The Granta Podcast show

The Granta Podcast

Summary: The Granta podcast: author readings and interviews with the magazine's editors, as well as recordings from our events. Granta is the world's leading literary magazine, publishing the best in new fiction, reportage, poetry and photography four times a year. Visit for more.

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 The Granta Podcast Episode 84 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:30:53

In the latest Granta podcast, we’re joined by Juan Pablo Villalobos, author of 'Down the Rabbit Hole', which was nominated for the 2011 Guardian First Book Award and, most recently, 'Quesadillas'. Here, Villalobos talks about parodying Mexican identity, the difficulty of translation and class struggle in Mexico. 'The worst thing wasn’t being poor; the worst thing was having no idea of the things you can do with money.'

 The Granta Podcast Episode 83 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:55:36

Eleanor Catton's debut novel, The Rehearsal, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, longlisted for The Orange Prize for Fiction and received a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel,The Luminaries, has been shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker prize. Here, Granta Books editor Anne Meadows talks to Catton about opium and gold, the ideas of the modern and the archaic, whether a good author can also be a sadist, and what it means to be a New Zealand writer today. 'I am very firm in the belief that literature is not a competitive sport, we're all doing the same thing, and hopefully for similar reasons.'

 The Granta Podcast Episode 82 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:40:23

In the latest Granta podcast, Saskia Vogel speaks to Lina Wolff, a contributor to the Travel issue and author of the story collection 'Många människor dör som du' ('Many Pepole Die Like You') and the novel 'Bret Easton Ellis och de andra hundarna' ('Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs'). Wolff writes in Swedish, and her story in the issue is based in Spain. Here she discusses the tension she felt between a 'Spanishness' and 'Swedishness', when writing and between a rational way of being and a magical way of thinking. She also discusses Lorca, Dante, literary travellers and their guides and the idea of irrationality and the artistic temperament. 'I think in the beginning it was a crisis. I started to write because I felt the need to fit in, and not be an outsider... I have felt bound to an outsideness and an otherness.'

 The Granta Podcast Episode 81 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:33:30

In the latest Granta podcast, Saskia Vogel speaks to Sonia Faleiro, a contributor to the Travel issue and a reporter. Faleiro is the author of a book of fiction, The Girl, and one book of non-fiction, Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars. She talks about how her gender influences her work and how she started out as a reporter. She also discusses the way we tell stories about women who use their bodies in to earn a living, Bombay’s complex sex industry and the idea of marginalized narratives. 'How we perceive people eventually influences what rights we think they deserve to be given, when there is actually no question of endowing someone with rights; you either have them or you don't.'

 The Granta Podcast Episode 80 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:17:34

In the latest Granta podcast, Rachael Allen speaks to travel writer Robert Macfarlane. Macfarlane is the author of numerous books about travel, including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and most recently, The Old Ways. Macfarlane discusses his essay in Granta 124: Travel, 'Underland', where he explores the underground caves of Karst country, and the different approaches writers take to present landscape through language.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 77 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:52:17

On the latest Granta podcast we hear from George Saunders. One of the finest, funniest writers of his generation, he writes stories that pulse with outsized heart, crackle with the ad-speak and eek out the human story from the lives of theme-park workers and the subjects of strange drug tests that enhance libido and eloquence. His books include CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, In Persuasion Nation, Pastoralia and most recently Tenth of December. He has also published a book of essays, The Braindead Megaphone. Here he spoke to online editor Ted Hodgkinson about allowing his characters access to goodness, why he wants to avoid 'auto-dark' in his stories, how the death of David Foster Wallace affected his writing and closing the gap.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 78 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:32:46

In the latest Granta podcast, Yuka Igarashi talks to A.M. Homes, the recipient of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction for May We Be Forgiven. Homes is the author of the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers and Jack; the story collections The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know; and the memoir The Mistress's Daughter (Granta Books). As a followup to an interview when May We Be Forgiven was published, they spoke about what winning the prize means to her. They also discussed family and the American Dream as themes in her book, why the Korean translation of one of her novels comes with a coupon for Dunkin Donuts, and the influence that her writing teacher Grace Paley had on her work and life.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 79 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:40:19

In the latest Granta podcast, Yuka Igarashi speaks to writer, journalist and activist Rebecca Solnit. Solnit is the author of numerous books about art, landscape, ecology and politics. They include A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; Infinite City, a book of 22 maps with nearly 30 collaborators; and, most recently The Faraway Nearby, published this June. Solnit discusses how her new book interweaves personal narratives about family and illness with stories about Mary Shelley and Che Guevara. We also talk about her interest in paradoxes and her momentary connection to Beyonce.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 76 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:26:06

The final in our series of podcasts featuring the Best of Young British Novelists 4, we hear from Tahmima Anam. Anam is the author of the Bengal Trilogy, which chronicles three generations of the Haque family from the Bangladesh war of independence to the present day. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. It was followed in 2011 by The Good Muslim. ‘Anwar Gets Everything’, in the issue, is an excerpt from the final instalment of the trilogy, Shipbreaker, published in 2014 by Canongate in the UK and HarperCollins in the US. Here she spoke to Saskia Vogel about making a home in London and migration.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 75 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:40:47

Continuing our series of podcasts on the Best of Young British Novelists 4, we hear from Steven Hall. Born in Derbyshire, Hall’s first novel, The Raw Shark Texts, won the Borders Original Voices Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, and has been translated into twenty-nine languages. ‘Spring’ and ‘Autumn’, in the issue, are excerpts from his upcoming second novel, The End of Endings. Here he spoke to online editor Ted Hodgkinson about how the internet is, to his mind, disturbing the possibility of a novel with a single continuous narrative thread, writing from memory and the significance of Ian the cat in his first novel.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 74 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:26:21

Jenni Fagan’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Panopticon, was published in 2012 and named one of the Waterstones Eleven, a selection of the best fiction debuts of the year. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her collection The Dead Queen of Bohemia was named 3:AM magazine’s Poetry Book of the Year. She holds an MA in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, and currently lives in a coastal village in Scotland. ‘Zephyrs’, in the issue, is an excerpt from her novel in progress. Here she speaks with Granta’s Ellah Allfrey about the care system, how a library van nurtured her love of reading from a young age and her days in a band.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 73 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:22:24

Kamila Shamsie is the author of five novels. The first, In the City by the Sea, was published by Granta Books in 1998 and shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her most recent novel, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a trustee of English PEN and a member of the Authors Cricket Club. ‘Vipers’, in the issue, is an excerpt from a forthcoming novel. Here she talks to John Freeman about the themes of love and war in her work, moving between her native Karachi and London where she lives now, her choice to become a UK citizen and how her uncle directed the first episode of Doctor Who.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 72 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:20:04

Ross Raisin's first novel, God's Own Country, won him the 2009 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Guardian First Book Award, a Betty Trask Award and numerous other prizes. His second novel, Waterline, about a former shipbuilder grieving the death of his wife in Glasgow, was published to critical acclaim in 2011. His short stories have been published in Prospect, Esquire, Dazed and Confused, the Sunday Times, on BBC Radio 3 and in Granta. In this podcast, he spoke about how he evokes place and inhabits characters in his writing and the difference between his approaches to short stories and novels.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 71 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:31:58

Today we bring you an interview with Nadifa Mohamed, who was born in Somalia and moved to Britain in 1986. Here she spoke to online editor Ted Hodgkinson about how her first novel, Black Mamba Boy (which won the Betty Trask Award), was inspired by her father’s journey to the UK from Somalia, and how that process brought them closer together. They also spoke about her arrival from Somalia, growing up in Tooting and how she believed from a young age that cats were spies for the government. ‘Filsan’, in the issue, is an excerpt from her new novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls.

 The Granta Podcast Episode 70 | File Type: audio/mp3 | Duration: 00:22:48

Continuing a series of podcasts featuring our Best of Young British Novelists, today we bring you an interview with Sunjeev Sahota. Sahota was born in Derby and currently lives in Leeds with his wife and daughter. His first novel, Ours are the Streets, was published in 2011. ‘Arrivals’, in the issue, is an excerpt from The Year of the Runaways, his unfinished second novel, forthcoming from Picador. Here Sahota spoke to Ellah Allfrey about his work, finding Midnight’s Children in an airport bookshop and having a day job.


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