Granta's list of the twenty-one Best Young American Novelists is out now.
The spring issue of Granta magazine, Granta 97: 'Best of Young American Novelists 2', is devoted to their new work - a revealing insight into a new generation of American writing which shows, beside its talent, what bothers and inspires the imagination of modern America.
Published in the US on April 24, 2007 • ISBN-1-929-001-27-4
Published in the UK on May 10, 2007 • ISBN-978-0-903141-92-5

'A list that sets the literary agenda for a generation' Observer

We leave you with an extract by John Wray from "In the Tunnel".

On November 11, Lowboy ran to catch a train. People were in his way but he was careful not to touch them. He ran up the platform's corrugated yellow lip and kept his eyes on the train's cab, commanding it to wait. It was a good train, an uptown local. Its doors had closed already but they opened when he kicked them. He couldn't help but take this as a sign.

He got on board and laughed. Signs and tells were all around him. The floor was shivering and ticking beneath his feet and the brick-tiled arches above the train beat the murmurings of the crowd into copper and aluminium foil. Every seat in the car had a person in it. Never mind about that. Notes of music rang out as the doors closed behind him: C# first, then A. Sharp against both ears, like the tip of a pencil. He turned and pressed his face against the glass.

Skull & Bones, his state-appointed enemies, were forcing their way head-first up the platform. Skull was a skinny, milk-faced man, not much to look at, but Bones was the size of a ticket booth. They moved like policemen in a silent movie, as though their shoes were too big for their feet. No one stood aside for them. Bones kept stepping on the back of Skull's Reeboks by accident. Giving him a flat tyre, that was called. Giving him a flat. Lowboy smiled as he watched them stumbling towards him. He felt his fear of them falling away with each ridiculous step they took. I'll have to think of something else to call them now, he thought. Short & Sweet. Before & After. Habeas & Corpus.

John Wray was born in Washington, DC in 1971 and raised in Buffalo, New York. His father is American and his mother is Austrian, and he himself is a citizen of both countries. His first novel, The Right Hand of Sleep (Vintage UK/Knopf), was published in 2001 and won a Whiting Writers' Award. His second, Canaan’s Tongue, is published by Chatto & Windus in the UK and by Vintage in the US. 'In the Tunnel' is taken from his latest novel, Lowboy, which will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2008. At present he lives in Brooklyn.


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