Cover image for Royals by Emma Forrest

Paperbacks to Look Out For in June 2021: Part One

A multitude of paperback goodies to look out for this June, several of which fell foul of the pandemic-induced schedule changes that have bedevilled both authors and publishers for well over a year, including the paperback edition of Emma Forrest’s Royals delayed since June 2020. Forrest’s novel is about a working-class Jewish boy drawn into …

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Cover image for Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (transl. by the author): ’Solitude: it’s become my trade’

Four years ago, I was sent a book by Jhumpa Lahiri which had intrigued me when I saw it listed as a translated work. In Other Words is her account of a passion for the Italian language so intense she uprooted her family from the US so that she could immerse herself in it. The …

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Cover image for Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane

Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane: A startlingly good debut

I first noticed Ailsa McFarlane’s Highway Blue in The Observer’s ’10 Best Debuts of 2021’ feature at the beginning of the year. Inevitably, given my weakness for first novels, several titles expanded my TBR list but McFarlane’s is the first I’ve read. Highway Blue follows Anne Marie and her estranged husband Cal who are on …

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Cover image for Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien

Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien (transl. Jamie Bulloch): Take five women

I was delighted to spot Daniela Krien’s gorgeously jacketed Love in Five Acts in my Twitter timeline towards the end of last year. I’d read the haunting Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything back in 2015 which feels like an age ago now – pre-Brexit, pre-Trump and pre-pandemic. Born in the GDR, Krien was a …

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