Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's thoughtful second novel portrays a marriage in crisis following a suspected suicide attempt. It was shortlisted for the title of novel of the year at the UK's Costa Book Awards in 2019, and released in the US in early 2020.
Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn spoke to the author to find out more.
A rollicking work of political satire. Enter the Aardvark lampoons the hypocrisy of the American right, in the form of Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson – for whom the arrival of a taxidermied aardvark in the mail triggers a chain of events that threaten to ruin his career. From the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Convalescents and the multimedia love story Chopsticks.
The new, highly anticipated novel from the author of the bestselling Dept. of Speculation is a fantastically wise, fragmentary work of fiction about life and parenthood in the face of climatological crisis.
A sparkling debut novel from a young British author about a collective of hungry women who meet secretly, in the middle of the night to feast until they are sick. The project is a statement of intent: it is time, they say, to throw off restraint and take up the space that they deserve. This is a novel that will appeal to fans of Nora Ephron's Heartburn and Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends.
**The Testaments was the joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize**
Publication of The Testaments has been, without a doubt, the literary event of 2019. Margaret Atwood's much-anticipated sequel to her seminal feminist dystopia The Handmaid's Talewas shortlisted for the Booker before it was released, and published to global fanfare and almost universal acclaim in September.
Set 15 years after the close of The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments is narrated by Aunt Lydia – who readers will remember as a cruel instructor during the handmaids' induction programme – and two younger women, Agnes and Daisy.
Writing in the Guardian, Anne Enright reminded us of Atwood's extraordinary prescience in her imagining of Gilead back in 1986. Endlessly invoked by commentators considering the political turmoil in today's troubled world, The Handmaid's Tale has never seemed more relevant. The Testaments promises more of the same. “If she was right in 1985,” Enright assures us, “she is more right today.”
Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) is the 5th book in a series featuring Cormoran Strike, a British war veteran who sets up a detective agency in London after losing his leg in a roadside explosion in Afghanistan. The series is one of the most intelligent out there for fans of crime fiction. If you're new to the books, we recommend reading the series in order, as it's a lot about the evolution of the relationship between the two main characters.