‘Desire: Tales of New Orleans’ by William Sterling Walker

Desire is a guilty pleasure of a read, conversational and conspiratorial. It’s almost as if these people are welcoming you into their private chats, dishing out the latest neighborhood gossip about who picked up whom, whose ex is now someone else’s current…. read more

‘Astray’ by Emma Donoghue

A young woman in Victorian London, forced into prostitution to support her family, grasps at a new life. A childlike German mercenary, fighting for the British during the American Revolution, is pressured into using rape as a weapon. Two prospectors in the Yukon Gold Rush bed down together to survive a bitter winter. These are just some of the wanderers who populate Emma Donoghue’s fascinating new collection of stories…. read more

'New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families' by Colm Tóibín

“A happy childhood,” Colm Tóibín tells us, “may make good citizens, but it is not a help for those of us facing a blank page.” Withholding or meddlesome fathers, control-freak mothers, siblings whose sexual hijinks would make polite society shudder—these are the stimuli that fill blank pages with art. And Tóibín in New Ways to Kill Your Mother (Scribner) mines this potent field of twisted and troublesome literary families for all it’s worth.
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'The Absolutist’ by John Boyne

…Boyne raises provocative questions about guilt, loyalty and courage. How moral is it to battle for foreigners’ rights abroad while inequalities “we accept without question” still rule at home? How courageous can a man be if he fights for king and country but lives his whole life pretending to be something he’s not? If love is all that matters, as the characters continually aver, why can they never achieve it in any satisfying way?… read more