A-May-Zing: May Pre-orders
To offset the cost of living, we're focusing this month on the hottest new titles in pocket-friendly paperbacks. Remember, there's 10% off too, all month! From rediscovered classics to new fiction from Ukraine, there's something for everyone.
Plus, two very special hardback treats: signed copies of The Premonitions Bureau + indie exclusives of You Made a Fool out of Death With Your Beauty.
Akwaeke Emezi, You Made a Fool out of Death with Your Beauty
#HotBookSummer. Emezi amazes yet again, this time giving us the romance we dream of, as bereaved artist Feyi leaves New York for the Caribbean with her generous party crush Nasir, only to get her groove back where she least expects.
Sam Knight, The Premonitions Bureau: A True Story *signed*
Mass Observation meets The Men Who Stare at Goats: after John Barker hears in Aberfan about children's dreams that predicted the disaster, he & Peter Fairley set up a bureau for people to submit premonitions. But how many will come true?
Dhruva Balram, Tara Joshi & Zahed Sultan eds., Haramacy
Eid Mubarak! Revel in these brand-new personal essays from the Middle East, South Asia & the diaspora, appreciating both heritage & adopted home, in the first book project from Haramacy multi-arts festival producer Zahed Sultan.
Yevgenia Belorusets, trans. Eugene Ostashevsky, Lucky Breaks
The ordinary extraordinary lives of the women of Donbass under occupation, from a refugee with a broken umbrella to a witch with a baseball mitt. As its translator says, it's "a book full of nuance, humor, irony, tragedy and, above all, love."
Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha
"like [Brooks'] best-loved poems, this novella is not only the chronicle of one small life, but a mirror reflecting for each reader what shines and shimmers at the edges of his or her everyday existence." Asali Solomon, NPR
Julian Hanshaw, Free Pass
Meet Huck, Nadia and their cutting-edge humanoid sex AI that can morph into anyone with an internet presence. It's a candy-coloured Big Tech love story set against manipulated elections, asking: what does our liberation really mean?
Agustín Fernández Mello, translated by Thomas Bunstead, Nocilla Trilogy
Your faves, together at last. Nocillas Dream, Experience and Lab in one volume. Physicist Mello creates quantum fiction as ideas, narratives and images bombard the reader & each other, setting off small explosions with huge impacts.
Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd, All the Lovers in the Night
Or, the unbearable lightness of being lonely in Tokyo: Fuyuko, a hardworking freelance proofreader speaks to no-one except her editor, focusing her senses on the nighttime lightscape. Catching her reflection in a window changes everything.
Ana Kinsella, Look Here: On the Pleasures of Observing the City
Growing out of her London Review of Looks newsletter, Look Here is Ana Kinsella's summery love song to the stylish semantics of city living, including questions of who gets to live, move & look.
Lieke Marsman, translated by Sophie Collins, The Opposite of a Person
Amid climate crisis, what does love mean? What can a single life encompass – if it is tied to others? Negotiating her tender new relationship to Robin during an internship in Italy, closed-off Ida enters into deep connection with the world.
John Patrick McHugh, Pure Gold
Pure brilliance in this debut short story collection that imagines a small island off the west coast of Ireland, and peoples it with vivid characters whose voices, blazing inside the everyday, will stay in your head for good.
Nina Mingya Powles, Small Bodies of Water
Yes, it's one of our 2021 Books of the Year, a stellar, sensory memoir in a travel-light, read-on-the-shore paperback; or buy two – one to read in the bath – because this is a book you'll want to immerse in and gift to friends.
Gerald Murnane, Last Letter to a Reader
Reliably inventing new ways to write his last book since 1995, Murnane goes meta with this book of essays dedicated to re-reading his own works. A thrilling dip into the archive of/with contemporary lit's most meticulous sentence-server.
Nana Nkweti, Walking on Cowrie Shells
Delicate, dazzling delights await in this debut story collection that reads like a dynamite playlist on shuffle, from a tale shaped by the protagonist's hairstyles via a how-to PR for zombies, to murder, mermaids and comic-con mayhem.
Sarah Perry, Essex Girls
You think you know, but you don't. Essex girl (and occasional serpent) Sarah Perry turns her sharp perceptions on the power and suppression of outspoken, full-bodied, no-bullshit, pleasure-loving women. A gem.
Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams, Diego Garcia
An experiment in collaborative writing that offers a model for seeking political truth, justice and restitution, as two dislocated-from-London writers who meet the eponymous poet, named for his mother's home, and together devise solidarity.
Olly Todd, Out for Air
Is it nominative determinism to become a pro skateboarder & genius poet if you're called Olly? Todd combines words and moves to capture sublime states of gravity defiance. Launches at Burley Fisher Weds 11 May, 6.30pm, free!
Rosemary Tonks, The Bloater
The Rosemary Tonks revival continues with this republication of her third novel, a comic opera for the Swinging 60s. Crammed with musicians, singers & sound engineers, the novel's beating heart is its witty, singing, swinging language.
Willy Vlautin, The Night Always Comes
Novelist and songwriter Willy Vlautin (Lean on Pete) tunes his ear to the austerity housing crisis in this thriller on the rental edge, as Lynette does whatever it takes to secure the cash for the house where she lives with her disabled brother.
Kathy Wang, Impostor Syndrome
Fun thriller-lite: Inventing Anna meets Black Widow, as Russian spy Julia Lerner (spinner of software that spies on everyone) quite likes Silicon Valley, thanks, but her #girlboss act creates a gap where junior engineer Alice Lu catches her out.