Alice Winn’s debut novel is the story of a forbidden romance set against the backdrop of the First World War. In Memoriam tells the tale of Henry Gaunt, infatuated with his best friend Sidney Ellwood but unaware that Ellwood feels the same. Trying to escape his feelings by enlisting in the British Army, Gaunt is soon joined by Ellwood, and the pair find solace in fleeting moments, knowing that death could come for them as it has their friends and fellow soldiers. Winn, who lives in Brooklyn and writes screenplays, is in conversation with Costa Novel Award-winner Claire Fuller.
A story of community, friendship and the power of creativity and connection, To Fill a Yellow House centres on Kwasi and his family, who move abruptly from one side of London to the other. Kwasi is fascinated by the local high street near his new home, but as the years pass business is slow and times are getting tougher. One night, finding himself in trouble, Kwasi takes shelter in an eclectic charity shop, The Chest of Small Wonders. There, he begins an unexpected friendship with widower Rupert, and the pair unite to save the shop, even as tensions around them escalate. Anie is a British-Ghanaian writer.
Go on a journey of self-discovery with Andrew Aziza, the protagonist of The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa. Preoccupied with hanging out with friends, grappling with his fantasies about white girls, and obsessing over mathematical theorems, ideas of black power and HXVX: the Curse of Africa, Andy’s life is thrown off balance when he falls in love with Eileen and an unfamiliar man claims to be his father. Stephen Buoro, a recipient of the Booker Prize Foundation scholarship, talks to historian David Olusoga about creating Andy Africa and writing a tragicomedy.
George March’s dutiful wife relishes the lifestyle his latest smash hit novel brings, until a shopkeeper assumes that the protagonist in his new book – a sex worker who is more a figure of derision than desire – is based on Mrs March. The casual remark robs Mrs March of the belief that she knew everything about her husband, and sends her on an increasingly paranoid journey…one that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs March’s past. In conversation with Xiaolu Guo (author of Radical: A Life of my own), Virginia Feito discusses her razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity and the smothering weight of expectations.
From the Channel 4 Formula 1 presenter, this is the story of Bob Bloomfield, whose little brother tragically died in childhood. Bob has grown up to live a ‘materially rich, spiritually empty’ existence. But when the impossible happens and allows Bob to speak to his 12-year-old self through an old mobile phone, things begin to change in the present too. Are the phone calls a chance for Bob to prevent his brother’s death? And will he like the world he creates if he succeeds? Jones discusses writing this heartwarming book with comedian Rachel Parris.
Publicist Georgina Moore has worked in publishing for more than 20 years, and offers a unique perspective on being a published author. Set on the Isle of Wight, her debut The Garnett Girls is about three sisters kept from finding true happiness by their mother Margo’s refusal to speak about their father, who walked out on her. Rachel is desperate to return to London, but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, the beloved but crumbling family home; dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé; wild, passionate Sasha is trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, and weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core. Moore talks to critic and writer Stephanie Merritt.
In The Whale Tattoo, a giant sperm whale washes up on a Norfolk beach, and tells confused working class lad Joe Gunner that death will follow him wherever he goes. Having stormed out of home two years ago, Joe knows he has to go back, even though it won’t be easy. He turns to his sister, Birdee, the only person who has ever listened, but their bond, as well as the one he has with local fisherman and long-time lover Tim Fysh, is not without trouble. Jon Ransom speaks to comedian and podcaster Cariad Lloyd about his book, writing queer voices and the bond between siblings.
Elsie is a sexy, funny and fiercely independent woman in South London, but she is a very tired 28-year-old. Estranged from her family, struggling with being continually rejected from jobs and scared of never making money doing what she loves, Elsie begins sleeping with co-worker Bea, and discovers it’s just another place for her to hide. As she tries to reconnect with her best friend Juliet, Elsie’s fragile world spirals out of control. Liv Little, the founder and former CEO of the award-winning publication gal-dem, talks to writer, performer and theatre maker Travis Alabanza about her gritty and strikingly bold novel.
A novel of modern India, Santanu Bhattacharya’s debut One Small Voice invites us to spend two decades in the company of Shubhankar. Aged 10, he witnesses a terrible act of mob violence in which his family are complicit, and which changes the course of his life. Wrestling with the past, the expectations of his family and the seismic shifts taking place around him as the country enters the new millennium, Shubhankar one day makes a split-second decision that will change everything. Bhattacharya, who won the 2021 Mo Siewcharran Prize, is in conversation with novelist Max Porter (Grief is the Thing With Feathers, Shy).