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This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’. Literary fiction goes above and beyond any specific genre in order to deliver stories that strike at the heart of what it means to be human.
Shortlisted for the 2013 RSL Ondaatje Prize. A sharp, clever, violent novel spanning the transition of South Africa from apartheid through Truth and Reconciliation to the present as seen by three characters living in those traumatic times. Pacey, it grips attention as it juggles time and person, old and new country and left me deeply saddened by the descriptions of South Africa today and the need for so much personal security. Click here to see Patrick Flanery's new book, Fallen Land, due out in hardback on 1 May 2013. The Lovereading view... This is a very confident debut novel that manages to be literary yet a page-turner at the same time. The author has said that he is influenced by the award winning writer and anyone who has read Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin will find echoes of it in his complex interwoven plot and themes of confronting your past. Interestingly, however, Flanery has said he didn’t read The Blind Assassin until a few months after finishing Absolution. Anecdotes aside this story, set in South Africa, of two novelists sharing a past and one writing the biography of the other is compelling and captivating. Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2012. FROM ARTICLE IN GUARDIAN 26TH NOV 2012. AUTHOR FAVOURITES OF 2012: A S Byatt - 'Patrick Flanery's Absolution (Atlantic) is a wonderfully constructed and gripping novel about betrayal and shadows in South Africa.'
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Justin is from a family of successful property developers. Phoebe has come to China buoyed with hope, but her dreams are shattered within hours as the job she has come for seems never to have existed. Gary is a successful pop artist, but his fans and marketing machine disappear after a bar-room brawl. Yinghui has businesses that are going well but must make decisions about her life. And then there is Walter, the shadowy billionaire, ruthless and manipulative, ultimately alone in the world. In 'Five Star Billionaire', Tash Aw charts the weave of their journeys in the new China, counterpointing their adventures with the old life they have left behind in Malaysia.
March 2013 Debut of the Month. With humour, vivid writing and wry observations about the very different approach and pace of life in rural Australia this book is a real gem of a read. Loretta Boskovic is a single mother with two kids and day-dreams of a better life. She is also passionate about saving the school in her small town Gunapan, in North West Victoria and protecting it from rapacious developers. The Fine Colour of Rust is a glorious, life-affirming novel about friendship, love and fighting for the things that matter most in life no matter how small they are. Highly recommended.
March 2013 Book of the Month. A wonderful book full of political and social comment along with some brilliant characters and an impressive portrayal of the global financial crisis. Add her normal wit and a smattering of the unexpected and you have a major success. And for those of you who enjoyed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka has returned to the characters in that book with a hilarious erotic twist in A Shorter History of Tractors in Ukrainian with Handcuffs, available to download in eBook format. Click here to find out more.
It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each wih different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.
Excelling at character and with a laser sharp interest in small details that brings scenes to life, her follow-up novel to the award winning Saraswati Park tells the story of Leela as she tries to define herself in the world after graduating from Cambridge. It’s vivid, evocative, contemporary writing.
March 2013 Short Story Collection of the Month. Ten elegant, witty yet unsettling short stories explore the dislocations of modern life. From the pain it can bring to the fear of not being cool or in control. Deborah Levy was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize with Swimming Home. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher on Black Vodka and Swimming Home...'In Swimming Home, the ripples just keep on spreading. What first captivated me about this novel was its sure-handed concision, which, instead of warding off strangeness, actually created a space where the real strangeness of life was allowed to show. Yet every time I hear from another excited reader, Swimming Home has shown them something else again: the place of foreignness in different characters, where the madness lies and why, who is tied to whom, new talismanic objects and words, brand-new literary connections, hooking the story back into a great history of stories. The further I plumb this slim fiction, the greater depths it reveals.Which is why Deborah Levy’s new collection, Black Vodka: ten stories, is both a joy and a relief. A joy because that same rare taste for strangeness can be savoured again on every page; a relief because my tightly plotted mental map of Levy’s fathomless world can now open out into a range of new places, new characters and new moods. Many of the stories in Black Vodka obliquely take up themes also in Swimming Home: childhood displacements, psychological connections and disconnections, the burdens of history, the difficulty of staying in love. But they give you new ways of thinking about these things. In a way, Black Vodka allows us to read Levy’s world through a fresh new set of prisms.'Sophie Lewis, Editor, And Other Stories31st January 2013
This compelling, allegorical tale of the transformative power of nature, the devastatingly positive and negative effects of love and the power of feminine beauty is frankly hard to categorise. The writing is evocative and lyrical and the story has more than an echo of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist - we think everyone will get something different out of this novella. A 'Piece of Passion' on The Conception of Zachary Muse from the publisher... 'Jason Hinojosa’s The Conception of Zachary Muse is a story set against the backdrop of natural exuberance and the utmost manifestation of artistic brilliance. The story opens with the birth of Zachary Muse. His mother Evangeline Muse gives birth to her baby and then returns to her home with the newborn and falls asleep beside a man named Will Archer. But it is the first time they embrace and Will Archer promised her that he will love her for the rest of his life. The novel’s twin characters, Thomas Green and Will Archer, both fall in love with Evangeline Muse. As the story moves forward we see visible changes in all characters. Thomas Green’s psyche undergoes a thorough change following his voyeuristic discoveries. Will Archer transforms as a result of his visits to the village prostitute, a battle with a water serpent, and a spiritual healing brought on by a scorpion’s sting. Though Zachary Muse’s parentage remains the central motif of the narrative, the entire story is much more than the revelation of a birth mystery. It offers the readers a complex account of nature’s triumphant influence over man’s life and the genius of artistic manifestation which can both drive a person to insanity or restore him to life. It is story about the power of feminine beauty and the devastating and transformational effect of love.' Suman Chakraborty, Executive Editor, ROMAN Books. Click here to listen to Jason Hinojosa speak about this book.
March 2013 Debut of the Month. A charming and poignant debut that draws you into the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. A widowed postman approaching retirement and a woman trapped in a loveless marriage form an unusual bond through a series of ‘undeliverable’ letters. With a quirky blend of optimism and despair it will have you roaring with laughter on one page and reaching for the tissues on the next. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Lost and Found a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I can’t remember the last time I read a novel that made me laugh this much, although much of the tale is actually touching and heart-wrenching, it’s an intoxicating cocktail.' Scroll down to read more reviews.
One of our Books of the Year 2013. A beautifully written, inspiring love story and fairy tale. Originally written in German it has had huge international success and is now being published in the UK. Julia Winn’s father disappears without a trace, the only clue to his whereabouts is a love letter written to a woman in Burma. The story, set in present-day New York and 1950s Burma, is what she discovers about her father and herself. March 2013 Debut of the Month. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Art of Hearing Heartbeats a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'a magical story of love, loss, superstition, perseverance and family obligation...I loved this novel and recommend it wholeheartedly' Scroll down to read more reviews.
Bach, sculpture, plastic surgery, public speaking and a New York love story like no other - this is Lucy Ellmann's most extraordinary work of art to date It's Christmas Eve in Manhattan. Harrison Hanafan, noted plastic surgeon, falls on his ass. 'Ya can't sit there all day, buddy, looking up people's skirts!' chides a weird gal in a coat like a duvet. She then kindly conjures the miracle of a taxi. While recuperating with Franz Schubert, Bette Davis, and a foundling cat, Harrison adds items to his life's work, a List of Melancholy Things (puppetry, shrimp-eating contests, Walmart...) before going back to rhinoplasties, liposuction, and the peccadilloes of his obnoxious colleagues. Then Harrison collides once more with the strangely helpful woman, Mimi, who bursts into his life with all her curves and chaos. They soon fall emphatically in love. And, as their love-making reaches a whole new kind of climax, the sweet smell of revolution is in the air.
February 2013 Book of the Month. With characters just leaping off the page you can’t help but get lost in this well written, sharply observed and bittersweet story of a middle-aged Mother’s realisation that the life she has, while great on the surface isn’t really making her happy. Having spent all her life supporting her husband and family and always compromising herself for the sake of family harmony, Mia Channing is frankly emotionally exhausted - even though on the surface it looks as if she pretty much has it all. One argument too many and the arrival of a newcomer in the village tips Mia’s life on to a new, uncharted course that will take real courage to navigate.Perfect for readers of Maeve Binchy or Cathy Kelly.
Insightful, International, Thought-provoking
Literary fiction is a bit of a “catch-all” phrase. Some call it “Serious Fiction” but we prefer to think of it as all of the greatest stories ever told, all in one place. This is where you will find literary classics from literary masters past and present.
Why not have a look at our monthly featured titles for inspiration? Revisit old friends? Discover new ones? Or finally read that book that your friends have been banging on about for ages? Whatever your reasons, settle down with your favourite tipple, unwind and open your mind with the home-spun brilliance of authors like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, David Nicholls and Zadie Smith; or those from further afield: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Ben Okri, Jostein Gaarder and so many more. There are obviously so many to choose from, you could get lost in the Sea of Choices.
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: