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Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths prize for The Porpoise.

That makes it sound worthy. On the contrary, it is very funny, very readable and one of those novels that expand the possibilities of what a novel can be and do. Chris Ware is one of the great writers of our generation whose graphic novels make most novels both the graphic and the regular kind seem thin and simplistic. Buy it. Buy all his work.

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Make your life larger. Winner of the Rathbones Folio prize for The Perseverance. Choosing three books from such a great year, particularly for poetry collections, is hard but there are three politically and lyrically compelling books that I think will remain relevant in the years ahead.

A high lyric cautionary tale of fascism, which is part poetry, part fable, part play. Winner of the Goldsmiths prize for Ducks, Newburyport. Aboulela, based in Aberdeen, deserves as big a following here as she has in Africa. Or bigger. My advice: dive in. As for my third choice, am I allowed to choose a book I guest edited this year? Winner of the James Tait Black memorial prize for fiction for Crudo. For me, has been a year of fantasy and folk tales, both new and retold, in every age group. Lampie, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, is a girl of great and grumpy courage, with a salty way with words.

So begins a dark-and-stormy-night of a fairytale that I absolutely loved. Now at last we have their voices: wry, lamenting, vengeful, witty, bright, magnificent. Lee is editor of the Willowherb Review , publishing nature writing by writers of colour, including Nina Mingya Powles, winner of the inaugural Nan Shepherd prize. The resulting account of the awakening, distortion and expression of desire in three very different lives is insightful, devastating and utterly unforgettable. By dissecting the techniques governments use to create myths and sow confusion, he shows how the freedom of expression his parents sought when they fled the Soviet Union is now used to justify twisting the truth.

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Volume 1

Determination, grit and humour shine through the writing of reporters who frequently face opposition from their own families. Maybe fiction is the best respite from strife and the ever more difficult daily task of telling facts from falsehoods. Here, myth is not a distraction, but the key to a deeper truth. More stories from the frontline of the NHS that will hit you in the feels and also have you ho-ho-hoing over the festive season.

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Rose seeks freedom, while her brother Rudder seeks redemption. Once a generation the Muse travels to Earth to take our greatest storyteller back with her to battle fear-creatures. But then she mistakes Henry, a shameless plagiarist, for the best and all hell breaks loose.

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My eldest started school in September, so education has been very much on my mind. Covering everything from uniform to off-rolling, this is an incredibly readable memoir of 30 years as an English teacher and poet. Finding the spaces in real history to tell a fictional story is a problem I am very familiar with.

This story of blended families and a house where books come to life would make a perfect Christmas present for any bookish nine- to year-old. Over the last few years I have become fascinated by so-called autofiction: books that read like novels with dialogue, metaphors and precise descriptions but which are also, at some level, memoirs or autobiographies. The text is repetitive and highly disorganised, [2] but its frank discussion of sexual matters and other hidden aspects of Victorian life make it a rare and valuable social document.

According to Steven Marcus, it is virtually the only source for information on London's houses of prostitution, in which Walter spent many hours. It has been described as "one of the strangest and most obsessive books ever written". The first edition was probably printed by Auguste Brancart , [4] [5] in an impression of only 25 copies. In the twentieth century My Secret Life was pirated and reprinted in a number of abridged versions that were frequently suppressed for obscenity.

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In , for example, a New York publisher was arrested for issuing the first three volumes. In the USA it was finally published without censorship in by Grove Press , but in a British printer, Arthur Dobson, was sentenced to two years' prison for producing a UK reprint. It was not until that the work in its entirety was published openly in the UK, by Arrow Books. The identity of "Walter" is unknown. There is no scholarly consensus in favour of any of the candidates proposed. The most commonly suggested author is Henry Spencer Ashbee — He was a book collector, writer, and bibliographer and, from the three volumes he published under his pseudonym Pisanus Fraxi , the expert on erotic books in his day.

Gershon Legman was the first to link "Walter" and Ashbee, in his introduction to the reprints of Ashbee's bibliographies, and the Grove Press edition of My Secret Life included an expanded version of that essay. If Ashbee was not the actual author, it is suggested that he may well have been the compiler of the work's lengthy, detailed, and very imperfect index, and have provided other editorial assistance and help in getting the book into print. On the other hand, Steven Marcus , in his influential The Other Victorians , concluded that the balance of known facts was against Legman's "shrewd and ingenious guess.

The question of how much the book is a record of true experiences whether of Ashbee or another writer , and how much is fiction or erotic fantasy can probably never be fully resolved. Hiram, a slave in Virginia, has the ability to fold physical space like fabric and thus travel instantly to distant points — a skill of great interest to abolitionists. The women in a remote Mennonite community, realizing they have been drugged and raped, must decide whether to fight, flee or forgive. A city founded by members of a slave rebellion copes, in the 21st century, with slapboxing, a cult-like megachurch and some unruly robots.

One of the reigning masters of horror fiction assembles a massive retrospective — 28 chilling, unsettling stories and novellas. Synthesizing cultural and political history, the chief TV critic of The New York Times makes the case that President Donald Trump is television, and not just metaphorically. A linguist details how internet-age digital forces have caused the ways we write, communicate and socialize to evolve With his wryly lucid prose, Bryson documents the attempts, both successful and failed, to learn more about the human body in all its glorious complexity.

Keenly in tune with characters fighting on both sides, Atkinson adeptly shifts perspectives without being overly focused on single representative figures such as George Washington or Lord George Germain. The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist channels classic noir with his dark memoir about unearthing the abuses of Harvey Weinstein and other accused sexual predators.

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  4. A Pisa The Action: A Rip Roaring Journey Through Time?
  5. Creating Christian Granada: Society and Religious Culture in an Old-World Frontier City, 1492–1600.
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  7. The activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author delves into the tricky balance of advocacy and pragmatism she had to negotiate when she worked in the Obama administration. Rubenhold ennobles five Victorian-era women who were best known as victims and, in doing so, rebukes the bloody fixations of the true-crime genre. The prize-winning poet crafts a poignant chronicle of his experiences as a gay black man from the South.

    A Nobel Prize winner collects the stories of typically unheard witnesses in this sweeping piece of documentary literature. The Life and Loves of E. A biography of the beloved English author and poet, whose dramatic life was as striking as her literary output. A World War II-era story about the only woman to lead a major French resistance network challenges outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.


    Risbridger does double duty here, crafting a cookbook and a wellness guide with recipes that function as prescriptions for happiness. An unconventional and accessible treatise on the significance of music made by outcasts and rebels. The two-time Pulitzer winner and Washington Post columnist takes a single day in history and weaves together multiple stories of tragedy, revelation and wonder.

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    Stitching together numerous accounts, Graff allows readers to experience the fateful day in an intimately visceral fashion, starting with the ordinary the sky was gorgeously blue and progressing to confusion, fear, numbness and grief. Packer gives the bully and brilliant diplomat the biography treatment, asking readers who may despise the man to appreciate his skill for doing his job. My Story of Transformation and Hope. Taddeo plunges into the sex lives of three women, teasing out the pleasurable and painful complexities of female desire.

    The New Yorker staff writer delivers an essay collection exploring the myriad modern-day forces deranging us, our ideas and our cultural values. A poet immerses herself in the inferno that is s El Salvador and documents all that she sees, from impoverished peasants to a uniformed butcher who flaunts the ears he collects from his victims.

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