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
In 'Silt', Robert Macfarlane writes of the beauty, danger and mystery of a stretch of coastline in Essex. Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa tells the story of Irish nationalist Roger Casement, executed at Pentonville Prison in 1916. Memoirs by Gary Younge, Andrea Stuart and Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada focus on the upheavals and migrations that brought them and their families to (and from) Britain. Rachel Seiffert, Ross Raisin, Cynan Jones and Jim Crace provide extracts of new novels: Seiffert describes Glasgow and Northern Ireland in the 1990s; Raisin paints a portrait of a young footballer struggling with his identity; Jones follows a boy on a brutal and transformative outing with his father and their dogs; Crace shows how the lives of English farmers changed drastically during the early Enclosures.
The issue includes original short fiction by Adam Foulds, Mark Haddon, Tania James and Jon McGregor as well as poems by Simon Armitage, Jamie McKendrick, Don Paterson and Robin Robertson. It also introduces a new voice, Sam Byers, with an extract from his darkly comic debut novel, Idiopathy.