deals with some of the same themes as her first, but while Convenience Store Woman asks how to rebel against familial and domestic structures, Earthlings asks if these structures are necessary at all. The events of the novel are shocking and unpredictable. The structure resembles that of a horror film, Natsuki’s traumatic experiences with a neglectful mother and an abusive teacher drive her deeper and deeper into a fantasy world where she is waiting to be collected by aliens from her home planet. She attempts to escape her family through a loveless marriage, but not even this can save her from their controlling influence. Her behaviour becomes erratic, even sadistic, and culminates in a bloody conclusion, involving her cousin, her husband and a return to the mountains.

Whilst I thought this was a steep departure from Convenience Store Woman, which I thoroughly enjoyed, this second novel in English confirms that Murata is a fantastically exciting writer and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Review by Phoebe

September 7, 2020

Recollections Of My Non-Existence

by Team Riverside

Hardback, Granta, £16.99, out now

Rebecca Solnit’s latest work is a slim volume of memoir recounting her experience of living alone in San Francisco. Through the lens of her own journeys and interactions, Solnit takes us through subjects such as the art world, environmentalism, gendered violence, gentrification, and the writer’s own struggle to have her voice heard.

In some ways Solnit treads similar ground to her previous works, such as Wanderlust and Men Explain Things To Me, however her personal insight into these subjects is invaluable. I found her perspective on the changing landscape of San Francisco particularly interesting.

As always, Solnit’s prose is measured, although the main focus of the book is on how women are silenced, Solnit arms her reader with information and hope. She writes often of her friends, and how these connections have sustained her personally and professionally. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in feminism, writing and activism.  

Review by Phoebe

April 18, 2013

Granta: Best of Young British Novelists

by Andre

The once-a-decade edition of Granta that names the 20 best British writers under 40 has been all over the media, as you’d expect from a list which launched in 1983 and has previously featured Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters and Zadie Smith (who gets a second nod in 2013, along with Adam Thirlwell.) Congratulations to this year’s anointed authors (particularly fellow south London bookseller Evie Wyld) in the fourth edition of this literary landmark. We’ve got the new Granta (issue 123) in stock as well as a selection of novels by the 2013 intake – click on the book covers below to view the gallery.

January 15, 2013

The Paris Review, Granta

by Andre

THE PARIS REVIEW 203GRANTA no. 122

New issues out now – £12.99

Object Lessons, the superlative collection of short stories from The Paris Review, was a literary hit over Christmas. For anyone enraptured by that anthology of favourites from the New York magazine’s 60-year history, the obvious next step is to acquire a quarterly habit for The Paris Review’s inventive fiction, poetry and prose from international authors. Issue 203 features new fiction and poetry from James Salter, Rachel Kushner, Sarah Frisch, Tim Parks, Peter Orner, Ben Lerner and Geoffrey Hill, as well as Pulphead essayist John Jeremiah Sullivan and editor Lorin Stein’s interviews from the First Annual Norwegian-American Literary Festival.

British literary magazine Granta, which features award-winning reportage, memoir, fiction and photography, will be making headlines in the spring when it publishes its once-a-decade list of the best of young British novelists. In 2003, their literary roll call included David Mitchell, Zadie Smith and Sarah Waters. The latest issue, no. 122, has the stinging theme of betrayal with new writing by Ben Marcus, Janine di Giovanni, Karen Russell, Samantha Harvey, Colin Robinson and John Burnside.