by William Boyd (ed.).
Extra thick edition, celebrity guest editor, Hockney cover, big name authors: this must be the 100th edition!
The long-awaited 100th edition of Granta was a bit of a disappointment to be honest. The guest editor, William Boyd, had a lot of big name authors to choose from for this special, extra-thick edition: Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Hanif Kureishi, Harold Pinter, and so on, and so on. But, to me it seemed that some pieces were chosen simply because they were by famous authors, rather than on their own merits. Do we really want to read a 36-page draft libretto by Ian McEwan or an abandoned 'skeletal typescript' by Martin Amis? Not this reader: I skipped them. Granta doesn't need fillers. And it also doesn't need poetry, which featured prominently in this edition.
Having said all that, as ever with Granta, there is still plenty of damn fine writing within this edition's pages. If anything, it's a case of same amount of wheat, more chaff.