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Granta 104: Fathers

It’s a huge pleasure to be able to introduce you to the new issue of Granta, for which we’ve chosen the theme of fathers. One of the most rewarding aspects of editing the issue was the imaginative responses we had from the writers we worked with – whether they were writing a piece of memoir or investigation (like Ruchir Joshi or Francesca Segal), an essay on the nature of fatherhood (see Siri Hustvedt’s ‘My Father Myself’), or responding to a favourite photograph, as in our ‘Portrait of my Father’ series. The issue also features short stories that draw for inspiration on caterpillars, elephants and mambo music. I really hope you enjoy reading the pieces as much as we enjoyed gathering them together; from January, you’ll be able to let us know your reactions via this website, and we’d love to hear from you.

Alex Clark

Adam Foster, ‘Party Time Angel D’Souza’, one of the members of the Runcorn Wrestling Academy, photographed for this issue by Kevin Cummins

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David Goldblatt faces up to his father’s violent death
Benjamin Markovits on high-school sports, Texan-style
Francesca Segal looks for the Brooklyn of her father’s youth
Ruchir Joshi recalls the many faces of Puppa
Siri Hustvedt on the anxiety of influence
Michael Bywater wonders if friendship is women’s work

Writers on photographs of their fathers: Alison Bechdel, Olga Grushin, David Heatley, Reina James, Jonathan Lethem, Adam Mars-Jones, Jon McGregor, Joseph O’Neill and Ali Smith

Kevin Cummins photographs the Runcorn Wrestling Academy and John Naughton gets in the ring

Fiction by Emma Donoghue, Kirsty Gunn, James Lasdun, Daniyal Mueenuddin and Justin Torres

Poetry by Paul Farley and Will Self’s fetish object

Selected Highlights from Granta 104