Granta 114: Aliens

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Robert Macfarlane goes for a walk in Palestine, and meets families who can no longer return to their own homes. Nami Mun conjures a couple who feel like strangers in the wake of a terrible betrayal. Whether it's the closely observed ecology of marriage life or the violent acts of criminals, this issue of Granta will draw into focus one of the most pressing issues of our time: Who do we call outsiders?

Granta : Aliens. John Freeman.

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Granta Aliens, Edited by John Freeman | The Independent

Ann Patchett's The Mercies charts the relationship between Who am I to dent the thus far perfect three star review of this edition? Ann Patchett's The Mercies charts the relationship between a not particularly religious woman and a diminishing and aging group of nuns. Walking on the West bank is a piece I would like to share with a friend who runs pilgramages to Palestine.

My other favourite was Julie Otsuka's moving Come Japanese which remained wistful and full of foreboding in spite of a constantly shifting perspective,. May 31, Justin rated it liked it. This issue's theme of 'Aliens' doesn't refer to the fuzzy green creatures in outer space but refers to outsiders. Unfortunately, many of the stories in here a mix of fiction and non-fiction barely scrape the surface of this theme and are disappointingly abstract. Personal favourites: 'Come, Japanese! May 19, Karmen rated it really liked it Shelves: thrift-store , anthology , literature , Two stories in particular were so compelling and heartbreaking.

The, second, a contemporary tale set in Chicago, of the after effects of an affair on a marriage. On a gentler note, "The Mercies" by Ann Patchett is sublime. I always love Grant and the "alien" theme is especially pointed in these days. Aug 23, Adrian Buck rated it really liked it Shelves: other-lit. Good selection. I want to read more Madelaine Thien.

If Granta had maintained this standard, I'd probably still be a subsciber. Aug 22, Mona rated it liked it Shelves: 21st-century-lit , arts-photography , essays , literary-journals , nonfiction , short-stories , immigration , anthologies. This is my third Granta issue and they tend to earn a solid 3-star rating from me.

This one is no exception. Normally, my 3-star ratings are given to works that I generally liked but had a lot of flaws I just can't overlook. Given that each Granta issue is filled with works by authors of different skill levels, tastes, techniques, backgrounds, and agendas, here the 3-star rating translates to an uneven yet ultimately satisfying read.

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As with all issues, I read straight through, rediscovering aut This is my third Granta issue and they tend to earn a solid 3-star rating from me. As with all issues, I read straight through, rediscovering authors whose other works I had enjoyed and making note of new-to-me authors whose writing I had liked and wanted to explore further.

I like reading the entire collection because it gives me some insight as to the vision or perspective the Granta editors wanted to pursue in terms of the chosen theme. General reflections aside, here is a little bit about each of the pieces I enjoyed most from this collection: Aravind Adiga, Last Man in Tower This is a fictional excerpt from Adiga's new book of the same title.

The excerpt introduces readers to one of the two protagonists of the book, Masterji, a lonely widower whose whole life is invested in his neighbors and the building in which they live. After reading this excerpt, I definitely plan on reading the novel. Usually, second-person voices turn me off but the effect of this technique here brings the reader right into the prison cell, makes you a part of the strange and unsettling relationship the narrator has with his cellmate, makes you culpable.

I didn't exactly or at all enjoy reading this but it did make me sit up and take notice.

Granta 114 : Aliens

Nami Mun, "The Anniversary" I loved the writing. I really need to check out Mun's book Miles From Nowhere now. I wavered but this decided it for me. I read her prior book, When the Emperor Was Divine a few years ago. In that book, all the characters were nameless. Here, they speak as a Greek chorus yet it somehow feels individualistic and personal.

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Way to expand the definition, Patchett. Given how much Catholic nuns featured in my own childhood, this piece immediately appealed and made me slightly nostalgic. I've never read Patchett before, though I know her work has been highly acclaimed.


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The descriptions of her books aren't enough to make me want to pick one up, but this essay I really did love. Binyavanga Wainaina, "One Day I Will Write About This Place" This excerpt from Wainaina's memoir of the same name appealed to me because of its detailed and descriptive writing, as well as its themes of childhood and coming of age.

Another for the to-read shelf. Jan 17, Lawrence rated it liked it. This was a good solid issue of Granta. Nothing was especially outstanding, but the issue nevertheless was interesting and worth reading in its entirety. I like the piece by Julie Otsuka on the Japanese potential brides' journey to America. Also found the piece by Mark Gevisser on gay relationships in the South African Townships post new Constitution interesting. I am motivated to read Madeleine Thien new novel as a result of her inclusion in this issue. Paul Theroux is at his usual curmudgeon be This was a good solid issue of Granta.

Paul Theroux is at his usual curmudgeon best and Chris Dennis offers an interesting new talent to watch. Mar 19, Shawn Towner rated it liked it. Robert MacFarlane goes for a walk in Palestine, and meets families who can no longer return to their own homes. Nami Mun conjures a pair of spouses who feel like strangers in the wake of a terrible betrayal.

Ann Patchett rediscovers the nun who taught her how to read and write -- just as her old teacher is about to live alone for the first time in her life.