Incredibly Loud & Extremely Colorful

The postman doesn't ring twice. He just pitches the mail over the front gate. The latest issue of Granta, Best of Young american Novelists 2, landed with some impact on the tiled front yard yesterday afternoon. The thwack was more audible than the thuds from previous issues. That's because this new volume has over 90 pages more of thick, good quality, non-yellowing paper. And the pricing in stores is 2 pounds sterling more.

Granta designed the cover like some detergent or toothpaste advert: very bright and colourful; balloony sheen of Best; sun shining out of the 'o' of of; a strip of green with bubbles, behind Young;between American and Novelists a squirt of colour-layered toothpaste; Now even younger! so much like claims you see in detergent adverts, like Now brighter than before!. It is actually the best design I've seen for ages on a Granta cover. It's probably tongue-in-cheek; Granta is a very serious literary magazine.

I haven't yet begun reading any of the stories, just the intro and each writer's bio. The only author I have read is Jonathan Safran Foer, whose Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was long but very absorbing. The interesting thing about this new Best of selection is it is more ethnically diversified, with a Thai, a Chinese, an Indian, a Nigerian, a South American, a Russian, a few Jews and Blacks, and the usual WASPs.


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