Granta 101, ed Jason Cowley

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The Independent Culture

This is Granta magazine's usual stimulating mix of quality fiction and non-fiction. Highlights include Ruth Franklin's erudite exploration of the world of the nightmare; Andrew Hussey's long essay "The Paris Intifada", on the alienated, anti-semitic population of the Paris banlieu; Rick Moody's story "Videos of the Dead", about an archive of videos of people filmed shortly before they died; Tim Lott's forensic and psychologically acute analysis of the murder of the literary agent Rod Hall; Annie Proulx's short story "Family Man", a bitterly comic account of life in an old folk's home; and a spectacular photo-essay by Gautier Deblonde, "The Arctic Circle".

It differs from previous issues in being unthemed. The only thing that links these disparate pieces is that all are new, readable and thought-provoking. A lucky dip with no booby prizes, this would be ideal to pack in a travelling bag. It would enliven the dullest hotel room, or make the most tedious journey slip swiftly by.

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