British contemporary fiction

Cover image for Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart: ‘He had so little to fear now’

It’s unlikely that readers won’t already know about Booker Prize-winning Douglas Stuart’s new novel. Young Mungo has been all over my Twitter timeline for months. Despite the usual reservations about second novels, I was champing at the bit for a copy then circled around it in the same way I did with Shuggie Bain, suspecting …

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Cover image for The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson

The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson: ‘Hearts are elastic, but only up to a point’ 

Regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that it was the art theme that first drew me to Charlotte Mendelson’s The Exhibitionist but it’s a background note to the overriding one of dysfunctional families, another favourite, and they don’t come much more dysfunctional than the Hanrahans. Mendelson’s novel follows the family over a weekend when …

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Cover image for Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love by Huma Qureshi

Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love by Huma Qureshi: A quietly accomplished collection

I take occasional digs on here at the hype which pervades Twitter where every book is super fabulous but it has to be said I’m often grateful when a book is flagged I might have otherwise missed. Huma Qureshi’s Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love is a case in point. Comprising nine …

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Cover image for The Painter's Friend by Howard Cunnell

The Painter’s Friend by Howard Cunnell: ‘The Source of Art is the Life of a People’

As regular readers will know, I can’t resist a novel with an art theme which is why I put up my hand for a copy of Howard Cunnell’s The Painter’s Friend. That and the memory of the praise heaped upon his memoir, Fathers and Sons, which explored his own relationship with his father as his …

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