Looking Back: Granta 133, Autumn 2015

Self has apocalypse on the brain.

She’s reading the first novel of the Gone series, by Michael Grant. Because she’s so ornery, she began with Book 4, then worked backwards. She’s now on Book 1. If she’d begun in proper order, she’d have known it was all about a nuclear power plant in the fictional town of Perdido Beach, California. Thank God for this series, which she discovered in June, when she saw a stack of these books sitting on a table in the lower level of the London Review Bookshop.

She’s also decided to arrange all her literary journals by year. She starts with Granta. She pulls out Issue 133, starts reading the Introduction by Sigrid Rausing. And — damn? Here, see for yourself:

There is an apocalyptic feeling in the air. I write the day after the news that the IS have blown up parts of the ancient site of Palmyra. They had already beheaded the eminent archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad and, according to reports, hung his body from the monuments. Refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean and living in makeshift camps at Calais and in Budapest; the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov has been charged with terrorism offences by the Russian authorities in Crimea and sentenced to twenty years in prison. “Hang on in there, Oleg,” someone writes. It’s not Darkness at Noon but maybe it should be.

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