A little while ago I took out a subscription for “Granta”. It’s a great way to be encouraged every quarter to read something you might otherwise not. In #139, the theme was “Best of Young American Novelists (3)” – a series they produce about every 10 years or so. There’s also a “Best of” for “Young British”. The role of honour for the first of these, printed in 1983, is quite something: Martin Amis, Pat Barker, Julian Barnes, William Boyd, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Graham Swift to name a few. I’ve read books by most of those (my contemporaries!), and even something from the most recent “Young American Novelists” issue – maybe I’m ‘hipper’ than I think..!
It occurred to me that maybe there should be a “Best of New Old Writers” series, for the mature among us. You could potentially argue that young writers tend to be more experimental with language (do they have to be so in order to find a unique voice?), and pick at contemporary issues: at least 2 in issue #139 refer (negatively) to a certain recent election in the US. And maybe you could argue that the ‘Oldies’ write from a richer life experience, perhaps having opted out from a writing ‘career’ earlier on, or simply having been bush-wacked by Life. Fingers crossed that it’s never too late!
Two sides of the same coin, maybe. Anyway, looking forward to #140…
2 thoughts on ““Granta – 139””
Hi Ian, were you at university in southampton 1978 to 1981? It’s Blods here, don’t know if you remember me? I’ve been searching for details for our mutual friend, Ian Johnson, for years and I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know any contact details you may have for him even if they are out of date. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you this way, hope all is well with you and yours, take care Blods
How could I forget someone who gave me a ‘low blow’ during a friendly inter-departmental game of basketball?! Afraid I lost touch with Ian a few years after Uni. I wouldn’t know how to get in touch with him I’m afraid. Sorry. Take care, Ian