The Capital: Robert Menasse

Translated from German by Jamie Bulloch The European Commission seems an unlikely setting for a novel. But by foregrounding the people who work for the EC, with their individual quirks, worries and talents, Robert Menasse brings the institution to life. Fenia Xenopolou (aka Xeno), the head of the Communication Department in the Directorate-General for Culture, …

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The Testaments: Margaret Atwood

“All things come to she who waits. Time wounds all heels. Patience is a virtue. Vengeance is mine.” Margaret Atwood says that the question she was asked most often about The Handmaid’s Tale was what happened next? How did Gilead fall? The Testaments, written 35 years after The Handmaid’s Tale, answers these questions. For those …

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Dissipatio H.G.—The Vanishing: Guido Morselli

Translated from Italian by Frederika Randall What would happen to the planet if the entire human race was to disappear? In this novella, Guido Morselli imagines a world empty of people. The book is narrated by the one man who seems to have been spared. The unnamed narrator lives near a mountain village in an …

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This Mournable Body: Tsitsi Dangarembga

What happens when dreams, and the confidence of youth, disappear? What happens when life turns out to be less than what we expected? And worst of all, what happens when we disappoint ourselves? This is what Tambudzai, the protagonist of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body, finds herself facing. Set in Harare in the 1990s, this …

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Of Water and the Spirit—Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman: Malidoma Patrice Somé

“The story I am going to tell comes from a place deep inside of myself, a place that perceives all that I have irremediably lost and, perhaps, what gain there is behind the loss. If people forget their past as a way to survive, other people remember it for the same reason. When cultures with …

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The Devil and the Deep Water: Stuart Turton

1634. A ship, the Saardam, is about to set sail from Batavia in the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam. The ship is carrying a secret cargo that only very few know about. On board are the ambitious Governor General of Batavia, Jan Haan, his wife Sara Wessel and daughter Lia, Samuel Pipps, a detective under …

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The Baltimore Boys: Joël Dicker

Translated from French by Alison Anderson Marcus Goldman is a successful writer who has moved to Florida to write his next book. But he is haunted by his past: his point of reference is a “tragedy”, and he measures time from the event. Ever since he can remember, Marcus has looked up to the Baltimore …

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The Haunting of Hill House: Shirley Jackson

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.” This is our introduction …

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