Death in Her Hands: Ottessa Moshfegh

Published by Penguin Press “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” Vesta, a woman in her 70s, has recently been widowed. After her husband’s death, she sells her house and buys an isolated cabin near a lake across the country, where she lives …

Continue reading Death in Her Hands: Ottessa Moshfegh

Manhattan Beach: Jennifer Egan

Published by Scribner New York, 1934. Eddie takes his 11-year-old daughter Anna to a meeting with Dexter Styles, a gangster who has married the daughter of a well-known New York senator. As they drive up to Styles’s house by the beach, Anna notices that her father is nervous, something that is unusual for him. Eddie …

Continue reading Manhattan Beach: Jennifer Egan

A Case of Exploding Mangoes: Mohammed Hanif

Published by Vintage Books and Random House A plane is parked on a runway, and a group of men is walking towards it. They include General Zia ul-Haq, the President of Pakistan; Arnold Raphael, the American Ambassador to Pakistan; and General Akhtar Abdur Rahman, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s secret service. The …

Continue reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes: Mohammed Hanif

Shuggie Bain: Douglas Stuart

Published by Picador Shuggie Bain is a compelling story about addiction and its fallout, set in the working-class community in Glasgow. Shuggie Bain’s mother Agnes is an alcoholic. Shuggie’s father Big Shug, a taxi driver, is Agnes’s second husband. She has two children, Catherine and Leek, from her first husband. Agnes and the children live …

Continue reading Shuggie Bain: Douglas Stuart

Flights: Olga Tokarczuk

Translated from Polish by Jennifer CroftPublished by Fitzcarraldo Editions “Clearly I did not inherit whatever gene it is that makes it so that when you linger in a place you start to put down roots. I’ve tried, a number of times but my roots have always been shallow; the littlest breeze could always blow me …

Continue reading Flights: Olga Tokarczuk

Lifting the Veil: Selected Writings of Ismat Chugtai

Selected and translated by M. Asaduddin with additional translations by Ralph RussellPublished by Penguin “In my stories, I’ve put down everything with objectivity. Now, if people find them obscene, let them go to hell. It’s my belief that experiences can never be obscene if they are based on authentic realities of life.”[1] Ismat Chugtai is …

Continue reading Lifting the Veil: Selected Writings of Ismat Chugtai

The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins

Published by Penguin, Bantam Doubleday Dell, Everyman's Library, and Oxford University Press “There, in the middle of the broad, bright high-road—there, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth or dropped from the heaven—stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments; her face bent in …

Continue reading The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins

Station Eleven: Emily St. John Mandel

Published by Random House A performance of King Lear: the actor playing King Lear, Arthur Leander, is forgetting his lines and acting odd. He collapses with a heart attack. The curtain quickly comes down, Jeevan Chaudhary, a paramedic who happens to be in audience, rushes to help him. An ambulance is called, but Arthur dies. …

Continue reading Station Eleven: Emily St. John Mandel

The Thursday Murder Club: Richard Osman

Published by Penguin If you’re looking for a light read with a bit of murder thrown in, then look no further. Richard Osman has written a delightful whodunit, set in an upscale retirement village in the UK. Septuagenarians Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron live at Coopers Chase, a retirement village. They form the Thursday Murder …

Continue reading The Thursday Murder Club: Richard Osman

Black Water Lilies: Michel Bussi

Translated from French by Shaun WhitesidePublished by W&N Giverny: a beautiful, picturesque village in France, known for its most famous resident, the impressionist painter Claude Monet, who is famous for his paintings of water lilies. Artists and tourists flock to the village to see the beautiful gardens that Monet painted. But death appears in even …

Continue reading Black Water Lilies: Michel Bussi