With the bumper autumn in danger of crowding out space for titles from smaller publishers, The Bookseller invited a selection of indies to choose their top tips of the season—both from their own publishing and that of their peers.
Canbury Press, Pushkin, Knights Of, Sweet Cherry, Pushkin and Muswell Press are among the contributors.
Mostly hotly tipped by the group were two titles published by Dead Ink—Naomi Booth's Exit Management and Gary Budden's London Incognita—with Earthlings by Sakaya Murata (Granta), author of Convenience Store Woman, also a popular choice.
Novel Exit Management tells of Callum, who is given the opportunity to live in Jozsef's house in return for keeping him company while he is ill; but the story evolves into a deadly spiral of violence.
Karen Sullivan, publisher at Orenda, was one of those tipping the book, saying: "The writing is exquisite, the characters and their universal [are] fragilities beautifully rendered. It left me in awe, in tears and, perhaps, a little wiser." Gary Budden, publisher at Influx Press, also listed the novel as the book he wished he had published, calling it "an incredibly compulsive, yet poetic story about xenophobia, the north/south divide, the complexities of trauma and the cruelties of class aspiration, set against the backdrop of Brexit."
Budden's own second work of fiction, London Incognita (also published by Dead Ink Books), was picked by Becca Parkinson, sales and production manager at Comma Press, who said the novel "chronicles a city caught in the cycle of perpetual decline and continuous renewal, groaning under the weight of two-thousand years of history, as seen through the eyes of its desperate and troubled inhabitants." She added: "From the sounds of it, it's going to be a brilliant exploration of London through the lens of modern horror, psychogeography and weird fiction, all of which we at Comma are fans of and we are excited to read more of Gary's writing."
Granta's editorial director Anne Meadows spotlit Murata's latest work, which will be released on 1st October. She described it as "a wild, dizzying novel about two cousins who think they’re from outer space, and their struggle to get by in a world of crushing conformity and shocking violence. It’s one of the most gasp-inducing books I’ve ever read, but it’s also an incredible tale of survival against the odds. And because it’s Murata, it’s unlike anything else you’ll ever encounter."
Her choice was echoed by Atlantic Books m.d. Will Atkinson, who listed the book as the one he wished he had published. He said: "I will wait until Christmas to enjoy the new Elena Farrante, and in the meantime Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, who wrote Convenience Store Woman will be a real treat."
Also among the picks are If I Don't Have You by Sareeta Domingo (Jacaranda), chosen by Aimée Felone, publisher at Knights Of, and The Gran Tour: Travels with my Elders by Ben Aitken (Icon), picked by Saraband's Sara Hunt.
The full feature can be read here.