The Paul Smith-designed cover shows a chipped and cracked tea cup, its broken-off handle lying beside it. The implied idea the break-down of respectability is nicely in keeping with the collection's overall tone . . . There's a beautifully measured Jon McGregor story about the aftermath of a young girl's disappearance from a northern village; a visceral, pulsating account of a badger baiting by Cynan Jones; and a funny but vicious story set in a shambolic household of meds dealers by Adam Foulds. Mark Haddon's superb 'The Gun' about two boys misbehaving with a Remington in the woods works a similar terrain . . . There is also a series of arresting photographs on the theme of 'Home' including Leonie Hampton's haunting assemblage and several poems, including Simon Armitage's very fine 'The Making of the English Landscape' --Will Skidelsky, Observer New Review
In his superb account of walking along the Essex coast's Broomway Britain's deadliest offshore pathway Robert Macfarlane captures the eerie dislocation of the mist creeping in as it leaves walkers stranded . . . In his hard-edged childhood memoir, Gary Younge points to the alienation of life as the son of Barbadian immigrants and of growing up in a leafless postwar-planned environment . . .Britain s ever-shifting landscape, every piece here cannily conveys, is one in which it is not always possible to feel safely, snugly at home. --Robert Collins, Sunday Times
The recent editions of Granta have all done what a good literary magazine should: showcase the newest by the best authors and the best by the newest authors . . . There are excellent evocations of rural Wales (in Cynan Jones 'The Dig') of Scotland in 1964 in Robin Robertson's poem named after that year, of Ireland under British rule . . . What is fascinating is seeing how the writers here describe England . . I'd single out the work by Robert Macfarlane and Don Paterson as among the most exciting. --Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday
About the Author
John Freeman has been editor of Granta since 2009. He is the author of The Tyranny of E-Mail and former president of the National Book Critics Circle. His criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and the Independent. His poetry has appeared in the New Yorker.