“The trick now is to make literature seem urgent,” Granta Acting Editor John Freeman told a packed crowd at the Brooklyn Book fair earlier this month. In a new Chicago-themed issue, the UK-founded journal has built a literary monument to the place where President Barack Obama–our “Memoirist-in-Chief, according to Freeman–built his political career.
The new issue features a cover by graphic novelist Chris Ware, along with work by Don Delillo, Elaine Showalter, and Tony D’Souza. For UK readers, the magazine is giving away free tickets to the Small Wonder Short Story Festival this week. The new issue also includes writing by Chicago authors Aleksandar Hemon and Stuart Dybek–both interviewed on a Chicago porch for a web video feature.
Here’s an excerpt from the video: “I came to [Chicago] when I was 28. Everything I learned about living with people, about living in the world, I learned in Sarajevo … What I was looking for in Chicago was what I loved in Sarajevo. Which brings me to think you acquire a sensibility in a city. That’s where you grew up. It’s defined by that city. And this you transfer wherever you go.”