Freeman reveals American, work and sex themes for future Granta issue

<p>Granta magazine will run issues themed around the US city of Chicago, and around work and sex this autumn, under new acting editor John Freeman.</p><p>Freeman, who was in London this week forging contacts with agents and publishers, gave details of his forward plans following the sudden departure of editor Alex Clark in June.</p><p>The July issue of Granta will be unthemed, but will include Will Self writing on J G Ballard, an extract from a memoir-in-progress from Rupert Thompson, an essay from US author Mary Gaitskill and poems by late Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish. </p><p>The Chicago issue, which follows, will include Wole Soyinka writing about Barack Obama, plus contributions from Richard Powers, Sara Paretsky, Dinaw Mengestu and Hisham Matar. The cover<br />will be designed by Chicago-based graphic novelist Chris Ware.</p><p>Freeman said his choice of theme did not indicate that he would favour American writing: &quot;What we&#39;ll do is focus on where the best writing is. Chicago is a city that takes in a lot of people from elsewhere.&quot; He added: &quot;I just feel we live in a globalised world and we need to respect and<br />remember the fact that we need to hear stories from all parts of the globe. When the dominant modes of storytelling go stale, it is important to find storytellers from elsewhere. It is not just about modes of discourse, structuralism or postmodernism&mdash;there are people all over the world for<br />whom these terms don&#39;t mean anything.&quot;</p><p>On the work and sex issues, Freeman said: &quot;They are basic elemental themes that affect everyone&#39;s lives. Everyone has to have a job, or spend time thinking about why they don&#39;t have a job. Everyone has sex, or if they don&#39;t, they think about why they don&#39;t have sex.&quot;</p><p>He added that he was working &quot;in close touch&quot; with publisher Sigrid Rausing, who has declared an intention to be &quot;more hands-on&quot;. &quot;She has incredible taste and the magazine is in an incredibly privileged position,&quot; he said.</p>