The latest edition of Granta magazine is available now. The issue – entitled Deutschland – is dedicated to Germany. It contains essays, memoir, poetry and fiction reflecting on the country.
Introduced by new editor Thomas Meaney, Granta’s autumn issue features reflections on Germany by Alexander Kluge, notebook excerpts from Peter Handke, and an essay on East German painting by Fredric Jameson. Lauren Oyler visits the historic Marienbad Spa, Michael Hofmann rediscovers the virtues of Lower Saxony, and Peter Kuras plumbs the singularity of German humour.
Adrian Daub examines the car-washing of the country’s past, while Nell Zink takes a wry look at German men and explores the country’s different conceptions of privacy. Peter Richter investigates the link between the murder of a Berlin bureaucrat and its urban planning disaster. George Prochnik, Emily Dische-Becker and Eyal Weizman discuss how the German state’s program of anti-antisemitism has come to serve an unsavoury political agenda.
Europe’s leading philosopher, Jürgen Habermas, considers the Ukraine war and the future of the European Union, Lutz Seiler remembers his conscription into East Germany’s National People’s Army, Ryan Ruby explores the symbolic power of three Berlin locations, and Jan Wilm details last year’s attempted coup d’état by a Frankfurt real-estate developer.
The issue introduces two young novelists on the German scene — Leif Randt and Shida Bazyar — forthcoming work from Yoko Tawada, a short story from Clemens Meyer, and autofiction by Judith Hermann. Plus, poetry by Elfriede Czurda and Frederick Seidel.
The issue presents work by some authors who have also appeared on New Books in German. Selection by our jury means not only that their work is considered excellent and suitable for the Anglosphere, but also that translation funding support for translation into English is guaranteed.
Allegro Pastel is an absorbing meditation on the nature of love in the twenty-first century, life after thirty, the danger of slipping into old patterns of behaviour, and what it means to be true to yourself.
The novel revolves around the long-distance relationship between cult author Tanja Arnheim, who is working on the follow-up to her successful debut in Berlin, and sought-after web designer Jerome Daimler. Questions of national identity, environmental responsibility, intergenerational change, familial ties and the suitability of our political and economic system in a century set to be defined by climate breakdown are all woven into the storyline.
Leif Randt’s literary voice is unmistakable, highly memorable, unique in the truest sense of the word. It crackles with ultra-dry irony… his colours crisp and beautiful as if they’d been freeze-dried.Eva Menasse
Leif Randt’s latest novel is a thought-provoking exploration of twenty-first century relationships with an appealing Berlin setting.New Books in German
Sisters in Arms is a timely novel that follows the deep and unwavering bond between three women as they confront systemic racism, white and male privilege, and the resurgence of the far-right in Germany.
The book opens with a tabloid-style newspaper article accusing a young, allegedly radicalised Muslim woman, Saya M., of starting a fire in a building which left many dead. The novel’s narrator, Kasih, then explains what really happened. Kasih and her two best friends, Saya and Hani, have known each other since childhood, growing up together on a housing estate. Now young adults, they are trying to navigate a world that seems to be stacked against them.
Sisters in Arms is an immersive and thought-provoking book with a strong plot and relatable characters, and which explores urgent contemporary questions around racism and sexism in society.
A work of subtle, perceptive autofiction from one of Germany’s most highly regarded contemporary voices, Wir hätten uns alles gesagt marks a turning point in Judith Hermann’s work. Though written in her characteristic melancholy, understated style, this series of three interconnected stories taken from the author’s own life confronts painful events and emotions head-on, sometimes to devastating effect.