Yes, You: May Pre-Orders
It's a month of long-awaited returns: from Rachel Cusk, Esther Freud, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lisa McInerny, Sjón, Sunjeev Sahota, Rivers Solomon and Vendela Vida.
As ever, we have some extra-special souped-up signed editions for ya from David Annand and Rachel Cusk:
David Annand, Peterdown + Department of Radical Football signed bookplate
It's local football for the fans vs. everyone in this art-meets-life social satire, as sports journalist Colin – inspired by England's radical history – takes on developers, architecture nerds and his partner Ellie to save his beloved club.
Rachel Cusk, Second Place signed
Inspired by the uneasy guest-host relationship of DH Lawrence and Mabel Dodge Luhan, Cusk's new one is a languid summer read whose title refers equally to gender hierarchies and (un)homes away from home & the art made between.
Plus a few of imaginative alternatives to novels – a beautiful limited edition from Dundee Contemporary Art, a book-length essay, and a poetry graphic novel!
Emma Talbot, with Eoin Dara, Helen Charman, So Mayer, Ghost Calls
Art galleries are BACK & so celebrate with DCA Publications' uncanny evocations of the world beneath the world: Helen Charman goes worm & So Mayer strips skin. Artist Emma Talbot talks poetry & the uncanny with curator Eoin Dara.
A beautiful collaboration & coalition of cis female, trans and non-binary poets and artists generating sequential art poems that celebrate the ecstasy of embodiment in the specificities of our genders and identities. A real treasure trove.
Jack Underwood, Not Even This: Poetry, Parenthood and Living Uncertainly
If life is uncertain from the quantum upwards, how do we live – and care for others? Jack Underwood shows how poetry's complexity can help us navigate even the biggest changes, like becoming a parent during a pandemic.
And now this month's hottest new fiction…
Lana Bastašić, trans. Lana Bastašić, Catch the Rabbit
Winner of the 2020 European Prize for Literature Lana Bastašić translates her own novel from Serbo-Croatian for English readers, capturing the bittersweet road trip taken by two old friends now separated by languages, a continent & perception.
Esther Freud, I Couldn't Love You More
Three women in three eras navigating complex ties between each other, and between England and Ireland, driven by the twin urges to live and to hand on their stories. But taboos and secrets remain. A gulp of a novel.
Nicole Glover, The Conductors
A magical murder mystery set along the Underground Railroad, where Hetty Glover – an escaped slave and conductor – uses her powers to solve the murders that white authorities won't touch, confronting history & her own past.
Emily Itami, Fault Lines
A fresh take on the feminine mystique: housewife Mizuki seems to have it all – husband, children, apartment, love & beauty – but when she's drawn to Kiyoshi, she realises there's a whole world she's been missing. Which way will she jump?
Luke Kennard, The Answer to Everything
"*May not contain answers to anything" warns the author on Twitter, in typically self-deprecating fashion. Emily's new neighbours Alathea and Elliott unsettle the answers she thought she had & an intense friendship takes control.
Jhumpa Lahiri, Whereabouts
Written in Italian and translated to English by Lahiri, this is a fascinatingly spare experiment in erasure: an unnamed narrator in an unnamed (Mediterranean) place, unwriting herself in puzzle-piece vignettes.
Annie Macmanus, Mother Mother
When your mother disappears, what do you do? If you're 18 year old TJ, you head on a grand, scary adventure to find not only your mother Mary, but the mother she never knew. Family's not a place but a journey in Annie Mac's bittersweet debut.
Ailsa McFarlane, Highway Blue
We love a road novel at BF, and this hits all the classic notes: small seaside town, bad jobs, bad exes, a smoking gun. Working the mythical American seam of girl+boy on the run from themselves, Highway Blue hits all the right notes.
Patrick McGrath, Last Days in Cleaver Square
Francis McNulty is living out his days in Cleaver Square: but decades ago he fought in the Spanish Civil War & it's still the Generalissimo he sees in nightmares. When his daughter announces her marriage, it's time to confront his past.
Lisa McInerny, The Rules of Revelation
Four women, one man, one border: the possibilities for sex, scandal and songs are endless. A post-Brexit state of two nations rager, alive with Lisa McInerny's signature glorious heresies, blood miracles and revelations.
Nadifa Mohamed, The Fortune Men
Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1952: a place where a man like Mahmood Mattan can make a life by taking chances. But his luck runs out when he's accused of a murder he didn't commit. Will the white world see the truth, or only what it wants to see?
Julianne Pachico, The Anthill
You leave the city where you grew up to find the world, and when you come back, the world has found your city. Medellín is being gentrified, and Maria Carolina attempts to get it back via the Anthill, her adoptive brother's community centre.
Sam Riviere, Dead Souls
Poetry plagiarism is serious farcical business in Sam Rivière's knowing novel of the London lit world. Scandals are imparted, plans hatched, sorrows drowned at the Waterloo Travelodge. A single night, a single paragraph, a singular feat.
Sunjeev Sahota, China Room
A family farm in Punjab forms the heart of this intergenerational novel of desire, secrets and loss. In 1929, Mehar tries to work out which of three brothers is her husband, igniting a story that will explode in the present day.
Jim Shephard, Phase Six
Epic epidemic fiction, but not as you expect it. This is Greenland, and something rises from the melting permafrost. Aleq, who first contracted the virus, is the only survivor; Jeannine and Danice are the CDC scientists fighting to save him.
Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle
An Angela Carter-esque fantasia of aeronauts, Antarctica and contemporary cinema, as YA franchise star Hadley Baxter takes the role of a lifetime, as bootlegger's "boy" Marian Graves, an aviator flying through pre-WWII US.
Sjón, Red Milk
A tough and necessary read that gets inside the head of an ardent fascist, based on a real-life 1950s Icelandic neo-Nazi group. Sjón reflects on the deep connections between the 1930s, 1950s and now, to understand the far right.
Kjersti A. Skomsvold, The Child, trans. Martin Aitken
Fresh of a Man Booker International nomination for The Employees, Martin Aitken translates another slice of haunting Danish feminist fiction, this time in the nutshell of early motherhood, with all its memories, fears and imaginings.
Rivers Solomon, Sorrowland
Rivers Solomon is a genius, faer novels surfacing new-old mythologies from the deeps for QTIPOC readers to dream with. Sorrowland is no different, and also different from everything else you've read: a story about the reality of monsters.
Vendela Vida, We Run the Tides
When Eulabee differs from her best friend Maria Fabiola over what they witnessed one morning, gentrification and other changes begin to impinge on her charmed San Francisco adolescence. Rife with nostalgic detail, sharp with observation.
And finally, two great debut collections of short stories, to be read in conjunction – they could happily exchange/share titles!
Mira Sethi, Are You Enjoying?
Exuberant, incisive, hungry: a debut collection to devour from Mira Sethi, exploring the tensions between private and public life in contemporary Pakistan.
Anna Wood, Yes Yes More More
The final story will have you going back to the beginning to start again: a book of the summer, stories for re-entry into the world of longing, travelling and touch.