|First issue||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."
- 1 History
- 2 Rebirth
- 3 Ownership
- 4 Granta Books
- 5 Granta Best of Young British Novelists
- 6 Granta Best of Young American Novelists
- 7 Granta Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists
- 8 Granta Best of Young Brazilian Novelists
- 9 Recent contributors
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Granta was founded in 1889 by 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 name, a medieval form of what is today called the River Cam, the river that runs through the town, now belongs to two of that river's tributaries. An early editor of the magazine was R. P. Keigwin, the English cricketer and Danish scholar.
In this form the magazine had a long and distinguished history. The magazine published juvenilia of several writers who later became well known, including: Bertram Fletcher Robinson; Michael Frayn; Ted Hughes; John Simpson; A. A. Milne; Sylvia Plath; 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. 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.
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, also launching a new website. In September 2008 he left when selected as editor of the New Statesman.
John Freeman, the American editor, took over the magazine.
As of September 2004, Granta's circulation was 46,831. It publishes, quarterly, a distinctive mix of fiction, personal history, reportage, and inquiring journalism and documentary photography.
Like the magazine, Granta's book publishing imprint puts literary integrity before commerciality. Its stated aim 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 Simon Gray, Michael Collins, Anna Funder, Olga Tokarczuk, Tim Guest and Caspar Henderson.
Granta Best of Young British Novelists
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 the recognition of emerging writers in 1993 (issue #43) and in 2003 (issue #81). In 1996 (issue #54), Granta published a similar list of promising young American novelists, which was repeated during 2007 (issue #97). In 2010 it devoted issue #113 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 Man Booker Prize and Whitbread Prize.
The recognition of Adam Thirlwell 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.
Granta Best of Young American Novelists
Granta Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists
Granta Best of Young Brazilian Novelists
Recent contributors to the magazine include:
Every issue since the relaunch is still in print. Older issues are widely available in used bookstores, as well as directly from the publisher. The publishers state that some of them — Travel (issue 10) and The Family (issue 37), for example — are "significant contributions to the literature of the English language."
- "Granta: A new chapter at the original literary journal", The Independent, 11 December 2006 (accessed 2 March 2007).
- Granta: About
- The Observer
- Stephen Brook "Granta names Alex Clark as first female editor", The Guardian, 28 May 2008
- Oliver Luft, "Alex Clark steps down as Granta editor", The Guardian, 29 May 2009
- Lists, lists, lists... | New Writing | Granta Magazine
- "Review: Politics by Adam Thirlwell". The Guardian. 30 August 2003.
- 3am Interview: "A SMALL BUT SATISFYING KICK IN BLAIR'S NUTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAN RHODES", 3 AM Magazine, July 2003, accessed 14 March 2013
- The Best of Granta Reportage. Granta Books in association with Penguin Books. 1994. ISBN 978-0-14-014071-2.