LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE A GUARDIAN NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even the Dogs. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family''s loss. Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods - mating and fighting, hunting and dying. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger''s tragedy refuse to subside.
A top ten New York Times bestseller. With the haunting emotional power of American Dirt and the atmospheric suspense of Where the Crawdads Sing : a compulsive debut novel that explores the aftershock of a brutal crime on the women of a small Texas oil town. ''The very definition of a stunning debut'' Ann Patchett ''Amazing ... like a grimmer, newer version of To Kill A Mockingbird ... It sounds bleak, and it is, but there is beauty, too; in the landscape, in the spirit of some of the people and most of all in Wetmore''s wonderful writing'' Wendy Holden, Daily Mail Mercy is hard in a place like this. I wished him dead before I ever saw his face... In a place like Odessa, Texas choosing who to trust can be a dangerous game. Mary Rose Whitehead isn''t looking for trouble - but when it shows up at her front door, she finds she can''t turn away. Corinne Shepherd, newly widowed, wants nothing more than to mind her own business, and for everyone else to mind theirs. But when the town she has spent years rebelling against closes ranks she realises she is going to have to take a side. Gloria Ramirez, fourteen years old and out of her depth, survives the brutality of one man only to face the indifference and prejudices of many. When justice is as slippery as oil, and kindness becomes a hazardous act, sometimes courage is all we have to keep us alive.
Gus Vorhees is a pioneer in the advancement of women''s reproductive rights and a controversial abortion provider in the American Midwest. One morning as he arrives at his clinic, he is ambushed by a hardline Christian, Luther Dunphy, and shot dead. This action leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Vorhees, who are affluent, highly educated, secular and pro-choice, and the Dunphys, their opposite on all counts. When the daughters of the two families, Naomi Vorhees and Dawn Dunphy, glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together forever by what has happened, and throughout the years to come and the events that follow - including the eventual execution of Luther Dunphy after years on Death Row - neither can quite forget the other. A heart-rending reckoning with some of the complex issues that divide America in our troubled times - religious extremism; a woman''s rights over her body; gun violence; capital punishment - this is a novel Joyce Carol Oates was born to write. To read it is to encounter the full spectrum of humanity - its ugliness, misery, beauty and hope.
A Stylist Best Book of 2020 You''re free to decide your future. But how do you escape the ghosts of the past? A stunning debut novel with echoes of Yaa Gyasi''s Homegoing and Sara Collins'' The Confessions of Frannie Langton The pale-skinned, black-eyed baby is a bad omen. That''s one thing the people on the old plantation are sure of. The other is that Miss Rue - midwife, healer, crafter of curses - will know what to do. But for once Rue doesn''t know. Times have changed since her mother Miss May Belle held the power to influence the life and death of her fellow slaves. Freedom has come. The master''s Big House lies in ruins. But this new world brings new dangers, and Rue''s old magic may be no match for them. When sickness sweeps across her tight-knit community, Rue finds herself the focus of suspicion. What secrets does she keep amidst the charred remains of the Big House? Which spells has she conjured to threaten their children? And why is she so wary of the charismatic preacher man who promises to save them all? Rue understands fear. It has shaped her life and her mother''s before her. And now she knows she must face her fears - and her ghosts - to find a new way forward for herself and her people. Conjure Women is a story of the lengths we''ll go to save the ones we love, from a stunning new voice in fiction.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN''S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017 A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR An American myth and a contemporary portrait of the scars of the past that run through a family, and of our desperate need to escape our history, to subsume it with pleasure - or to rise above it with glory. ''You and I are family. Blood and treasure. Listen to me, I created this world with my own two hands, and I am going to leave it all to you.'' Hellsmouth, an indomitable thoroughbred filly, runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky''s oldest and most powerful dynasties. Henry Forge has partnered with his daughter, Henrietta, in an endeavour of raw obsession: to breed the next superhorse. But when Allmon Shaughnessy, an ambitious young black man, comes to work on their farm after a stint in prison, the violence of the Forges'' history and the exigencies of appetite are brought starkly into view. Entangled by fear, prejudice, and lust, the three tether their personal dreams of glory to the speed and grace of Hellsmouth. A spiralling tale of wealth and poverty, racism and rage, The Sport of Kings is an unflinching portrait of lives cast in shadow by the enduring legacy of slavery. A vital new voice, C. E. Morgan has given life to a tale as mythic and fraught as the South itself - a moral epic for our time.
A murderer''s confession - devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable - which reveals a story of class, education and the inescapable workings of destiny. Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone, but delivers them only to a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh. In the tradition of Camus and Houellebecq, Ah Hock''s vivid and compelling description of the years building up to this appalling act of violence - told over several days to a local journalist whose life has taken a different course - is a portrait of an outsider like no other, an anti-nostalgic view of human life and the ravages of hope. It is the work of a writer at the peak of his powers.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.
From bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, a taut and fascinating novel examining the mysteries of human memory and personality In 1965, a young research scientist named Margot Sharpe meets Elihu Hoopes, the subject of her study, a handsome amnesiac who cannot remember anything beyond the last seventy seconds. Over the course of thirty years, the two embark on mirroring journeys of self-discovery. Margot, enthralled by her charming, mysterious, and deeply lonely patient, as well as her officious supervisor, attempts to unlock Eli''s shuttered memories of a childhood trauma without losing her own sense of identity in the process. And Eli, haunted by memories of an unknown girl''s body underneath the surface of a lake, pushes to finally know himself once again, despite potentially devastating consequences. As Margot and Eli meet over and over again, Joyce Carol Oates'' tightly written, nearly clinical prose propels the lives of these two characters forwards, both suspended in a dream-like, shadowy present, and seemingly balanced on the thinnest, sharpest of lines between past and future. Made vivid by Oates'' eye for detail and searing insight into the human psyche, The Man Without a Shadow is an eerie, ambitious, and structurally complex novel, as poignant as it is thrilling.
From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks - writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles Here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies'' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters'' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage.
Two generations of an American family come of age - one before 9/11, one after - in this moving and original novel from the ''intellectually restless, uniquely funny'' ( New York Times Book Review ) mind of Nell Zink Pam, Daniel, and Joe might be the worst punk band on the Lower East Side. Struggling to scrape together enough cash and musical talent to make it, they are waylaid by surprising arrivals - a daughter for Pam and Daniel, a solo hit single for Joe. As the ''90s wane, the three friends share in one another''s successes, working together to elevate Joe''s superstardom and raise baby Flora. On September 11, 2001, the city''s unfathomable devastation coincides with a shattering personal loss for the trio. In the aftermath, Flora comes of age, navigating a charged political landscape and discovering a love of the natural world. Joining the ranks of those fighting for ecological conservation, Flora works to bridge the wide gap between powerful strategists and ordinary Americans, becoming entangled ever more intimately with her fellow activists along the way. And when the country faces an astonishing new threat, Flora''s family will have no choice but to look to the past - both to examine wounds that have never healed, and to rediscover strengths they have long forgotten. At once an elegiac takedown of today''s political climate and a touching invocation of humanity''s goodness, Doxology offers daring revelations about America''s past and possible future that could only come from Nell Zink, one of the sharpest novelists of our time.
As broadcast on BBC radio 4: the fifteen ''prequel'' stories to Reservoir 13. ''He leaves behind all other writers of his generation'' Sarah Hall Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. But the aftershocks of Becky Shaw''s disappearance have origins long before then, and those in the village have losses, and secrets, and stories of their own... A woman remembers a son''s inexperience - and a father''s rage; a young wife pushes against the boundaries of her marriage, whilst an older one finds ways to ensure the survival of hers. A hunt for a birthday present takes an alarming turn, and a teenage game grows serious. Fresh hurts open old wounds, salvation comes from unexpected quarters and chance encounters release long-buried memories. First broadcast as a series of specially-commissioned stories on BBC Radio 4, The Reservoir Tapes returns to the territory of the Booker-longlisted Reservoir 13, revealing the web of connections that bind us, and the many layers on which we all build our truths.
Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed, reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. Rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother''s basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away - the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder - are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.
Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay , Manhood for Amateurs and Moonglow , returns with a collection of heartfelt, humorous and insightful essays on the meaning of fatherhood. You are born into a family and those are your people, and they know you and they love you and if you are lucky they even, on occasion, manage to understand you. And that ought to be enough. But it is never enough What are you allowed to talk about with your children? When to step in with advice, when to let them make their own mistakes? It''s more complicated than you think. Somehow you muddle through. In this heartfelt, humorous and wise book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon attempts to weigh in on difficult conversations with his children, on everything from texting girls to death. But it is when he hangs back that he catches them transforming into their own people. What emerges is a father''s deep respect for his children''s passions and for their bravery in the face of conformity. Whether you know the joy and struggles of being a father, or were shaped by one, you will find a home in these stunning essays.
1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, the residents flee to the villages. Ellen Parr finds a girl sleeping, unclaimed at the back of a bus. When Ellen takes Pamela into her home the child cracks open the past she thought she had escaped and the future she and her husband had dreamed for themselves. Love grows, but with the end of war comes the realization that Pamela was never theirs to keep.
A powerful debut set in Belfast and London in the latter years of the twentieth century. The Troubles turned Northern Ireland into a ghost factory: as the manufacturing industry withered, the death business boomed. In trying to come to terms with his father''s sudden death, and the attack on his harmless best friend Titch, Jacky is forced to face the bullies who still menace a city scarred by conflict. After he himself is attacked, he flees to London to build a new life. But even in the midst of a burgeoning love affair he hears the ghosts of his past echoing, pulling him back to Belfast, crying out for retribution and justice. Written with verve and flair, and spiked with humour, The Ghost Factory marks the arrival of an auspicious new talent.
''Joan Didion at a startup'' Rebecca Solnit ''Impossibly pleasurable'' Jia Tolentino ''This is essential reading'' Stylist At twenty-five years old, Anna Wiener was beginning to tire of her assistant job in New York publishing. There was no room to grow, and the voyeuristic thrill of answering someone else''s phone had worn thin. Within a year she had moved to Silicon Valley to take up a job at a data analytics startup in San Francisco. Leaving her business casual skirts and shirts in the wardrobe, she began working in company-branded T-shirts. She had a healthy income for the first time in her life. She felt like part of the future. But a tide was beginning to turn. People were speaking of tech startups as surveillance companies. Out of sixty employees, only eight of her colleagues were women. Casual sexism was rife. Sexual harassment cases were proliferating. And soon, like everyone else, she was addicted to the internet, refreshing the news, refreshing social media, scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Slowly, she began to realise that her blind faith in ambitious, arrogant young men from America''s soft suburbs wasn''t just her own personal pathology. It had become a global affliction. Uncanny Valley is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of our generation''s very own gold rush. It''s a story about the tension between old and new, between art and tech, between the quest for money and the quest for meaning - about how our world is changing forever.
WINNER OF THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2019 AN ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEAR A CBC BOOK OF THE YEAR The extraordinary story of an indomitable 95-year-old woman - and of the most extraordinary century in Ethiopia''s history. A new Wild Swans A hundred years ago, a girl was born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar. Before she was ten years old, Yetemegnu was married to a man two decades her senior, an ambitious poet-priest. Over the next century her world changed beyond recognition. She witnessed Fascist invasion and occupation, Allied bombardment and exile from her city, the ascent and fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, revolution and civil war. She endured all these things alongside parenthood, widowhood and the death of children. The Wife''s Tale is an intimate memoir, both of a life and of a country. In prose steeped in Yetemegnu''s distinctive voice and point of view, Aida Edemariam retells her grandmother''s stories of a childhood surrounded by proud priests and soldiers, of her husband''s imprisonment, of her fight for justice - all of it played out against an ancient cycle of festivals and the rhythms of the seasons. She introduces us to a rich cast of characters - emperors and empresses, scholars and nuns, Marxist revolutionaries and wartime double agents. And through these encounters she takes us deep into the landscape and culture of this many-layered, often mis-characterised country - and the heart of one indomitable woman.
Back at dinner, somebody said that the goose thinks it''s a dog. No, it doesn''t. It doesn''t think it''s a dog. The goose doesn''t think. The goose just is. And what the goose is is goose. But goose is not goose, Robert thinks. Even the goose isn''t goose. In Good Trouble , the first story collection from Joseph O''Neill, author of Netherland , characters are forced to discover exactly who they are, and who they can never quite be. There''s Rob, who swears he is a dependable member of society, but can''t scrape together a character reference to prove that''s the case. And Jayne, who has no choice but to investigate a strange noise downstairs while her husband lies glued to the bed with fear. A mother tries to find where she fits into her son''s new life of semi-soft rind-washed cheeses, and a poet tries to fathom what makes a poet. Do you even have to write poetry? Packed with O''Neill''s trademark acerbic humour, Good Trouble explores the maddening and secretly political space between thoughts and deeds, between men and women, between goose and not-goose.
A momentous memoir of childhood and adolescence from one of our finest and most beloved writers, as we''ve never seen her before. In The Lost Landscape, Joyce Carol Oates vividly recreates the early years of her life, powerfully evoking the romance of childhood and the way it colours everything that comes after. With memories ranging from her first friendships to her first experiences with death, this is an arresting account of the ways in which Oates''s life (and her life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and how her later work was influenced by a hard rural upbringing. Oates renders her memories and emotions with exquisite precision and transports the reader to a bygone place and time - the lost landscape of the writer''s past but also the lost landscapes of our own earliest, and most essential, lives.