‘Literary talent,’ writes Martin Amis in his new ‘novel’, Inside Story, ‘has perhaps four or five ways of dying. Most writers simply become watery and subtly stale.’ Not so the eighty-three-year-old Don DeLillo, who has published seventeen novels over the last fifty years, all of them muscular, intelligent, prescient. In 1988, he told an interviewer from Rolling Stone, ‘I think fiction rescues history from its confusions.’
Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, ‘Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.’ The 117th issue of Granta is not short of imagination. Contributions range from a posthumously published zombie tale by Roberto Bolaño, to translated reportage on Peru by Santiago Roncagliolo, to new fiction by Stephen King. In Don DeLillo’s ‘The Starveling’, an elderly cinephile wanders the streets of Manhattan looking for a purpose. His life, which revolves around movie screenings, is a disturbing portrait of idleness. Even the most disconcerting circumstances fail to shake him from his malaise.