Archives de catégorie : London 2023 Fiction

TO THE RIVER de Vikki Wakefield

A compulsively readable, character-driven psychological thriller about two determined women who, over the course of three suspenseful weeks, take the law into their own hands to reveal the truth about a shocking crime. Vikki Wakefield’s compelling story is about class, corruption, and big-picture values of love, loyalty and the vindication of truth and justice. And a very brave dog called Blue.

by Vikki Wakefield
Text Publishing (Australia), February 2024

How long can you hide the truth?
The Kelly family has always been in trouble. When a remote caravan community in a mining town burns to the ground, seventeen-yearold Sabine Kelly walks from the inferno, barely touched by the flames. Nine people are killed, including her mother and sister. When Sabine confesses to the murders, nobody is shocked.
Shortly after her arrest, she escapes custody and disappears.
Twelve years later, journalist Rachel Weidermann has been investigating the ‘Caravan Murders’ for the better part of a decade. Recently made redundant from marriage, motherhood and her career, she has long suspected Sabine made her way back to the river—now Rachel has time to indulge her obsession.
And her tenaciousness pays off: under cover of darkness, a houseboat moors nearby and a woman steps ashore. The story of the year has landed in Rachel’s lap; the arrest of the fugitive and a high-profile murder trial promise to bring it to a satisfying end. But Rachel’s ambition lights the fuse leading to a brutal chain of events. This time Sabine Kelly isn’t running—the web she weaves will entangle enemies and allies alike, forcing Rachel to question everything she believes about herself, about what it takes to be a survivor.

Vikki Wakefield writes realist fiction for young adults. Her work explores coming-of-age, family, class, relationships and the lives of contemporary teens. Her novels All I Ever WantedFriday BrownInbetween Days and Ballad for a Mad Girl have been shortlisted for numerous awards. This is How We Change the Ending won Book of the Year: Older Readers, Children’s Book Council Awards, 2020. Vikki lives in Adelaide, Australia.


An exquisite fictional portrait of Kate Grenville’s complex, conflicted grandmother—a woman Kate feared as a child, and only came to understand in adulthood.

by Kate Grenville
Text Publishing (Australia), July 2023

Dolly Maunder was born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors were finally starting to creak ajar for women. Born into a poor farming family in country New South Wales but clever, energetic and determined, she spent her restless life pushing at those doors.
Most women like Dolly have more or less disappeared from view, remembered only in a family photo album as a remote figure in impossible clothes, and maybe for a lemon-pudding recipe. RESTLESS DOLLY MAUNDER brings one of them to life as a person we can recognise and whose struggles we can empathise with.
In this novel, Kate Grenville uses family memories and research to imagine her way into the life of her grandmother. This is the story of a woman born into a world of limits and obstacles who was able—though at a cost—to make a life for herself. Her battles and triumphs helped to open doors for the women who came after.

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah ThornhillThe LieutenantDark Places and the Orange Prize winner The Idea of Perfection. Her recent non-fiction includes One Life: My Mother’s StoryThe Case Against Fragrance and Elizabeth Macarthur’s Letters. Her most recent novel is the bestselling A Room Made of Leaves. She has also written three books about the writing process. In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

QUALITY TIME de Suzannah Showler

A literary love story of Millennial discontent that explores how far two people can go inventing their own parallel reality—with raccoons.

by Suzannah Showler
McClelland & Stewart/PRH Canada, May 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Credit: © Andrew Battershill

Ferociously in love and in their own universe, Lydie and Nico’s first year together was so beautiful that they’ve been recreating it, day by day, ever since. The anniversaries, sometimes elaborate, sometimes small, become the couples’ own internal logic, tethering them to a reality they’ve built together.
But the real world is starting to creep in. As the people around them start to get married, get pregnant, get serious, Lydie wonders what it is they’re really doing—and why it leaves her so little time to focus on what she moved to the city for: creating art. Meanwhile, Nico experiences a divine event that convinces him the anniversaries matter more than ever, and in the city around them, the urban wildlife is rising up on a mission of their own.
A vivid time capsule of recession-era Toronto, Quality Time is a universal story of self-discovery and invention, capturing that rare, innocent time when we feel like masters of our own fate, and what happens when the real world starts to press in from the edges.

Suzannah Showler is the author of Most Dramatic Ever, a book of cultural criticism about The Bachelor (ECW 2018), and the poetry collections Thing is (McClelland & Stewart 2017) and Failure to Thrive (ECW 2014). You can read her work in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, the Walrus, Hazlitt, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. She is the poetry editor for Maisonneuve. She also does contingent labour teaching creative writing. She currently lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations with her partner, Andrew Battershill.

VICTIM d’Andrew Boryga

A debut novel with the bite of Paul Beatty and the subversive wit of Danzy Senna about a Puerto Rican writer from the Bronx who manipulates his stories by playing the victim, bending the truth until it finally breaks.

by Andrew Boryga
Doubleday, April 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Javier Perez is a hustler from a family of hustlers. He learns from an early age how to play the game to his own advantage, how his background—murdered drug-dealer dad, single cash-strapped mom, best friend serving time for gang activity—becomes a key to doors he didn’t even know existed. This kind of story, molded in the right way, is just what college admissions committees are looking for, and a full academic scholarship to a prestigious university brings Javi one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous writer. As a college student, Javi embellishes his life story until there’s not even a kernel of truth left. The only real connection to his past is the occasional letter he trades with his childhood best friend, Gio, who doesn’t seem to care about Javi’s newfound awareness of white privilege or the school-to-prison pipeline. Soon after graduating, a viral essay transforms Javi from a writer on the rise to a journalist at a legendary magazine where the editors applaud his “unique perspective.” But Gio more than anyone knows who Javi really is, and sees through his game. Once he’s released from prison and Javi offers to cut him in on the deal, will he play along with Javi’s charade, or will it all come crumbling down? A sendup of virtue signaling and tear-jerking trauma plots, Victim asks what real diversity looks like and how far one man is willing to go to make his story hit the right notes.

Andrew Boryga grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Miami with his family of four. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and been awarded prizes by Cornell University, The University of Miami, Tin House, The Susquehanna Review, and The Michener Foundation. He’s taught writing to college students, elementary students, and incarcerated adults.

THORN TREE de Max Ludington

The dark side of the 1960s returns to haunt a contemporary Los Angeles family in this new novel from a critically acclaimed author. Prefect for readers of Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

by Max Ludington
St. Martin’s Press, January 2024

From the acclaimed author of Tiger in a Trance (Doubleday, 2003) comes a suspenseful and beautifully wrought novel about the aftershocks of the late 1960s and the relationship between trauma and the creative impulse. Now in his seventies, Daniel lives in quiet anonymity in a converted guest cottage in the Hollywood Hills. A legendary artist, he’s known for one seminal work—Thorn Tree—a hulking, welded, scrap metal sculpture that he built in the Mojave desert in the 1970s. The work emerged from tragedy, but building it kept Daniel alive and catapulted him to brief, reluctant fame in the art world.
Daniel is landlord and neighbor to Celia, a charismatic but fragile actress living in the main house on his property. She too experienced youthful fame, hers in a popular television series, but saw her life nearly collapse after a series of bad decisions. Now, a new movie with a notorious director might re-ignite her career. A single mother, Celia leaves her young son, Dean, for weeks at a time with her father, Jack, who stays at her house while she’s on location. Jack and Daniel strike up a tentative friendship as Dean takes to visiting Daniel’s cottage—but something about Jack seems off. Discomfiting, strangely intimate, with flashes of anger balanced by an almost philosophical bent, Jack is not the harmless grandparent he pretends to be.
Weaving the idealism and the darkness of the late 1960s, the glossy surfaces of Los Angeles celebrity today, and thrumming with the sound of the Grateful Dead, the mania of Charles Manson and other cults, and the secrets that both Jack and Daniel have harbored for fifty years, THORN TREE is an utterly-compelling novel.

Max Ludington’s first novel, Tiger in a Trance was a New York Times Notable Book. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University and now lives in New York. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Tin House, Meridian, Nerve, and On the Rocks: The KGB Bar Fiction Anthology.