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Granta 28: Birthday: The Anniversary Issue

by Bill Buford (Editor)

Other authors: Walter Abish (Contributor), William Boyd (Contributor), Guy Davenport (Contributor), David Goldblatt (Contributor), Nadine Gordimer (Contributor)17 more, Russell Hoban (Contributor), Peregrine Hodson (Contributor), Ian Jack (Contributor), Ryszard Kapuściński (Contributor), Markéta Luskačová (Contributor), Jay McInerney (Contributor), Leonard Michaels (Contributor), Richard Rayner (Contributor), Eugene Richards (Contributor), Salman Rushdie (Contributor), John Simpson (Contributor), George Steiner (Contributor), Colin Thubron (Contributor), John Updike (Contributor), Mario Vargas Llosa (Contributor), Joy Williams (Contributor), Jeanette Winterson (Contributor)

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This edition of Granta includes articles by James Fenton, Milan Kundera, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Nadine Gordimer, Russell Hoban, Adam Mars Jones, Redmond O'Hanlon, Salman Rushdie and others.

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"Granta" issues are usually themed, but this 10-year birthday edition is a miscellany of writing from authors all over the globe, and includes fiction, non-fiction, and photography. There are 22 pieces here and the writing in general is dense with very little humor, although there are exceptions. Only a handful stand out as exceptional to me.
The opening article is an amazing and truly frightening eye-witness account of the Tiananmen Square Massacre by John Simpson, a British journalist who was covering the peaceful protests of the students. It documents in ghastly detail the brutality of the mob and the degree to which totalitarian governments will respond to an internal threat. Still today, this same threat overshadows any protest by citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
William Boyd's story, "Transfigured Night", set in Austria in WWI is great in recreating a long-past world and time. The narrator is real-life philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who apparently had a very interesting life.
"In The Man with the Dagger" Russell Hoban uses Borges' short story "The South" as a jumping off point to a town populated by living skeletons, noir movie tropes, and a man looking for a conclusion. Very Day of the Dead, and very fun.
The best story for me far and away was Joy Williams' "Little Winter". A woman dying from a brain tumor visits an old friend, sort of kidnaps her friend's precocious daughter, steals a dog, and heads off on a road trip. I enjoyed the trip.
There's also writing by literary heavyweights Salman Rushdie (in hiding from the Ayatollah's assassination order), Nadine Gortimer, Jeanette Winterson, Jay McInerney, John Updike, and Mario Vargas Llosa. Frankly, there's a lot of sauce to spoon through to uncover the meat. ( )
  RobertOK | Dec 3, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Buford, BillEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abish, WalterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davenport, GuyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldblatt, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gordimer, NadineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoban, RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hodson, PeregrineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jack, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kapuściński, RyszardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Luskačová, MarkétaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McInerney, JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Michaels, LeonardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rayner, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richards, EugeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rushdie, SalmanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simpson, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steiner, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thubron, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, MarioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, JoyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winterson, JeanetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This edition of Granta includes articles by James Fenton, Milan Kundera, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Nadine Gordimer, Russell Hoban, Adam Mars Jones, Redmond O'Hanlon, Salman Rushdie and others.

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Book description
  • Tiananmen Square / John Simpson
  • 6 March 1989 / Salman Rushdie
  • Unsteady People / Ian Jack
  • The Snow in Ghana / Ryszard Kapuściński
  • The Ultimate Safari / Nadine Gordimer
  • The Structure of Things Here / David Goldblatt
  • A Discourse on the Elephant / Richard Rayner
  • Noël, Noël / George Steiner
  • Furniture of Desire / Walter Abish
  • Colin Maillard / Guy Davenport
  • Transfigured Night / William Boyd
  • The Architect of Unrest / Jeanette Winterson
  • The Man with the Dagger / Russell Hoban
  • Pilgrims in Ireland / Markéta Luskačová
  • Americans / Eugene Richards
  • The Little Winter / Joy Williams
  • Journal / Leonard Michaels
  • Jimmy / Jay Mcinerney
  • The Lens Factory / John Updike
  • Thursday Night in Tokyo / Peregrine Hodson
  • Mouth / Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Mistakes / Colin Thubron
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