[2008-05-22] “Granta 100”

Granta is a quarterly magazine dedicated to new writing. It usually contains a motley collection of fiction, essays, photographs, poems, etc. Granta 100 is a special issue celebrating the 100th edition of this magazine featuring contributions from the likes of Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Hanif Kureishi, Ian McEwan, etc.

Most of the entries are samples from soon-to-be-published works of the respective authors. They are thus “teaser trailers” of the authors' upcoming works. They give you a fair idea of what to expect from your favourite authors. They also make you aware of the work of an author you might have otherwise ignored.

Some of the writing makes for delightful reading and is a welcome change from the colourless writing I usually get to read. Some of it, I'm afraid, went straight over my head. On the whole though, I liked most of the entries. Even after you have read this book once, some of the material here provides enough fodder for rumination later.

I was particularly charmed by the entries from the book “My Question For Myself” that are interspersed throughout this book. These feature a question posed, as well as answered, by a writer that they wished had been asked of them during an interview with the literary journalist Tobias Wenzel. Each of these is accompanied by a wonderful black-and-white picture of the writer by photographer Carolin Seeliger, with a particular emphasis on the eyes of the writer.

Other Posts from 2008