Granta 107

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The Independent Culture

Mitch Epstein's cover image, of a small-town American football game shadowed by belching power-plant towers, slightly misleads. Although his photo-essay on energy and politics in the Bush era stands as a centrepiece, this Granta sounds a less purely mid-Atlantic note than many previous editions.

Contributions from beyond the Anglo-American sphere range from Japanese Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe's eerie tale of hanuting via audiotape to Rana Dasgupta's reportage of speeding cars and crawling mindsets in boom-time New Delhi.

However, meaty memoirs of loss lend this number its backbone: Mary Gaitskill on a disappearing cat and other bereavements; Will Self's fine elegy for JG Ballard; Rupert Thomson's quest through memory for an elusive rascal of an uncle.