On June 24, 1972, three boys decided to leave their residential school in Canada’s Northwest Territories and walk from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk (“Tuk”) in a bid to avoid punishment for stealing a pack of cigarettes from their dorm supervisor. Without a highway connecting Inuvik to Tuk, the boys had no idea they were undertaking an impossible journey of 90 miles over boggy tundra. At Granta, Nadim Roberts tells the story of Dennis, Jack, and Bernard, and of the horrific toll residential schools have exacted on Inuits, the Inuit community, and their traditional ways of life.
A personal essay in which A.M. Homes — who ten years ago published The Mistress’s Daughter, a memoir about meeting her birth parents — reports on the experience of recently being given her long lost adoption file, and the effects of the information on her understanding of her origins.
Excluded from Myanmar citizenship, the Rohingya, an ethnic minority, are the largest stateless group in the world, so they pay smugglers to get them to Malaysia in inhumane conditions.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram left millions of “internally displaced persons,” called IDPs, living in makeshift camps, trying to keep their children from starving while relief food gets pirated and sold off in local markets. A journalist snuck into one camp without authorization to get the real story of life on the ground there.
Barbara Zitwer, Colm Tóibín, Elham Manea, Linda Coverdale, Kyung-sook Shin, and Anne Landsman share their stories of immigration to protest Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban as an abomination in a country built and fuelled by people from away.
When a Danish social activist gets fined for driving and feeding a few Syrian refugees, she questions the climate of fear that’s arisen in her native Denmark, and what she sees as a fundamental change in the her culture’s values: the desire to help other human beings.
One sex-positive woman’s exploration of Feminist porn reveals a lot about the complexity of feminist thinking, mainstream porn’s intrinsic violence and sexism, and the enduring hope of remaking sex work.
An essay about getting older, loving music and being the middle-aged people at an arena concert.
Writers Sam Lipsyte and Diane Cook correspond with one another about their craft. Cook compares what it was like putting together stories as a producer for This American Life to writing stories for herself.
[Fiction] An aunt recalls how she met her husband. (From Mo Yan, 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.)
“‘If you want to know why I married Hao Dashou, I have to start with the frogs. Some old friends got together for dinner on the night I announced my retirement, and I wound up drunk – I hadn’t drunk much, less than a bowlful, but it was cheap liquor. Xie Xiaoque, the son of the restaurant owner, Xie Baizhua, one of those sweet-potato kids of the ‘63 famine, took out a bottle of ultra-strong Wuliangye – to honour me, he said – but it was counterfeit, and my head was reeling. Everyone at the table was wobbly, barely able to stand, and Xie Xiaoque himself foamed at the mouth till his eyes rolled up into his head.’”