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Monday, 16 February 2015

New fiction to get excited about!

It's February and the cold wind blows on. What to do? We urge you to stay inside and bury yourself in as many good books as possible, yes? Here are some suggestions, newly arrived!

Disgruntled, by Asali Solomon: Solomon's debut novel is narrated by the witty, irrepressible Kenya, a young girl growing up in 1980s Philadelphia. She is constantly an outsider, both in her own black neighbourhood where her family's Afrocentrism is not the norm, and at the wealthy white private school she eventually attends. Kirkus Reviews asserts that "Blackness, feminism and the loss of virginity have never been analyzed by a more astute and witty main character." Listen to Asali Solomon talking with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air to get yourself even more excited!

Get in Trouble: Stories, by Kelly Link: Lovers of weird fiction, rejoice! Kelly Link has a new story collection and it promises to satisfy your cravings for boundary-expanding, darkly imaginative tales. A ghost-hunting reality show, a birthday party in deep space, and spooky nudist camp are just three of Link's unexpected settings. Robert Wiersema writes in the Toronto Star: Each story in Get In Trouble is like a dark ride at an amusement park: you enter with no idea what is going to happen and little opportunity to get your bearings before things start to speed up. You emerge on the other side dizzied, tousled, exhilarated and a little changed.

We Are Pirates, by Daniel Handler: Handler is better known as Lemony Snicket, celebrated author of strange books for children (A Series of Unfortunate Events being the series that put him in the spotlight). He also writes books for adults! This one uses a swashbuckling pirate adventure set in present day San Francisco to examine more serious and heartfelt questions of girlhood, family, and belonging. Read a review at the Telegraph.

The Unquiet Dead, by Ausma Zehanat Khan: This more-than-just-a-mystery debut novel by Khan, who holds a PhD in human rights law, is receiving rave reviews. Set in Toronto, it follows detective team Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty as they try to uncover the truth behind the murder of a possible Srebenica war criminal. The LA Times says: Khan is a refreshing original, and "The Unquiet Dead" blazes what one hopes will be a new path guided by the author's keen understanding of the intersection of faith and core Muslim values, complex human nature and evil done by seemingly ordinary people.

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