In support of the reading community, UK literary magazine Granta has been making one issue from its archive freely available each week. This week one can read Granta 8: Dirty Realism, first published in 1983.
In support of the reading community during the worldwide coronavirus crisis, UK literary magazine Granta has been making one issue from its archive freely available each week.
Two weeks ago, they started with their very first issue, Granta 1: New American Writing published in 1979. Last week readers could access Granta 147: 40th-Birthday Special from 2019, where they collected some of the best fiction and non-fiction writing from their archives to celebrate 40 years.
This week, the magazine announced on their social media channels earlier today, one can read Granta 8: Dirty Realism, first published in 1983.
The issue’s editorial discusses and defines a new type of fiction emerging out of America, unlike anything yet seen in Britain and unlike anything that has come out of America before. With a plain, realist writing style, haunting and tragic overtones, and part of America’s short story revival, the protagonists of these stories are often “drifters in a world cluttered with junk food and the oppressive details of modern consumerism.”
The issue features the works of seven authors whose writing employs similar character, language, and narration. These are Jayne Anne Phillips’ ‘Rayme – A Memoir of the Seventies’, Richard Ford’s ‘Rock Springs’, Raymond Carver’s ‘The Compartment’, Elizabeth Tallent’s ‘Why I Love Country Music’, Frederick Barthelme’s ‘Monster Deal’, Bobbie Ann Mason’s ‘Still Life With Watermelon’, and Tobias Wolff’s novella ‘The Barracks Thief’. Another work of fiction in the issue is ‘Evensong’ by Todd McEwen.
Among the memoirs in the issue are Carolyn Forché’s El Salvador: An Aide-Mémoire about her experience as an aide and journalist at El Salvador. “It is my feeling that the twentieth-century human condition demands a poetry of witness,” she writes. Another memoir is Sugar Daddy by Angela Carter, about a family patriarch.
The essays in the issue include Duncan Bush’s Claudia Cardinale is a Mexican Revolutionary; Moscow Women by Carola Hansson and Karin Lidén, and translated by various contributors; War Reports from Poland by Marek Nowakowski; Fragments of a Lament for Thelonious Monk by Russell Hoban; and The State of The State of Things by Michael Herr.
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