Tagged: Literary

Book of the month


by Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill’s previous novel, Dept of Speculation, was one of my favourite novels of 2015 and this, against some fierce competition, is my Book of the Month for February. Weather is a novel about modern life right now, this minute, with all its attendant anxieties about climate change and the increasingly deranged and dysfunctional political landscape.

Granta Books, £12.99, 13th February 2020, 9781783784769
Editors choice


by Anne Enright

Seventh novel from the Booker Prize-winning author (The Gathering, 2007) is the story of Irish theatre legend, and one-time Hollywood star, Katherine O'Dell, relayed by her only child, Norah FitzMaurice. Norah, a novelist and mother-of-two, is now older than her mother was when she died. As Norah traces her mother's life, and her secrets, including the mystery of who her father is, the novel moves from wartime rural Ireland to America in the 50s and 1970s Dublin, Enright explores the nature of fame, and the damage it inflicts. Brilliant.

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £16.99, 20th February 2020, 9781787332065
Ones to watch

The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The eagerly awaited debut novel from the journalist and award-winning author of the essay collection We Were Eight Years in Power, who is recognised as one of the leading voices on racial politics in contemporary America. Hiram Walker is a slave with a mysterious power. Born to a black slave and a white plantation master, he is sold to a new mistress whose home is a secret hub of the underground railroad, and there he prepares to rescue other slaves. Oprah Winfrey called it "one of the best books I have read in my entire life". Expect massive review coverage.

Hamish Hamilton Ltd, £16.99, 6th February 2020, 9780241325254
Ones to watch


by Colum McCann

Supported by Bloomsbury's biggest literary campaign of the year, this is the story of two fathers, one Israeli, one Palestinian, each of whom loses a daughter. Rami's 13-year-old daughter Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber while out shopping with her friends and Bassam's 10-year-old daughter Abir was shot and killed by a member of the border police outside her school. The novel asks: how do we continue to live after the most precious thing is lost? Dublin-born McCann, who now lives in New York, will tour the UK and Ireland in March.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £18.99, 26th February 2020, 9781526607904
Editors choice

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

by Cho Nam-Joo

A sensation in the author's native South Korea, this charts the life of the eponymous Kim Jiyong from birth to age 33, when she is treated for post-natal depression. In economical prose it tells of a life constantly devalued and undermined by a society that places the value of men far above that of women. As she moves from school and predatory male teachers; to work, where she is overlooked for promotion; to marriage, where she is forced to give up her career for a life of domesticity. Uncompromising and powerful, this shows hidden misogyny in sharp relief.

Scribner UK, £12.99, 20th February 2020, 9781471184284

How Pale the Winter Has Made Us

by Adam Scovell

Second novel from the author and filmmaker centres on a woman living in Strasbourg who becomes obsessed with the many strange coincidences in the city's turbulent history and succumbs to visions and dreams.

Influx Press, £9.99, 13th February 2020, 9781910312452

Hurricane Season

by Fernanda Melchor

In a village in rural Mexico, the body of a local witch is discovered and the novel moves back in time, recounting the events which led to the murder. This is a portrait of lives governed by poverty, violence, misogyny and superstition, says the publisher.

Fitzcarraldo Editions, £12.99, 19th February 2020, 9781913097097

Alice Asks the Big Questions

by Laurent Gounelle

Though an atheist herself, marketing consultant Alice agrees to help an old friend save the dwindling congregation of a parish church, and finds herself on a journey of spiritual and intellectual discovery.

Corsair, £8.99, 25th February 2020, 9781472153562

Winter in Sokcho

by Elisa Shua Dusapin

The first book on the Daunt Books Originals list, which will focus on "bold and inventive writing in English and in translation", is set in a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea, where an unexpected guest asks the young receptionist to show him the real Korea.

Daunt Books, £9.99, 20th February 2020, 9781911547549

The Pharmacist

by Justin David

First published by Salt as part of the digital Modern Dreams series, and now in paperback, this is the story of 24-year-old Billy. He meets the older Albert, a.k.a. "the Pharmacist", who is a veteran of London's late 1990s club scene. Billed as a "homoerotic bildungsroman".

Inkandescent, £8.99, 1st February 2020, 9781912620043
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