There’s something in the water of Con Dao.
To the locals, a monster.
To the newly minted corporate owners of the island, an opportunity.
To the team of three sent to study and protect, a revelation.
Here developed, for an unknown number of years, the first known sentient species beyond humans in the modern era.
Their minds are unlike ours.
Their bodies are malleable, transformable, shifting.
They can communicate.
And they want us to leave.
When pioneering marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen is offered the chance to travel to the remote Con Dao Archipelago to investigate a highly intelligent, dangerous octopus species, she doesn’t pause long enough to look at the fine print. She will be the only scientist to have access to these octopuses, who just may hold the key to extrahuman intelligence.
DIANIMA- a transnational tech corporation best known for its groundbreaking work in artificial intelligence – has purchased the islands, evacuated their population and sealed the archipelago off from the world so that Nguyen can attempt to understand the octopuses’ sophisticated communications. But she may not have much time. Forces larger and more powerful than DIANIMA want access to the octopuses and are ruthless and innovative in their pursuit.
And meanwhile, of course, the octopuses themselves may have something to say about it…
‘No other thriller writer can make you break into a sweat and break your heart at the same time’
Leyli Maal is a beautiful Malian woman, mother of three, living in a tiny apartment on the outskirts of Marseille.
Her quiet life as a well-integrated immigrant is suddenly shaken when her beautiful eldest daughter, Bamby, becomes the main suspect in two murders linked to a lethal illegal immigration racket.
Is Bamby really involved? And why is everyone desperate to get their hands on Leyli’s mysterious red notebook?
At forty-three, Christina Lennox thought her future was settled: marriage to Ed, children, a house of their own.
But this is not that future: her marriage has ended, fractured by the stress of five rounds of IVF and two miscarriages. Overwhelmed by grief and disappointment, Ed has relocated to San Francisco and Christina’s dream of becoming a mother rests on persuading him to let her go ahead with one final round of IVF, using the last frozen embryo they have stored at the clinic.
But when Ed drops a bombshell that threatens to undo everything Christina has strived for, she is forced, once again, to realign her plans: is this the end of her dream, or an opportunity to consider a different – perhaps happier – version of her future?
‘An extraordinary novel, spiny and delicate, scathingly funny and wildly moving’
Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies
‘Sarah Thankam Mathews’ prose is undeniable . . . she captures the sneaky, unsaying parts of longing’
Raven Leilani, author of Luster
‘Some books are merely luminous . . . this one is iridescent’
Susan Choi, author of Trust Exercise
‘This is not a story about work or precarity. I am trying, late in the evening, to say something about love, which for many of us is not separable from the other shit.’
All This Could be Different introduces us to Sneha. A recent college graduate freshly arrived in Milwaukee, she occupies her days with rote, stressful work as a young consultant for a battery production corporation. She is, as her boss reminds her, a “contractor, no benefits.”
Her nights are spent ordering furniture off the internet, trying out the newfangled invention of dating apps, and avoiding confrontation with the terrifying property manager who lives below her. But the rewards are bountiful: the vertigo of young life in a new and expanding city, a budding friendship with the charismatic and freewheeling Tig, a quiet obsession with Marina, a ballet dancer who she runs into again and again, and the ability to send money by wire transfer to her parents two oceans away in India. Piece by piece she gathers and nurtures the fragments of a good life. But then the walls start to creep in…
Translated by Julia Sanches.
‘A rich and prophetic world of women and low, grey clouds that merge with the sea. Pure poetry’ Pilar Quintana
‘Andrea Abreu is a lively meteorite in the landscape of Hispanic Literature’ Fernanda Melchor
‘I am overwhelmed. What a marvellous book, what a miracle’ Sara Mesa
It is June and Shit is sad. She knows she will not get to leave her neighbourhood that summer, and the beach is far, far away. And that clouds like the bottom of a donkey’s belly will hover all summer over her town, high among the volcanoes of northern Tenerife.
But Shit – our nine-year-old narrator – has a best friend, Isora. Shit likes everything about Isora. The colour of her arms and her hair and her eyes. Her handwriting and the way she wrote the letter g with a huge tail. The way she called her shit because poop was a beautiful thing like the mist round the pines. But she envies her too. Envies her grits and gut. The way she talks to grown ups. The fact that she had got her period and had pubes on her minky.
As the summer goes on, Shit finds it increasingly hard to keep up with Isora – one year older and growing up at full tilt without her. When Shit’s submissiveness veers into obsession and a painful sexual awakening, desire becomes indistinguishable from intimate violence. Braiding prose poetry with bachata lyrics and the gritty humour of Canary dialect, Dogs of Summer is a brutal picture of girlhood in the 90s and a story, told with exquisite yearning, of a friendship that simmers into erotic desire over the course of one hot summer.
‘Although he writes about queer lives and loves in Nigeria, Arinze Ifeakandu’s voice is sensually alert to the human and universal in every situation. These quietly transgressive stories are the work of a brilliant new talent’
DAMON GALGUT, Booker Prize-winning author of The Promise
‘Magic in motion… Arinze writes like a composer or an orchestral director, bringing notes together to form a staggering, heartshattering show’
ELOGHOSA OSUNDE, author of Vagabonds!
‘These stories are written with raw tender grace. They dramatize what love is like in a time when love is under siege… It is clear from this book that a serious literary talent has emerged’
COLM TÓIBÍN, author of The Magician
In this stunning debut from one of Nigeria’s most promising young writers, the stakes of love meet a society in flux
A man revisits the university campus where he lost his first love, aware now of what he couldn’t understand then.
A daughter returns home to Lagos after the death of her father, where she must face her past – and future -relationship with his longtime partner.
A young musician rises to fame at the risk of losing himself and the man who loves him.
Generations collide, families break and are remade, languages and cultures intertwine, and lovers find their ways to futures; from childhood through adulthood; on university campuses, city centres, and neighbourhoods where church bells mingle with the morning call to prayer.
These nine stories of queer male intimacy brim with simmering secrecy, ecstasy, loneliness and love in their depictions of what it means to be gay in contemporary Nigeria. A debut of emotional charge, marking a compassionate, important new voice in fiction.
‘The most exquisite kind of literature… I’ve put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that can never be fully exhausted – books that demand to be revisited every now and then. ‘
Olga Tokarczuk, author of The Books of Jacob and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
‘In equal measure playful and profound, Georgi Gospodinov’s Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it’
Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs
‘Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book’
Dave Eggers, author of The Circle
‘A powerful and brilliant novel: clear-sighted, foreboding, enigmatic. A novel in which the future gives way like a rotten beam and the past rushes in like a flood’
Sandro Veronesi, author of The Hummingbird
‘A trickster at heart, and often very funny… Gospodinov is one of the leading writers in Europe: every book is an event’
Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker
In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a ‘clinic for the past’ that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time.
As Gaustine’s assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a ‘time shelter’, hoping to escape from the horrors of our present – a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present.
Intricately crafted, and eloquently translated by Angela Rodel, Time Shelter cements Georgi Gospodinov’s reputation as one of the indispensable writers of our times, a major voice in international literature.
Georgi Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most acclaimed writers. Originally from Bulgaria, his novels have won his country’s most prestigious literary prize twice and have been shortlisted for more than a dozen international prizes – including the 2015 PEN Literary Award for Translation, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the Premio Strega Europeo, the Bruecke Berlin Preis, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Literaturpreis. He has won the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the 2019 Angelus Literature Central Europe Prize and the 2021 Premio Strega Europeo, among others.
We join San in 1970s rural South Korea, a young girl ostracised from her community. She meets a girl called Namae, and they become friends until one afternoon changes everything. Following a moment of physical intimacy in a minari field, Namae violently rejects San, setting her on a troubling path of quashed desire and isolation.
We next meet San, aged twenty-two, as she starts a job in a flower shop. There, we are introduced to a colourful cast of characters, including the shop’s mute owner, the other florist Su-ae, and the customers that include a sexually aggressive businessman and a photographer, who San develops an obsession for. Throughout, San’s moment with Namae lingers in the back of her mind.
A story of desire and violence about a young woman who everyone forgot, VIOLETS is a captivating and sensual read, full of tragedy but also beauty in its lush, vibrant prose.
“[VIOLETS] binds a spell around the reader until the very end” Park Wanseo
“I always find myself acting out the main character in my mind when I read Kyung-Sook Shin’s novels. Reading VIOLETS is like she’s writing a script written perfectly for me” Doona Bae, actor (Netflix’s SENSE8, CLOUD ATLAS)
“The story of thwarted desires and the isolated individuals that harbor them… clean prose filled with Shin’s trademark rich descriptions” Korea Economic Daily
EVENING STANDARD‘S ‘BEST FICTION BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2022’
What do you do, when you find the perfect family…
…and it’s not yours?
‘Rare and delightful . . . A beautifully crafted novel about female relationships. I couldn’t put this book down’
The only thing Abi ever wanted was a proper family. So when she falls pregnant by an Australian exchange student in London, she cannot pack up her old life in Croydon fast enough, to start all over in Sydney and make her own family.
It is not until she arrives, with three-week-old Jude in tow, that Abi realises Stu is not quite ready to be a father after all. And he is the only person she knows in this hot, dazzling, confusing city, where the job of making friends is turning out to be harder than she thought.
That is, until she meets Phyllida, her wealthy, charming, imperious older neighbour, and they become almost like mother and daughter.
If only Abi had not told Phil that teeny tiny small lie, the very first day they met…
‘Private eye Philip Marlowe is transplanted into 21st-century Los Angeles in this tongue-in-cheek tribute to the classic works of Raymond Chandler… The wisecracking dialogue, outlandish characters and vicious slapstick make The Goodbye Coast a joy to read from the very first page’
‘A terrific read – pacy, with tension, pathos, wonderful descriptions of LA and some lovely one-liners’
‘Sunshine and skullduggery, movie stars and mayhem – Joe Ide brings us Philip Marlowe who wears our twenty-first century like a well-cut suit’
‘How the hell do you write a mystery about Philip Marlowe, set it in Los Angeles, and still make it a total gobsmacking original? That’s the miracle of Joe Ide’s The Goodbye Coast. Ide has created a Philip Marlowe for the 2020s’
‘Not so much a reimagining of Chandler’s world as a reinvigoration. By transplanting Philip Marlowe to 2021 LA, Joe Ide has chiseled off the rust while keeping the soul of one of American fiction’s icons. The Goodbye Coast is a blast from start to finish’
The seductive and relentless figure of Raymond Chandler’s detective, Philip Marlowe, is vividly re-imagined in present-day Los Angeles
Los Angeles – a city of scheming Malibu actresses, ruthless gang members, virulent inequality and washed-out police.
Roaming the city streets is Philip Marlowe: a quiet, lonely, remarkably capable private detective, living beneath the shadow of his father – a once-decorated LAPD homicide detective now drinking his life away.
Marlowe’s latest client is tyrannical starlet Kendra James. Kendra’s husband was fatally shot near their Malibu home, but even though that murder remains unresolved, the actress is more interested in tracking down her 17-year-old stepdaughter, who hasn’t been seen for weeks.
But things get complicated after Marlowe lands a second missing person search from British academic Ren Stewart, whose ex-husband has kidnapped their seven-year-old son.
Steeped in the richly detailed ethnic neighborhoods of modern LA, Ide’s The Goodbye Coast is a bold recreation that is viciously funny, ingeniously plotted, and surprisingly tender.
‘Talent is rare, which is why I let out a big yippee reading Andrew Lipstein’s Last Resort… Excellent’
‘You won’t read a more brilliantly executed literary romp this year’
‘A funny, fast-paced literary satire’
‘Incredibly entertaining… Lipstein milks the comedy of [his character’s] traits almost as well as Kingsley Amis did in Lucky Jim‘
New York Times, Editor’s Choice
‘If you’ve ever wondered where writers get their ideas from, Last Resort is wicked fun… A deliciously absurd comedy about literary fame’
‘One of the best endings in recent memory… You’ll think about Last Resort for weeks after you read the last pages’
Los Angeles Times
‘So horribly delicious that the reader won’t even dream of looking away’
LitHub, Most Anticipated Books of 2022
‘If Less by Andrew Sean Greer left a hole in your life, good news: Last Resort will fill it. Fast and funny, it feels like a backstage pass to the book world’
Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss
‘Fun and witty… Caleb Horowitz is exactly the kind of character I love to hate’
Claire Fuller, Costa Novel Award winner of Unsettled Ground
‘Wickedly funny: I loved it’
Patrick Gale, author of Mother’s Boy
‘A rare accomplishment: a novel of ideas – about art, authorship, money, ethics – with the momentum of a great thriller’
Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind
When a bestseller-to-be cuts too close to reality, its author must make a Faustian bargain – both on the page and in real life
Caleb Horowitz is twenty-seven, and his wildest dreams are about to come true. His manuscript has caught the attention of the literary agent, who offers him fame, fortune and a taste of the literary life. He can’t wait for his book to be shopped around to every editor in New York, except one: Avi Dietsch, a college rival and the novel’s ‘inspiration.’
When Avi gets his hands on the manuscript, he sees nothing but theft – and opportunity. And so Caleb is forced to make a Faustian bargain, one that tests his theories of success, ambition and the limits of art.
A blazing debut novel blurring the lines of fact and fiction: a thrilling story of fame, fortune, and impossible choices.
‘Warm and uplifting storytelling: a delightful treat’
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
‘If you’re not in the Yuletide mood yet, you will be after this’
‘An ode to the strange and wonderful time that is Christmas’
‘A novel that’s sure to warm the heart of any Scrooge’
‘Tender and moving, Gifts is infused with Christmas magic – that bittersweet mix of joy, yearning, sadness and hope that accompanies the festive season’
‘A gorgeous festive tale… Beautifully written and highly emotionally intelligent’
‘I loved The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett and her new novel is just as wonderful… The ideal warm, bittersweet read to get you in the festive spirit’
‘Full of warmth, poignancy and a huge dose of Christmas spirit’
One Christmas to remember
Maddy runs the bookshop on Market Square. She’s struggling to choose a gift (a watch? a wine subscription? a weekend bag? all too much?) for her old school friend Peter, who’s just moved back from London following a messy divorce.
Peter doesn’t have a clue what to get for his teenage daughter Chloe – furious with her mother, she’s decided to up sticks and move to Kent with him, but he worries that he really doesn’t know her at all.
Chloe wants to buy something special for her grandmother Irene, who lives alone on the other side of town.
Irene doesn’t get out much these days, but she’d really like to find the right gift for Alina, who’s so much more than a carer, really – always stops to chat for a bit, have a cup of tea, even if it makes her late.
And Alina, meanwhile, has her eye on something for…
From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Versions of Us comes a novel about how wonderful and sad and difficult and happy and strange Christmas can be. Stories to inspire, move and comfort.
‘He felt it: the lightness, the expansiveness, the anticipation, the sense that something good was coming. And it was, wasn’t it – though the world was still licking its collective wounds and there was still suffering everywhere, suffering and loneliness and sadness. Despite all this, it was good: it was kindness, it was giving without thought of recompense, it was light in the darkness’