(PDF) [Granta 118 Exit Strategies]
I read this issue from cover to cover while I was travelling last week The standouts in the volume for me wereThirty Girls by Susan Minot a haunting story based on an actual incident in which Catholic school irls were kidnapped in Uganda Summer by Jacob Newberry about coming out in post Katrina Mississippi America by Chinelo Okparenta about difficult choices faced by a woman in love in a highly repressive society The Island a photo essay by Stacy Kranitz The Beginner s Goodbye by Anne Tyler about a widower Bonfire by David Long about youthful lust viewed through the lens of time In Sight of the Lake by Alice Munro about what we re prepared to admit to ourselves and what our loved ones are prepared to admit to themselves about how aging changes us The End by John Barth in which he muses about whether his writing career is coming to an end Of all these pieces I think that John Barth s will stick with me the longest Imagining an end to life is one thing imagining an end to the time in your life when you are a writer is something else entirely I hope that when that time comes for me the two endings happen at the same time Arrived yesterday Of course I had to crack straight into the sublime Alice Munro Like another reviewer I turned first to the Alice Munro short story In Sight of the Lake and of course it was wonderful She has returned to Munro country in southwestern Ontario She said several years ago that she was retiring from writing but there have since been a few short stories published here and there including at least a couple in the New Yorker I m The Key of David glad she has changed her mind Thirty Girls by Susan Minot was a powerful short about a nun who is a headmistress of airls school in Uganda and she sets out to reclaim her students who were abductedconfiscatedstolen by rebels of the Lord s Resistance Army Anne Tyler s The Beginner s Goodbye about a newly minted widower was In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories gently funny and poignant without being sentimental And one could say the same about John Barth s The End Aood edition of Granta with some powerful stories and for once I didn t find the non fiction dry or overly pretentious Claire Messaud s musings on the death of her father and the Beirut he knew might have been a little self indulgent but had thin. Be it a wrong turn a bad relationship a debilitating illness or a war every action creates a reaction every move is followed by another move How do we Good Enough to Share (Good Enough get out of what we’veotten ourselves into How do we deal with what’s been thrust upon us Granta 118 zooms in close on the phenomenon of
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(PDF) Granta 118 Exit Strategies
Or living an authentic life perceived by the I Never Danced with an Eggplant (on a Streetcar Before) group ofay friends in small town deep south and their resignation uite understandable about that fate It s a reminder to straights who decry the special rights they perceive the LGBT community demanding and to Weaving Memory gays who might be a little too comfortable that the struggle is over that for far too many being openlyay in this society even in 2012 extracts a cruelly significant price Nice contrast with the story by Chinelo Okparanta about the Nigerian woman who sees although not without some reservation moving to America as a way to facilitate being open about her relationship love for another women which in her own country is both illegal and dangerous I also liked the story by Aleksandar Hemon about his family s pet an Irish setter and the effect of the war in Bosnia on his family friends displacement along with their pet as well as Judy Chicurel s recounting of what happens when a volunteer casually learns of the fate of an orphan she radually abandoned the search for when he is displaced from his roup home and swallowed by the system While these stories might seen to have little in common these stories exemplify the theme of this issue Exit Strategies Some times the exit is chosen deliberately others times passively accepted This was overall a fairly First Steps to Wealth good issue of Granta despite its inclusion of a rather cliched story by Susan Minot about a nun facing a choice about which of her students to abandon to their fate at the hands of theiruerrilla kidnappers A super collection This is one of the best Grantas I ve read in uite some time It s worth buying just for the moving and tender sketch by Claire Messud of the death of her father and his ties to Beirut and the disturbing and moving story by Judy Chircurel Add to the mix an odd and effective Anne Tyler story and a John Barth brief essay and it all amounts to an extraordinarily Adventures in Fetishland good reads A particularlyood literary chocolate box Someday I will row up and et wise and insightful and learn how to use a semi colon and become 100 times better at writing and then I ll send a story to Granta and they ll send me back a form rejection letter and at the bottom of it someone will have scribbled Close Keep trying and i will die happ. Ming novel by Anne Tyler; new memoir writing by John Barth and Aleksandar Hemon; and many other pieces that examine how we et ourselves out and the repercussions that follow Hindsight is twentytwenty but it’s what we do moving forward that defines us and in the best of all worlds redeems us.
Gs to say about losses before the final one that were worth pondering Another piece of personal reportage of escaping the Balkan conflict was less clich d because it focussed on the family pets In this issue it was something I usually look forward to the poetry that said nothing to me I m afraid the offerings this time mamaged to be both rambling and impenetrable at the same time Sorry So many reat stories Thirty Girls Provincisls and Bonfire will stay The title as with all of Grantas publications is with such hidden meaning Really liked the variety in this edition of Granta poetry photographs fiction and non fiction the usual mix but powerfulAdrienne Rich John Barth Alice Munro Anne Tyler Claire Messud Susan Minot Daniel Alarcon and others sport their wares Especially liked Messud s remembering of her father and John Barth s short piece on maybe running out of stuff to write about Or not All included deal with various sorts of coping of exits from all sorts of situations Some exits work some don t Lots to ponder about the efficacy of all the strategiesAgain the power of the word prevails excellent issue with moving and outstanding pieces by C Messud this starts with the startling I went to Beirut in June of 2010 because my father was dying and unpacks the sentence and a lot of history thorugh the prism of her parents and randparents lives J Chicurel about the dilemma is is a ood idea to close an orphan children care place because a volunteer abused one of the Edwin (The Northumbrian Thrones girls there well it happened but the result was that the kids were placed in foster care with tragic results a few years later V Manko a piece of the comic absurd in the form of an interrogation in the US of the 1920 s C Okparanta about a Nigerian woman uest to rejoin her loved one in America though it just happened said loved one is another woman A Beattie a man struggles to deal with the accidental death of his wife A Munro this I won tive away the twist but it is The Phoenix Project great writing and a brutal story and A Hemon War dogs in Sarajevo enough said with the rest of pieces readable toood also reat thematic and reat execution for one of the best issues of the literary magazine Among the best in this issue is the story by Jacob Newberry about the limited choices He exit strategyWith award winning reportage memoir and fiction Granta has illuminated the most complex issues of modern life through the refractory light of literature This issue features new stories by Alice Munro Susan Minot Ann Beattie David Long and Daniel Alarcon; an excerpt from an upco.
Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this nameJohn Freeman is an award winning writer and book critic who has written for numerous publications including The New Yorker The New York Times Book Review The Los Angeles Times The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal Freeman won the 2007 James Patterson Pageturner Award for his work as the president of the National