This month on granta.com:
Numbness takes over in a new story by Lauren Schenkman
A tale of census-taking and loneliness by Liliana Heker
Minal Hajratwala’s brief guide to gender in India
New fiction from Commonwealth Writers’ Short Story Prize regional winners Lesley Nneka Arimah and Mary Rokonadravu
A story translated into a set of visual data by Sebastià Jovani
Poetry by Sandra Simonds
From the Granta archives:
John Barth on ageing and the end of writing
A story by Samantha Harvey about islanders in the aftermath of an industrial explosion
Georges Perec lists everything he ate in 1974
Joy Williams, Glenn Gould and love
Christa Wolf remembers the end of World War II
Five Things Right Now: Valeria Luiselli
Valeria Luiselli, author of Faces in the Crowd and Sidewalks, published her most recent novel, The Story of My Teeth, last month. She shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.
1. The Plains Indians exhibition at the Met
A couple of years ago I took my (now) five-year-old daughter to the Museum of Natural History. She rightly noticed the uncomfortable eeriness of the human-scale reproductions of American Indians, placed inside vitrines. Something is definitely all wrong there. On the contrary, the beautifully curated, mesmerizing objects in the temporary exhibition The Plains Indians have lured us back to the Met Museum a couple of times this month.
2. Addendum to a Photo Album, by Vladislav Otroshenko
I’ve just started reading Vladislav Otroshenko’s Addendum to a Photo Album, a saga of a family in which all the men are born with sideburns. Enough said.
3. Neil Young
My teenage stepson keeps on playing Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Live at the Fillmore East 1970. I’ve come to enjoy it very much. A notable detail inside the vinyl is the blurb Young included, taken from a critic’s remark about the concert: ‘Its considerable force, however, was dimmed the moment Neil Young picked up his electric guitar . . .’
4. Emmet Gowin’s photographs
The big book with his life’s work, published by the Mapfre Foundation, begins with a facsimile of a journal page in which Gowin says, ‘From the beginning I wanted to make pictures so potent that I would not need to say anything about them.’
5. Regarding Susan Sontag
On an airplane last month I watched the documentary Regarding Susan Sontag. True, I am particularly lenient about the things I watch and read on airplanes – anything goes. But I think I genuinely enjoyed the well-balanced portrait of Sontag the intellectual, the diva, the philosopher, the bitch, the novelist, the lover, the feminist, the anti-feminist, the political thinker, the journalist, the everyone’s ghost.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to win:
Two copies of The End of Days, by Jenny Erpenbeck