Granta: 119 - Britain
|Author:||John Freeman (ed.)|
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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. With new fiction, memoir, poetry, photography and art, Granta's Britain explores landscape, identities and stories of the British Isles. In 'Silt', Robert Macfarlane writes of the beauty and danger of a stretch of coastline in Essex. Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa tells the story of Irish revolutionary 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 their 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 strange, dangerous outing with his father; Crace shows how the lives of English farmers changed during the Enclosures in the late 1700s and early 1800s. 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.
John Freeman has been editor of Granta since 2009. He is the author of The Tyranny of E-Mail and former president of the National Book Critics Circle. His criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and the Independent. His poetry has appeared in the New Yorker.