A major new novel about a gypsy woman exiled for betraying her people, from the prize-winning author of DANCER
The novel begins in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s when Zoli, a young Roma girl, is six years old. The fascist Hlinka guards had driven most of her people out onto the frozen lake and forced them to stay there until the spring, when the ice cracked and everyone drowned – Zoli’s parents, brothers and sisters. Now she and her grandfather head off in search of a ‘company’. Zoli teaches herself to read and write and becomes a singer, a privileged position in a gypsy company as they are viewed as the guardians of gypsy tradition. But Zoli is different because she secretly writes down some of her songs.
With the rise of the Nazis, the suppression of the gypsies intensifies. The war ends when Zoli is 16 and with the spread of socialism, the Roma are suddenly regarded as ‘comrades’ again. Zoli meets Stephen Swann, a man with whom she will have a passionate affair, but who will also betray her. He persuades Zoli to publish some of her work. But when the government try to use Zoli to help them in their plan to ‘settle’ gypsies, her community turns against her. They condemn her to ‘Pollution for Life’, which means she is exiled forever. She begins a journey that will eventually lead her to Italy and a new life.
Zoli is based very loosely on the true story of the Gypsy poet, Papsuza, who was sentenced to a Life of Pollution by her fellow Roma when a Polish intellectual published her poems. But Colum has turned this into so much more – it’s a brilliantly written work that brings the culture and the time to life.
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…
Isaiah Quintabe – IQ for short – has never been more successful, or felt more alone. A series of high-profile wins in his hometown of East Long Beach have made him so notorious that he can hardly go to the corner store without being recognized. Dodson, once his sidekick, is now his full-fledged partner, hell-bent on giving IQ’s PI business some real legitimacy: a Facebook page, and IQ’s promise to stop accepting Christmas sweaters and carpet cleanings in exchange for PI services.
So when a young painter approaches IQ for help tracking down her missing mother, it’s not just the case Isaiah’s looking for, but the human connection. And when his new confidant turns out to be connected to a dangerous paramilitary operation, IQ falls victim to a threat even a genius can’t see coming.
Waiting for Isaiah around every corner is Seb, the Oxford-educated gangster who was responsible for the death of his brother, Marcus. Only, this time, Isaiah’s not alone. Joined by a new love interest and his familiar band of accomplices, IQ is back – and the adventures are better than ever.
Cape Town, 1914. Where a person can be whoever they want to be . . .
Former tutor Piet Barol and singer Stacey Meadows are making a splash in colonial Cape Town. Styling themselves as the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Barol, they have been living by their wits – but as the world drifts towards war, their quest for comfort and riches has brought them close to bankruptcy. With creditors at their heels, their furniture business is imploding and only a major win will save them.
Stacey finds the ideal stooge: a mining magnate with a mansion to furnish. Piet enlists two Xhosa men to lead him into the magical forest of Gwadana, in search of a fabled tree. He needs precious wood, but he doesn’t want to pay for it.
The Natives Land Act has just abolished property rights for the majority of black South Africans, and whole families have been ripped apart. As Piet’s charm, charisma and appetite for risk lead him far beyond the safety of the privileged white world, he does not comprehend the enormous price of the lies he has told, nor where they will lead him . . .
‘A love story of equal parts grit and glamour’
Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers
For Elise and Jamey, real love is not all hearts and flowers. It’s gritty, transgressive, and infuriating. Jamey belongs to New York’s elegant, ferocious elite, and feels ‘owned’ by his privileged background; Elise is from a mixed-race family and is uncensored, brave, idiosyncratic. They meet by chance and the bond is instant, but the situation quickly spins out of control.
Set against the technicolour landscape of mid-80s New York, White Fur is a tale of money, class, sex and family; it questions what we will do to be free, and what it means to love like we might die tomorrow.
‘Brilliantly written and deeply felt’
Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
‘[The] poet laureate of late nights and young love’
Ada Calhoun, author of St Marks is Dead
‘Like A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD written by Tina Fey’ Sam Baker, RED MAGAZINE
Shortlisted for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction
A NEW YORK TIMES bestseller
COMING SOON: The film adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig and Billy Crudup
Bernadette Fox is notorious.
To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she’s his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife.
To fellow mothers at the school gate, she’s a menace.
To design experts, she’s a revolutionary architect.
And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum.
Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s place in the world.
A BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR THE DAILY MAIL AND WOMAN AND HOME
A New York Times ‘Editor’s Pick’
One of the Observer‘s Ten Best Debut Novelists of 2020
Shortlisted for the Author’s Club First Novel Award
Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize
Longlisted for the CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger
‘Enrapturing… This richly imagined novel considers the many permutations of love and what we are capable of doing in its name’ New York Times
‘A brilliant debut’ Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard
‘You’ll have the heart rate of an Olympic hurdler’ Sunday Express
‘I read it with my heart in my throat’ Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton
‘An exquisitely crafted masterpiece you’ll be pressing into the hands of others’ Woman & Home
‘An intoxicatingly atmospheric mystery’ Daily Mail
‘Dark, addictive and eye-opening, this is a brilliant debut’ Stylist
A gripping debut set in modern-day Tokyo and inspired by a true crime, What’s Left of Me Is Yours follows a young woman’s search for the truth about her mother’s life – and her murder.
In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the wakaresaseya (literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings.
When Sato hires Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Sato has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitaro’s job is to do exactly that – until he does it too well.
While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitaro fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter Sumiko’s life.
Told from alternating points of view and across the breathtaking landscapes of Japan, What’s Left of Me Is Yours explores the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.
There is nothing like the love of a parent for a child. But what happens when that love falters?
Deprived of his parents’ love as a child, Antoine is determined to give his son and daughter the perfect childhood he never had. He is a dreamer, an optimist, a man who fell in love at first sight and who believes that he has found the secret to living a happy life.
But when tragedy strikes he becomes someone even he does not recognise. Taken to his lowest point, he performs an act of desperation. But can he find a way back? And what does happiness actually mean?
Provocative, unpredictable, heartbreaking and heartwarming, We Only Saw Happiness is a story about families, the choices we make, and the people we become.
Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher, shortly before his sixteenth birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin’s upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother. Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits his murderous act, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become. But how much is she to blame?
(p) 2006 Orion Publishing Group
‘Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?’
Helena should of course say no. She doesn’t know the man talking to her, she doesn’t know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn’t waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes.
Mancebo, a Tunisian shopkeeper, lives a quiet life manning his grocery near the Sacré-Cœur. But one day he is approached by a woman asking whether he will spy on her boyfriend, who lives in the apartment across the street. To his surprise, Mancebo agrees.
As Helena and Mancebo’s missions overlap, they realise that the City of Light harbours more secrets in its cafés and courtyards than its inhabitants and visitors could possibly suspect . . .
‘An intriguing little mystery’ Books on the 747
‘An absolute delight to read . . . Paris is brought to life on the pages of this exquisite book about identity, finding yourself and the importance of taking a chance on life‘ Brew and Books Review
A playful and inventive work from the bestselling author of SOPHIE’S WORLD.
A box of Latin manuscripts comes to light in an Argentine flea market. An apocryphal invention by some 17th or 18th century scolar, or a transcript of what it appears to be – a hitherto unheard of letter to St Augustine to a woman he renounced for chastity? VITA BREVIS is both an entrancing human document and a fascinating insight into the life and philosophy of St.Augustine. Gaarder’s interpretation of Floria’s letter is as playful, inventive and questioning as SOPHIE’S WORLD.
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