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|Relaunch: 1 September 1979
Granta is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on its "belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story's supreme ability to describe, illuminate and make real."In 2007, The Observer stated: "In its blend of memoirs and photojournalism, and in its championing of contemporary realist fiction, Granta has its face pressed firmly against the window, determined to witness the world."
Granta has published twenty-seven laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature.Literature published by Granta regularly win prizes such as the Forward Prize, T. S. Eliot Prize, Pushcart Prize and more.
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Granta was founded in 1889by students at Cambridge University as The Granta, edited by R. C. Lehmann, (who later became a major contributor to Punch ). It was started as a periodical featuring student politics, badinage and literary efforts. The title was taken from the medieval name for the Cam, the river which runs through the town, but is now used only for two of that river's tributaries. An early editor of the magazine was R. P. Keigwin, the English cricketer and Danish scholar; in 1912–13 the editor was the poet, writer and reviewer Edward Shanks.
In this form the magazine had a long and distinguished history. The magazine published juvenilia of a number of writers who later became well known: Geoffrey Gorer, William Empson,Michael Frayn, Ted Hughes, A. A. Milne, Sylvia Plath, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, John Simpson, and Stevie Smith.
During the 1970s the publication, faced with financial difficulties and increasing levels of student apathy,was rescued by a group of interested postgraduates, including writer and producer Jonathan Levi, journalist Bill Buford, and Peter de Bolla (now Professor of Cultural History and Aesthetics at Cambridge University). In 1979, it was successfully relaunched as a magazine of "new writing", with both writers and audience drawn from the world beyond Cambridge. Bill Buford (who wrote Among the Thugs originally as a project for the journal) was the editor for its first 16 years in the new incarnation. Ian Jack succeeded him, editing Granta from 1995 until 2007.
Since 2003, Granta has been published in Spain in Spanish.In April 2007, it was announced that Jason Cowley, editor of the Observer Sport Monthly, would succeed Jack as editor in September 2007. Cowley redesigned and relaunched the magazine; he also launched a new website. In September 2008, he left when he was selected as editor of the New Statesman .
Alex Clark, a former deputy literary editor of The Observer , succeeded him as the first female editor of Granta.In late May 2009, Clark left the publication and John Freeman, the American editor, took over the magazine.
As of 2023 [update] , Granta's circulation is 23,000. In the 164th issue Sigrid Rausing, who had served as editor since 2013, announced she would turn over editorship to Thomas Meaney with the Autumn issue of 2023.
In 1994, Rea Hederman, owner of The New York Review of Books , took a controlling stake in the magazine.In October 2005, control of the magazine was bought by Sigrid Rausing.
In 1989, then-editor Buford founded Granta Books.Granta's stated aim for its book publishing imprint is to publish work that "stimulates, inspires, addresses difficult questions, and examines intriguing periods of history." Owner Sigrid Rausing has been vocal about her goal to maintain these standards for both the magazine and the book imprint, telling the Financial Times , "[Granta] will not publish any books that could not potentially be extracted in the magazine. We use the magazine as a yardstick for our books.... We are no longer going to look at what sells as a sort of argument, because it seemed to me that we were in danger of losing our inventiveness about what we wanted to do." Authors recently published by Granta Books include Michael Collins, Simon Gray, Anna Funder, Tim Guest, Caspar Henderson, Louise Stern and Olga Tokarczuk.
When Rausing purchased Granta, she brought with her the publishing imprint Portobello Books, founded in 2005; as of January 2019 the Portobello Books imprint was closed, with all its contracted authors therefter published under the Granta Books imprint.Granta Books are distributed by The Book Service in the UK. Granta Books are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services in the US.
In 1983, Granta (issue #7) published a list of 20 young British novelists as names to watch out for in the future. Since then, the magazine has repeated its recognition of emerging writers in 1993 (issue #43), 2003 (issue #81) and 2013 (issue #123). In 1996 (issue #54), Granta published a similar list of promising young American novelists, which was repeated during 2007 (issue #97). In 2010 Granta issue #113 was devoted to the best young Spanish-language novelists. Many of the selections have been prescient. At least 12 of those identified have subsequently either won or been short-listed for major literary awards such as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Prize.
The recognition of Adam Thirlwell [ citation needed ] Those controversially excluded in 2003 included Giles Foden, Alex Garland, Niall Griffiths, Zoë Heller, Tobias Hill, Jon McGregor (who won the International Dublin Literary Award less than ten years later), Patrick Neate, Maggie O'Farrell and Rebecca Smith.and Monica Ali on the 2003 list was controversial, as neither had yet published a novel. Thirlwell's debut novel, Politics , later met with mixed reviews. Ali's Brick Lane was widely praised.
Dan Rhodes contacted others on the 2003 list to try to persuade them to make a joint statement in protest against the Iraq War, which was gaining momentum at the time. Not all the writers responded. Rhodes was so disappointed he considered stopping writing, but has continued.
In 2023, the list for the first time included international writers who view the UK as their home.
Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. It aims to inspire, develop and connect writers across the Commonwealth. Its flagship is a literary award for short stories, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and a website.
Zadie Smith FRSL is a British novelist, essayist, and short-story writer. Her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), immediately became a best-seller and won a number of awards. She became a tenured professor in the Creative Writing faculty of New York University in September 2010.
Adam Thirlwell is a British novelist. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He has twice been named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. In 2015 he received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is an advisory editor of The Paris Review.
Helen Oyeyemi FRSL is a British novelist and writer of short stories.
Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina was a Kenyan author, journalist and 2002 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2003, he was the founding editor of Kwani? literary magazine. In April 2014, Time magazine included Wainaina in its annual Time 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World".
Bill Buford is an American author and journalist. Buford is the author of the books Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.
Daniel Alarcón is a Peruvian-American novelist, journalist and radio producer. He is co-founder, host and executive producer of Radio Ambulante, an award-winning Spanish language podcast distributed by NPR. Currently, he is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and writes about Latin America for The New Yorker.
Tahmima Anam is a Bangladeshi-born British writer, novelist and columnist. Her first novel, A Golden Age (2007), was the Best First Book winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prizes. Her follow-up novel, The Good Muslim, was nominated for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize. She is the granddaughter of Abul Mansur Ahmed and daughter of Mahfuz Anam.
Andrew Crumey is a novelist and former literary editor of the Edinburgh newspaper Scotland on Sunday. His works of literary fiction incorporate elements of speculative fiction, historical fiction, philosophical fiction and Menippean satire. Brian Stableford has called them "philosophical fantasies". The Spanish newspaper El Mundo called Crumey "one of the most interesting and original European authors of recent years."
Bookforum is an American book review magazine devoted to books and the discussion of literature. After announcing that it would cease publication in December 2022, it reported its relaunch under the direction of The Nation magazine six months later.
Sigrid Maria Elisabet Rausing is a Swedish philanthropist, anthropologist and publisher. She is the founder of the Sigrid Rausing Trust, one of the United Kingdom's largest philanthropic foundations, and owner of Granta magazine and Granta Books.
John Freeman is an American writer and a literary critic. He was the editor of the literary magazine Granta from 2009 until 2013, the former president of the National Book Critics Circle, and his writing has appeared in almost 200 English-language publications around the world, including The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. He is currently an executive editor at the publishing house Knopf.
Carol Sklenicka is an American biographer and literary scholar known for her authoritative, full-scale biographies of two important figures in late twentieth-century American literature: acclaimed short story masters Raymond Carver and Alice Adams.
Jenny Erpenbeck is a German writer and opera director, recipient of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
Ellah Wakatama, OBE, Hon. FRSL, is the Editor-at-Large at Canongate Books, a senior Research Fellow at Manchester University, and Chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. She was the founding Publishing Director of the Indigo Press. A London-based editor and critic, she was on the judging panel of the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award and the 2015 Man Booker Prize. In 2016, she was a Visiting Professor & Global Intercultural Scholar at Goshen College, Indiana, and was the Guest Master for the 2016 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation international journalism fellowship in Cartagena, Colombia. The former deputy editor of Granta magazine, she was the senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House and an assistant editor at Penguin. She is series editor of the Kwani? Manuscript Project and the editor of the anthologies Africa39 and Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction.
Michael Salu, British-born of Nigerian heritage, is a creative director, art and photography editor, designer, brand strategist, writer and illustrator.
Chinelo Okparanta is a Nigerian-American novelist and short-story writer. She was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where she was raised until the age of 10, when she emigrated to the United States with her family.
David Szalay is a Hungarian-English writer.
Alex Clark is a British literary journalist and editor who has written for The Guardian, The Observer and The Times Literary Supplement. She also presents Front Row on BBC Radio 4 and hosts the Vintage Podcast about books.
Gaby Wood, Hon. FRSL, is an English journalist, author and literary critic who has written for publications including The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, London Review of Books, Granta, and Vogue. She is the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, appointed in succession to Ion Trewin and having taken over the post at the conclusion of the prize for 2015.