Tagged: Literary

Editors choice

Queer Life. Queer Love: An anthology

by Golnoosh Nour

Dedicated to the memory of Lucy-Jack Reynolds, the trans daughter of Muswell Press publisher Sarah Beal, this anthology comprises 25 stories, non-fiction pieces, flash fiction and poetry intended to capture the "best of queer writing today".

Muswell Press, £9.99, 4th November 2021, 9781838110161
Ones to watch

The Last One

by Fatima Dass

Drawing on the author's own experience (Fatima Daas is a pseudonym), this autofiction tells of the youngest daughter of Algerian immigrants, raised in the high-rise banlieue of Clichy-sous-Bois, 15km north of Paris, in a household where discussion of love and sexuality is taboo. As she grows from a bright and rebellious teenager, spending hours on the bus in order to study in the city, to an adult, she grapples with the different, often conflicting, parts of her identity: French, Algerian, Muslim and a lesbian. Published in France last year, this saw 25-year-old Daas hailed as the voice of a new generation.

Small Axes, £10.99, 27th January 2022, 9781913109851
Editors choice

Free Love

by Tessa Hadley

One summer evening in a suburban garden after dinner, pretty, dutiful housewife Phyllis kisses the twentysomething son of a family friend and sets in motion a train of events that will explode her small, Home Counties existence-and her marriage to the dependable Roger. The year is 1967 and Phyllis' sexual and intellectual awakening mirrors that of turbulent 1960s society that is transforming around her. Hadley writes with such psychological acuity about love and passion and ordinary lives, somehow catching the truth of things and pinning it to the page. 

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £16.99, 20th January 2022, 9781787333673
Book of the month

To Paradise

by Hanya Yanagihara

No-one who read Yanagihara's second novel A Little Life (2015) could ever forget it. Initially published without particular fanfare, it became a real word-of-mouth hit and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Women's Prize. So, this is likely to be one of the biggest literary novels of the year, in all senses-my advance proof ran to 701 pages.

To Paradise comprises a trio of stories, all set in New York City 100 years apart. It opens in an alternate 1893: New York is part of the Free States, a nation separate to the rest of America, that allows gay marriage. David Bingham is the scion of a rich family, who wish him to marry wealthy widower Charles, but he is drawn to a penniless music teacher, Edward. The next part is set in 1993, during the AIDS epidemic, where another David Bingham, a young Hawaiian man, works as a paralegal and lives with wealthy senior partner Charles. The final section, set in 2093, reveals a world riven by pandemics and a city that resembles a totalitarian state. Here Charlie's story unfolds, intercut with letters written in 2043. I don't have the space to say more here, but it is an extraordinary novel; powerfully imagined and deeply moving.

Picador, £20.00, 11th January 2022, 9781529077476
Ones to watch

A Terrible Kindness

by Jo Browning Wroe

Faber's superlead for spring 2022 will be supported by an "unmissable" marketing and publicity campaign. Based in part on the real-life tragedy of Aberfan, it tells of 19-year-old William Lavery, a newly qualified embalmer who volunteers his services that terrible night in 1966, an act which forces him to contemplate his own losses. A celebration of the power of community, love and redemption, says Faber. Author Wroe is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia.

Faber & Faber, £14.99, 20th January 2022, 9780571368297
Ones to watch


by Jakob Guanzon

I ran out of reading time and was sorry not to get to this, but it looks really good. Said to be a "wrenching" debut about the causes and effects of poverty in contemporary America, as experienced by Henry and his son Junior after they are evicted, each chapter is structured around the amount of cash Henry has in his pocket at any one time. Douglas Stuart is a fan: "A tense yet tender portrait of a father and son trying to escape life on the margin. Determination and despair collide in this unforgettable debut with an ending that broke my heart."

Dialogue Books, £14.99, 20th January 2022, 9780349702698

Ulysses: An Illustrated Edition

by James Joyce

A splendid-looking illustrated edition of James Joyce's modernist masterpiece. The neo-figurative Spanish artist Arroyo (1937-2018) began work on this in 1989 but it was blocked by the executor of the Joyce estate. An illustrated edition appeared in 1935-with lithographs by Henri Matisse, no less-which reportedly infuriated Joyce when he realised that Matisse, not having read the book, had merely depicted scenes from Homer's Odyssey.

Other Press LLC, £62.99, 25th January 2022, 9781635420265

In His Own Image

by Jerome Ferrari

In rural Corsica, Antonia's life is transformed when she is given a camera, igniting a lifelong passion that will lead her, eventually, to document the war in Yugoslavia.

Europa Editions (UK) Ltd, £12.99, 6th January 2022, 9781787703476

A Sister's Story

by Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Follow up to A Girl Returned that can also be read as a standalone. In the dead of night, Adrianna, a baby in her arms, hammers on her sister's door, bringing chaos and cataclysmic revelations.

Europa Editions (UK) Ltd, £12.99, 20th January 2022, 9781787703490

Late City

by Robert Olen Butler

A 115-year-old former newspaperman lies on his deathbed as the 2016 US election results arrive, and talks to God about his life, from growing up in Louisiana to fighting in the trenches in the First World War. Author Butler won the Pulitzer Prize for A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

No Exit Press, £12.99, 27th January 2022, 9780857304896
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