novella

Cover image for The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams: ‘I expected to live with one woman when I got married. Apparently, I live with two.’

It was its structure that attracted me to Ore Agbaje-Williams’ debut. Set over one day, The Three of Us is told from three points of view: a wife, a husband and the best friend who has known the wife since school. Lots of room there for unreliable narrators and tense relationship dynamics. She was the

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Cover image for History. A Mess. by Sigrún Pálsdóttir

History. A Mess. by Sigrún Pálsdóttir (transl. Lytton Smith) ‘This day, after I was redie, I did eate my breakfast’

Given that I live with an historian whose PhD we both suffered through, it was inevitable that I would read Icelandic writer Sigrún Pálsdóttir’s History. A Mess. That and it’s published by the excellent Peirene Press who have recently moved to my hometown. Pálsdóttir’s novella follows an unnamed narrator convinced that she’s discovered the identity

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Cover image for With or Without Angels by Douglas Bruton

With or Without Angels by Dennis Bruton: A beautiful and original response to art

I was intrigued by the blurb for Douglas Bruton’s brief novella, With or Without Angels, which described the book as ‘a response through fiction’ to ‘The New World’ an artwork by the late artist Alan Smith, itself a response to the eighteenth-century artist Giandomenico Tiepolo’s ‘Il Mondo Nuovo’. In his acknowledgements, Bruton explains that after

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Cover image for For Thy Great PainHave Mercy on My Little Pain by Victoria Mackenzie

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy on My Little Pain by Victoria MacKenzie: Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy on My Little Pain is one of those books I suspect I’d not have read if I hadn’t been sent it. Proof that stepping outside your comfort zone often reaps rewards. Victoria MacKenzie’s ambitious debut reimagines the lives of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, both of whose books

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Cover image for Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso

Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso: ‘I felt indistinct, like someone else’s dream’  

Both its blurb and that empty chair on its cover warned me that Sarah Manguso’s Very Cold People was likely to be a bleak read but it was also what attracted me to this brief novella. Set in a small New England town, buttoned up and demarcated between rich and poor, Very Cold People sees

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Cover image for My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson: ’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal’  

Lots of brouhaha surrounding Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello which, as I know from experience, doesn’t always lead to a satisfying read. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to accept when I was offered a copy but decided to give it a try given it’s a Harvill Secker title, one of my favourite lists. Set against

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