Granta 119: Britain (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing)
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Recently, Granta has explored Chicago, Pakistan and the world of Spanish-language letters. In this bold, eclectic issue, the magazine turns back to focus on Britain.
In 2012, Britain is a nation in flux, managing difficult socioeconomic realities, contending with new political alliances and negotiating shifting demographics. Yet, it is a country that is still perceived as being bound by tradition and class structures.
Is Britain still Great? Where does it stand in the New Europe? What will it become in the 21st century? The issue includes brand new novel excerpts by Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Jim Crace, and Rachel Seiffert; essays by Robert MacFarlane, Gary Younge, and Andrew Stuart; new short stories by Mark Haddon, Adam Foulds, Tania James, Jon McGregor and Ross Raisin; and poems by Simon Armitage, Jamie McKenrick, Don Patterson, and Robin Robertson. Introducing Sam Byers.
Writer Wendell Berry suggests this in a fine essay called ‘The Rise’, in which he describes setting float in a canoe on a river in spate. ‘No matter how deliberately we moved from the shore into the sudden violence of a river on the rise,’ writes Berry, ‘there would . . . be several uneasy minutes of transition. The river is another world, which means that one’s senses and reflexes must begin to live another life.’ We lack – we need – a term for those places where one experiences a.
All the European wrestlers fall silent but one – Stanislaus Zbyszko, winner of the Graeco-Roman world championship tournament at the Casino de Paris four years ago, ranked number one in the world before his more recent scandal with Youssouf the Terrible. This time, Zbyszko is looking to rebuild his name and promises a match with no foul play. He and Gama will face off at the John Bull Tournament in early July. ‘This is it,’ Mr Benjamin says to Gama. ‘You pin him, you’ll be world champion. You –’.
No notice of his opponent. The bell clangs. Gama lunges, felling Zbyszko with a neat foot hook. He clamps Zbyszko with a half nelson, flings him over, and pins his shoulder to the mat. Zbyszko keeps his other shoulder raised as long as he can, quivering. Imam leans forward, wills the other shoulder to kiss the mat. But now, a shock: Zbyszko wriggles out of Gama’s clutch. Zbyszko then deploys a move so bizarre that Imam thinks it a practical joke. Without warning, Zbyszko falls to the mat on.
About Irene saying she knew the girl. Cathy nodded, and said she supposed Irene would have seen her at the Harvey place. She’ll have been slow making the beds and still been there when the family arrived, she said. He poked at a scrap of old sheep-feed bag. That sounds about right, he said. The family was from London, Irene had said. A lovely couple. Seemed quite old to start having children but that’s what people tended to do these days. Especially the professional types, which these seemed.
We looking at?’ Meds weren’t like other drugs, the ordinary dirty junkie drugs. Meds were technology. They attracted a certain clientele. Jay liked to use the word ‘boutique’ of his operation. Simpson thought he sounded like a twat when he did that. All it meant was that they were small-time, dealing for friends. But Jay had ambitions. Meds came from the glossy impersonal facades of big pharm multinationals or ingenious illegal labs and their users were often bright people. They liked to.