granta v mcsws 05-10-2011

there's an ongoing tussle, in my head if nowhere else, between granta magazine and mcsweeney's. mcsweeney's is always going to look better (granta is never going to be pubished as 5 separate mini-volumes held together by a magnet) though granta often has wonderful photoessays. the literary content fluctuates inevitably, however, and whilst granta went through a rather grey patch over the last few years it has been edging ahead by several lengths recently, not least because of the pakistan issue (no. 114) and the latest, ten years after (116) which deals with the after-effects of 9/10 in fiction and reportage. both issues introduced me to writers i'd never have stumbled on in any other way. i got educated en route as well.