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‘A very funny, intelligent, deliberately and engagingly resistant, and moving piece of writing’ Amit Chaudhuri

A ‘recovering writer’ – his first novel having been littered with typos and selling only fifty copies – Frank Jasper is plucked from obscurity in Port Jumbo in Nigeria by Mrs Kirkpatrick, a white woman and wife of an American professor, to attend the prestigious William Blake Program for Emerging Writers in Boston.

Once there, however, it becomes painfully clear that he and the other Fellows are expected to meet certain obligations as representatives of their ‘cultures.’ His colleagues, veterans of residencies in Europe and America, know how to play up to the stereotypes expected of them, but Frank isn’t interested in being the African Writer at William Blake – any anyway, there is another Fellow, Barongo Akello Kabumba, who happily fills that role.

Eventually expelled from the fellowship for ‘non-performance’ and ‘non-participation,’ Frank Jasper sets off on trip to visit his father’s college friend in Nebraska – where he learns not only surprising truths about his father, but also how to parlay his experiences into a lucrative new career once he returns to Nigeria: as a commentator on American life…

Seesaw is an energetic comedy of cultural dislocation – and in its humour, intelligence and piety-pricking, it is a refreshing and hugely enjoyable act of literary rebellion.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo meets Sharp Objects in this internationally bestselling thriller, for fans of Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell

Danish journalist Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying, and she could lose her job over it. And then she receives the first in a series of cryptic letters from an alleged killer.

Anna Kiel is wanted for murder but hasn’t been seen by anyone in three years. When the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered in his apartment, detective Erik Schafer comes up with the first lead. Has Anna Kiel struck again? If so, why does every clue point directly to Heloise Kaldan?

As Heloise starts digging deeper she realises that to tell Anna’s story she will have to revisit her darkest past, and confront the one person she swore she’d never see again…

A 2021 FT and Herald Book of the Year

A deadly flu epidemic sweeps through Moscow, killing hundreds of thousands. Anya and her husband Sergey decide they have no choice but to flee to a lake in the far north of Russia.

Joining them on their journey are her son and father-in-law; Sergey’s ex-wife and son; and their garish neighbours. But then some friends of Sergey show up to complete Anya’s list of people she’d least like to be left with at the end of the civilised world.

As the wave of infection expands from the capital, their food and fuel start to run low. Menaced both by the harsh Russian winter and by the desperate people they encounter, they must put their hatreds behind them if they’re to have a chance of reaching safety…

Inspired by a real-life flu epidemic in Moscow, To the Lake was a number one bestseller in Russia, and has now appeared in a dozen languages and been adapted into a Netflix TV series.

‘A quietly devastating novel about our failings and how we cope’ Patrick Gale

It’s the late 70s when Marge meets Peg at the Women’s Coffee House, which is less a place to drink coffee than a place where two women can dance together safely. Who knows what draws people to each other? It’s the right time. They’re the right people.

For the next twenty years, they stay together, through the challenges any couple faces and the ones no one expects: a three-night stand refuses to stop standing, threatening to destroy the relationship almost before it starts. Peg’s sister abandons her children, leaving the family to fill in as best they can. With everyday heroism, they do their best with what they’ve got.

Then one day things change, and Marge has to work out what she’s left with – and if she still belongs to the family she’s adopted as her own.

Other People Manage is a novel of great wisdom but light touch about love and loss and family – and how to survive them all.

What would you do if you knew you were going to die?

It’s ten years since a deadly pandemic swept the globe, and five years since the last new recorded case. Society came close to collapse, but a vaccine was found in time, and life is slowly getting back to normal.

But while a vaccine was found, a cure wasn’t. Lukas is one of the last people to contract the disease, and he waits, quarantined, in a camp in the mountains of central Asia. With nothing to do, and no future to speak of, the inmates are imprisoned, yet free to do whatever they want: some create cults; some retreat into themselves; some have sex with whoever they can.

In New York, Rebecca is a scientist who worked on the vaccine. Having lost her partner in the years of chaos, she is obsessed with trying to prevent something similar happening in future, and spends her days trying to engineer ways the virus might evade the vaccine. When she succeeds, she realises she needs people who still have the disease – and there’s only one place she can go to find them.

Intelligent, gripping and human, Quarantine is a novel about how we – as individuals, and as a society – deal with the aftermath of catastrophe.

1870s, the Black Country.

Michael is a miner. But it’s no life for a man.

Michael exhausts himself working two jobs, to send his son Luke to school, so he won’t have to be a miner too.

Down the pit one day, he finds a seam of gold. If he gets it out, he can save his own life, and Luke’s.

But his workmate has other ideas…

Mercia’s Take summons an England in the heat of the industrial revolution, and the lives it took to make it. Gripping, powerful and intense, it is the debut of an astonishing new talent.

‘A powerful, important, unforgettable book’ Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena – a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man – Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

‘SUFFUSED WITH JOY’ Guardian, ‘PROPHETIC’ Daily Mail, ‘BEAUTIFUL’ Scotsman, ‘IMMERSIVE’ IMAGE

Perched on a hill above a village by the sea, the high house has a mill, a vegetable garden and a barn full of supplies.

Caro and her younger half-brother, Pauly, arrive there one day to find it cared for by Grandy and his granddaughter, Sally. Not quite a family, they learn to live together, and care for one another.

But there are limits even to what the ailing Grandy knows about how to survive, and, if the storm comes, it might not be enough.

‘Deeply moving … so grounded in reality and the ordinariness of the lives of this disparate group, that I had to read parts of it through my fingers’ Good Housekeeping Books of the Year

‘A sublime gem of a novel’ Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites

Fifteen years after graduating from Harvard, five close friends on the cusp of middle age are still pursuing an elusive happiness and wondering if they’ve wasted their youthful opportunities. Mariam and Rowan, who married young, are struggling with the demands of family life and starting to regret prioritising meaning over wealth in their careers. Jules, already a famous actor when she arrived on campus, is changing in mysterious ways but won’t share what is haunting her. Eloise, now a professor who studies the psychology of happiness, is troubled by her younger wife’s radical politics. And Jomo, founder of a luxury jewellery company, has been carrying an engagement ring around for months, unsure whether his girlfriend is the one.

The soul searching begins in earnest at their much-anticipated college reunion weekend on the Harvard campus, when the most infamous member of their class, Frederick – senior advisor and son of the recently elected and loathed US President – turns up dead.

Old friends often think they know everything about one another, but time has a way of making us strangers to those we love – and to ourselves…

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Millie Partridge desperately needs a party. So, when her (handsome and charming) ex-colleague Nick invites her to a Hebridean Island for New Year’s Eve, she books her ticket North.

But things go wrong the moment the ferry drops her off. The stately home is more down at heel than Downton Abbey. Nick hasn’t arrived yet. And the other revellers? Politely, they aren’t exactly who she would have pictured Nick would be friends with.

Worse still, an old acquaintance from Millie’s past has been invited, too. Penny Maybury. Millie and Nick’s old colleague. Somebody Millie would rather have forgotten about. Somebody, in fact, that Millie has been trying very hard to forget.

Waking up on New Year’s Eve, Penny is missing. A tragic accident? Or something more sinister? With a storm washing in from the Atlantic, nobody will be able reach the group before they find out.

One thing is for sure – they’re going to see in the new year with a bang.

Tense, moody and claustrophobic, Auld Acquaintance is the unputdownable debut by Sofia Slater.