The best literary fiction of 2021

With highly acclaimed debuts from fresh new voices to celebrations of hilarious literary classics, 2021 is set to be a remarkable year for literature. We look forward to the most exciting new literary fiction of 2021, round up the best literary books of 2020 and recommend some of the best literary fiction of all time. 

13/09/2021
7 minutes to read
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The world of literary fiction certainly started 2021 with a bang, with Raven Leilani's razor-sharp debut novel Luster publishing to huge acclaim and Helen Fielding’s seminal novel Bridget Jones’s Diary celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. But the literary scene has shown no signs of slowing down as we enter the second half of the year. . . 

Read on for our curated list of the most exciting literary fiction of 2021 so far (and the highly anticipated reads still to come), the best literary books of 2020 and our all-time literary must-reads.

For even more inspiration, don't miss our edit of the best fiction books. 

Best new literary fiction of 2021

The Cat Who Saved Books

by Sosuke Natsukawa

Book cover for The Cat Who Saved Books

Rintaro Natsuki loved finding refuge in tiny secondhand Natsuki Books as an insular child. His grandfather's bookstore with its teetering volumes was a home from home. When his grandfather dies, Rintaro is in despair, thinking he must close the beloved shop. Then a talking tabby cat appears, and asks Rintaro for help. The two go on a book lovers mission to rescue abandoned books. But there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt on his own.

Paradise

by Kae Tempest

Book cover for Paradise

Philoctetes has become a wounded outcast, no more than a wartime hero stranded on a desolate island. At last he senses a chance for escape when a young soldier arrives with stories of Philoctetes' past glory. But after hope gives way to suspicion, an old enemy returns to confront Philoctetes with the temptation of revenge.  

Acknowledged widely as a bold new force in contemporary British poetry, music and drama, Kae Tempest continues to develop the dazzling range of their work with a version of Sophocles' Philoctetes in a new translation. Demonstrating once again Tempest's ability to give contemporary relevance to old tales and draw in a brand new audience. 

Heaven

by Mieko Kawakami

Book cover for Heaven

Mieko Kawakami won international acclaim following the publication of her debut, Breasts and Eggs, despite it having been described by Tokyo's then governor as 'unpleasant and intolerable'.

This year, literary sensation Mieko Kawakami brings us Heaven, a sharp and illuminating novel about a fourteen-year-old boy subjected to relentless bullying for having a lazy eye. 

Instead of resisting, he chooses to suffer in silence. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate, Kojima, who experiences similar treatment at the hands of her bullies. Providing each other with immeasurable consolation at a time in their lives when they need it most, the two young friends grow closer than ever. But what, ultimately, is the nature of a friendship when your shared bond is terror?

Find out more about the uncontainable talent of Mieko Kawakami, here.

What Strange Paradise

by Omar El Akkad

Book cover for What Strange Paradise

From the widely acclaimed author of American War, Omar El Akkad, a beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic and profoundly moving novel that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child’s eyes. More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. And only one had made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials, but of Vänna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain.

Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Shuggie Bain

Published in paperback this year, Douglas Stuart’s blistering, Booker Prize-winning debut is a heartbreaking story which lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty and the limits of love. 

Set in a poverty-stricken Glasgow in the early 1980s, Agnes Bain has always dreamed of greater things, but when her husband abandons her she finds herself trapped in a decimated mining town with her three children, and descends deeper and deeper into drink. Her son Shuggie tries to help her long after her other children have fled, but he too must abandon her to save himself. Shuggie is different, fastidious and fussy, and he is picked on by the local children and condemned by adults as 'no’ right’. But he believes that if he tries his hardest he can be like other boys and escape this hopeless place.


‘We were bowled over by this first novel, which creates an amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love. ’
The judges of the Booker Prize on Douglas Stuart's unmissable debut, Shuggie Bain


Yours Cheerfully

by AJ Pearce

Book cover for Yours Cheerfully

Following the departure of the formidable Editor, Henrietta Bird, from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, is still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, but bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It. Every bit as funny, touching and cheering as AJ Pearce's debut, Dear Mrs BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship, a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up.

The Painter's Friend

by Howard Cunnell

Book cover for The Painter's Friend

The painter Terry Godden was on the brink of his first success. After a violent crisis, he finds himself outcast. In his fifties, and with little money, he retreats to a small island. Arriving in the winter, the island at first seems a desolate and forgotten place. As the seasons turn, Terry begins to see the island’s beauty, and discovers that he is only one of many people who have sought refuge here. The Painter’s Friend shows the human cost of gentrification for those dispossessed. Written with visual lyricism and driven clarity, Howard Cunnell’s incendiary story about class and resistance builds to an unforgettable climax. 

The Lamplighters

by Emma Stonex

Book cover for The Lamplighters

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on, when they are given the chance to tell their side of the story . . .

Inspired by true events, this enthralling and suspenseful mystery is a beautifully written exploration of love and grief, perception and reality. 

Circus of Wonders

by Elizabeth Macneal

Book cover for Circus of Wonders

Circus of Wonders is the eagerly-awaited second novel from Elizabeth Macneal, author of the Sunday Times bestselling debut The Doll Factory. In 1866, in a coastal village in southern England, Nell lives outside of her community, marked as different for the birthmarks that speckle her skin. But her life is turned upside down when her father decides to sell her to Jasper Jupiter's travelling Circus of Wonders. Yet, the greatest betrayal of Nell's life may soon become the best thing that has ever happened to her as she finds friendship and belonging with the other performers. But as Nell's fame grows, will she be able to keep control of her own story?


‘Elizabeth Macneal’s marvellous debut, The Doll Factory, was a bestselling success. This second book, beautifully written and filled with character and life, cements her reputation as a new talent.’
The Times on Elizabeth Macneal


Brood

by Jackie Polzin

Book cover for Brood

'Completely original, full of surprise, humor, grief, and wisdom.'

Brood tells the story of a woman who tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive, despite a cavalcade of seemingly endless challenges. Perfect for fans of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout, this darkly witty and deeply moving novel provides a truly original perspective on motherhood and grief, full of sorrow, joy and ultimately, unrelenting hope. 

The War of the Poor

by Eric Vuillard

Book cover for The War of the Poor

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2021, this impactful blend of history and literary fiction tells the story of a brutal episode from the past, when, in the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformation took on the privileged and the powerful. Eric Vuillard’s portrait of one man, Thomas Müntzer, casts light on a time in which Europe was in flux. 

Of Women and Salt

by Gabriela Garcia

Book cover for Of Women and Salt

A New York Times bestseller, Of Women and Salt tells the story of five generations of fierce Latina women, linked by blood and circumstance. From nineteenth-century cigar factories to present-day detention centres, this novel is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their truth despite those who wish to silence them. 

The Office of Historical Corrections

by Danielle Evans

Book cover for The Office of Historical Corrections

Described by Roxane Gay as the 'finest short story writer working today,' Danielle Evans packs a powerful punch with each of the stories included in this remarkable collection. Across six short stories, as well as an eye-opening titular novella, she magnifies pivotal moments in her character's lives or relationships that allow for a wider blistering exploration of race, culture and history. 

The Melting

by Lize Spit

Book cover for The Melting

Part thriller, part coming-of-age novel, The Melting is an extraordinary and unsettling story of adolescent cruelty and the scars it can leave. Eva was one of three children born in a small Flemish town in 1988. Growing up alongside the boys, Eva found refuge from a troubled family in their friendship. But, with their adolescence comes a growing awareness of sexuality and over the course of one summer, the children begin a game that will have serious and violent consequences that Eva will only feel ready to confront thirteen years on.

Catch the Rabbit

by Lana Bastašic

Book cover for Catch the Rabbit

Sara and Lejla were childhood best friends, but haven't spoken in years. But when Lejla gets in touch with Sara, demanding she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds she can't say no. Lejla is on a mission to find her missing brother, Armin, who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian war.  Embarking on a road trip the two estranged friends are forced to reconsider the past they share and the circumstances that separated them and caused them to lead such different lives.

Luster

by Raven Leilani

Book cover for Luster

Raven Leilani is a funny and original new voice in literary fiction. Her razor-sharp yet surprisingly tender debut is an essential novel about what it means to be young now. Edie is messing up her life, and no one seems to care. Then she meets Eric, who is white, middle-aged and comes with a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn’t have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. And as if life wasn’t hard enough, Edie finds herself falling head-first into Eric’s family. 


‘In this cutting, hot-blooded book, the entanglements that unfold are as complicated as they are heartbreaking.’
New Statesman on Raven Leilani's, Luster


Kololo Hill

by Neema Shah

Book cover for Kololo Hill

Neema Shah’s impressive debut literary novel is set amidst the turmoil of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin. When a devastating decree is announced which says all Ugandan Asians must leave the country in ninety days, Asha and Pran and Pran’s mother Jaya, must leave everything they’ve ever known for a new life in Britain. But as they try to rebuild their lives, a terrible secret hangs over them.

Mother for Dinner

by Shalom Auslander

Book cover for Mother for Dinner

This outrageously tasty comedy about identity and inheritance sees Seventh Seltzer attempt to grant his mother’s dying wish. When his mother whispers in Seventh’s ear the words ‘Eat me,’ he is far from shocked. The Seltzers are Cannibal-Americans, a once proud and thriving ethnic group. But getting his eleven brothers together for such a feast will prove tricky, and the only person who knows how to perform the ancient ritual is their far from reliable Uncle Ishmael. 

The Most Precious of Cargoes

by Jean-Claude Grumberg

Book cover for The Most Precious of Cargoes

Told with a fairytale-like lyricism, this is a fable of family and redemption set against the horrors of the Holocaust. A poor woodcutter and his wife lived in a forest. Despite their poverty and the war raging around them, the wife prays that they will be blessed with a child. 

A Jewish man rides on a train with his wife and twin babies. When his wife no longer has enough milk to feed them both, in desperation he throws his daughter into the forest, hoping that she’ll be saved. When the woodcutter’s wife finds the baby she takes her home, though she knows the danger this act of kindness may bring. This is literary fiction at its most moving. 

Nightshift

by Kiare Ladner

Book cover for Nightshift

This dark, sexy and frightening literary novel explores ambivalent female friendship against the otherworldly backdrop of London’s liminal world of nightshift workers. When twenty-three-year-old Meggie meets the enigmatic Sabine she realizes that Sabine is everything she herself would like to be. Meggie quickly gives up her daytime existence for the chance of working the same nightshifts as Sabine, and her obsession soon gains a frightening momentum.

The Art of Losing

by Alice Zeniter

Book cover for The Art of Losing

Alice Zeniter’s literary novel spans three generations across seventy years. Naïma has always known that her family came from Algeria, but they are silent about their past and the only knowledge she has of that foreign country is what she’s learned from her grandparents’ tiny flat in a crumbling French sink estate. But now Naïma is visiting the country for herself and is determined to answer the questions she has about her family’s history. 

The Strays of Paris

by Jane Smiley

Book cover for The Strays of Paris

This charming and beguiling novel from Jane Smiley celebrates friendship, love and freedom. When Paras, a spirited racehorse, escapes from her stable, she finds herself wandering the streets of Paris where she befriends a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated crow. But one day she meets a human boy named Étienne, an unlikely friendship blooms and everything changes . . . 

Jack & Bet

by Sarah Butler

Book cover for Jack & Bet

Jack and Bet have been married, mostly happily, for seventy years and they want to enjoy the time they have left together in their little flat. But their son thinks they should move out into a very different kind of home with round-the-clock care. When Bet meets a young Romanian woman called Marinela she thinks she might have found a solution to all their problems. But bringing Marinela into their lives will mean revealing a secret Bet has kept hidden, even from her husband, for decades . . . This is a moving literary novel about an unlikely friendship and the struggle to find a place to call home.

Correspondents

by Tim Murphy

Book cover for Correspondents

Tim Murphy’s powerful novel spans the breadth of the twentieth century and the legacy of the post-9/11 wars. Rita Khoury is an Irish-Lebanese woman whose family came to America during the golden years of immigration. When her career as a journalist sees her posted to Iraq after the 2003 American invasion, she finds that her safety depends on her translator Nabil – a young man hiding a secret about his sexuality. When Nabil’s identity puts him in trouble and Rita’s position becomes more and more unstable, they are forced out of the country and into an uncertain future.

Cleanness

by Garth Greenwell

Book cover for Cleanness

Expanding the world of his novel What Belongs to You, a debut that the New York Times Book Review hailed as 'an instant classic, in Cleanness Garth Greenwell writes with startling insight about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with ourselves.

In Bulgaria's capital, amid political protests, an American teacher reflects on the intimate encounters of his past as he prepares to leave the country he has come to call home.

Don't miss Garth Greenwell and his editor in conversation.

Amnesty

by Aravind Adiga

Book cover for Amnesty

Full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, this novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author is both a universal story and a timeless moral struggle. When Danny – an illegal immigrant in Sydney who has been denied refugee status – hears about a murder that has been committed which he may have information about, he faces a moral choice. Should he come forward with his knowledge of the crime and risk deportation, or should he stay silent, protecting the life he has built but letting justice go undone?

Little Bandaged Days

by Kyra Wilder

Book cover for Little Bandaged Days

Kyra Wilder’s debut novel is a beautifully written, painfully claustrophobic story of a woman’s descent into madness. A mother moves to Geneva with her husband and their two young children. Unable to speak the language, and with her husband working increasingly long hours, she becomes more and more isolated. As her whole world becomes about caring for her children, Erika is determined that everything will be perfect. But it isn’t . . . Erika has never been so alone, and when the children are sleeping, there is just too much time to fill all by herself.

In this article, Kyra discusses the process of writing Little Bandaged Days

Writers & Lovers

by Lily King

Book cover for Writers & Lovers

Casey has just lost her mother and is still recovering from the end of a devastating love affair. Living in a rented shed and working on the novel she’s been trying to write for the last six years, at thirty-one she feels too old to be so directionless. Then she meets two very different men, who represent very different futures. This funny and moving novel explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Read Naomi Frisby on Writers and Lovers and changing perceptions of adulthood.

The Hiding Game

by Naomi Wood

Book cover for The Hiding Game

The Hiding Game is Naomi Woods’s beautifully written, atmospheric third novel about the dangerously fine line between love and obsession. Set against the rising political tensions of 1920s Germany, the story follows Paul Beckermann as he arrives at the Bauhaus art school and is seduced by the bohemian atmosphere, charismatic teachers and his fellow students. As he spends more time with his new friends, he quickly falls in love with the mesmerising Charlotte, and tensions and rivalries begin to surface. As the existence of the Bauhaus is threatened and betrayals and jealousy splits the group apart, they hurtle toward an unthinkable tragedy . . .

Read Naomi Wood on the influence of Bauhaus design and teaching on the way we live now.


The best literary fiction of 2020

The Silence

by Don DeLillo

Book cover for The Silence

One of America’s greatest literary fiction writers is back with this illuminating and essential guide to our navigation of a bewildering world. Set on Super Bowl Sunday 2022, this compelling novel about what happens when an unpredictable crisis strikes is a profoundly moving examination of what makes us human. A retired physics professor and her husband are hosting a dinner party. One of her former students has already arrived, but another couple has been delayed by a dramatic flight from Paris. As they wait for kick-off, something happens that severs the digital connections in all our lives. 

Read our beginner's guide to Don DeLillo

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Book cover for Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe

This is another beautiful, simple tale about the time-travelling customers of the Cafe Funiculi Funicula from the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold. Customers include a man who travels to see the girl he couldn’t marry, a son who had to miss his mother’s funeral and a man who travels back to see his friend who died twenty-two years ago. 


Summerwater

by Sarah Moss

Book cover for Summerwater

This devastating novel from the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall is set over twenty-four hours as the guests of a faded Scottish cabin park wait out the rain on the longest day of the year. With little else to do, twelve people sit cooped up with their families, watching the other residents. Slowly, one family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, begin to draw attention and tensions begin to rise as tragedy looms. Summerwater is a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty and a literary must-read in these divided times.

Read Sarah Moss and her editor discussing  Summerwater, Brexit anxieties and the strangeness of holidays

Breasts and Eggs

by Mieko Kawakami

Book cover for Breasts and Eggs

This literary debut, which Haruki Murakami called ‘breathtaking’, is a must-read for fans of contemporary literary fiction. Mieko Kawakami paints a radical picture of contemporary working-class womanhood in Japan as she recounts the heartbreaking stories of three women who must survive in a society where the odds are stacked against them.


‘I can never forget the sense of pure astonishment I felt when I first read Mieko Kawakami’s novella Breasts and Eggs . . . breathtaking . . . Mieko Kawakami is always ceaselessly growing and evolving.’
Haruki Murakami on Mieko Kawakami's, Breasts and Eggs


The Harpy

by Megan Hunter

Book cover for The Harpy

Lucy thinks she's happily married to Jake, working from home and devoting her life to their children and their house. Until one day a man calls with a message which shatters Lucy's world: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy's husband, and he wanted her to know. When Lucy confronts Jake they come to an agreement: they'll stay together, but to even the score Lucy will hurt Jake three times. As this delicate game of crime and punishment begins, so Lucy herself begins to change.

The Pull of the Stars

by Emma Donoghue

Book cover for The Pull of the Stars

As war and disease ravage Ireland, Nurse Julia Power works in a tiny ward in an understaffed hospital, where expectant mothers struck by an unfamiliar flu are quarantined together. Julia is assisted by two new arrivals, Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney, and over the course of three days these women will change each other's lives in unexpected ways. The Pull of the Stars is a classic story of hope and survival from the bestselling author of Room.

Read Emma Donoghue on her inspiration for The Pull of the Stars.

The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book cover for The Mercies

This stunningly evocative novel set on the remote Norwegian island of Vardø in the 1600s was inspired by the real Vardø storm and the subsequent witch hunt. When a catastrophic storm wipes out almost the entirety of the male population of the island, the women who are left, still grieving for their men, are forced to fend for themselves. Eighteen months later, the sinister new commissioner, Absolom Cornet, arrives with his young wife Ursa. Ursa sees independent women for the first time in her life, and she is drawn to Maren, the young woman who helps her navigate life in this harsh new world. But Absolom is convinced that the women’s behaviour is ungodly and he must bring them to heel by any means necessary.

Read Kiran Millwood Hargrave on the true story behind The Mercies.

The Young Team

by Graeme Armstrong

Book cover for The Young Team

In the forgotten heartlands of Scotland, your mates, your young team, they're everything you've got. At fourteen Azzy Williams is a rising star. At seventeen he's out of control. And by twenty-one he'd like to leave it all behind. But finding a way out isn't easy.

The Young Team is an energetic novel, full of the loyalty, laughs and violence of life on the streets. This powerful story about the realities of life for young people in Britain today is inspired by the author's own experiences of teenage life.

The Glass Hotel

by Emily St. John Mandel

Book cover for The Glass Hotel

When Vincent, a beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, meets the hotel's owner, New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis, she immediately agrees to start a new life with him. That same night, an unknown person graffittis the window of the hotel with the words 'Why don't you swallow broken glass.' The staff, and a guest, shipping executive Leon Prevant, are left shaken by the malicious message. Thirteen years later, Vincent disappears from a ship owned by the same company Leon worked for . . .

Emily St. John Mandel's extraordinary novel moves between time and place to explore greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, the interconnectedness of our lives and the ghosts of our pasts.

Read Octavia Bright on the capitalist dystopia of The Glass Hotel

The Confession

by Jessie Burton

Book cover for The Confession

The highly anticipated third novel from million-copy bestselling author Jessie Burton is a powerful and deeply moving story about secrets, motherhood and friendship. In 1980 Elise meets Constance, a successful writer, and quickly falls under her spell, moving to LA to be with her. Three decades later, Rose Simmons is looking for answers about her mother, who disappeared after she was born. When she learns that reclusive novelist Constance Holden was the last person to see her mother alive, she is drawn to her door in search of a confession . . .

Read Lucy Scholes on The Confession and portrayals of motherhood in literature.

The Doll Factory

by Elizabeth Macneal

Book cover for The Doll Factory

Elizabeth Macneal’s bestselling debut novel immerses the reader in the intoxicating world of Victorian London, as the Great Exhibition approaches. All Iris wants in life is the freedom to pursue her passion for art. When Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost asks her to model for him she agrees, on the condition that he teaches her to paint. As a whole world of art and love opens up for Iris, a chance encounter with Silas, a collector of the strange and beautiful, changes everything. Because Silas can’t stop thinking about Iris, and his dangerous obsession is growing . . .

Discover ten weird and wonderful facts about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.


Best literary fiction of all time

Bridget Jones’s Diary (And Other Writing)

by Helen Fielding

Book cover for Bridget Jones’s Diary (And Other Writing)

Everyone’s favourite singleton is celebrating her twenty-fifth anniversary in 2020. This bumper anniversary edition of Helen Fielding’s hilarious literary classic is packed with an introduction and commentary from Helen, a selection of the original Independent newspaper columns, an interview between Bridget and Colin Firth, and much more. 

Underworld

by Don DeLillo

Book cover for Underworld

Don DeLillo’s epic saga opens - famously - at the Dodgers-Giants 1951 National League final, where Bobby Thomson hits The Shot Heard Round the World and goes on to encompass fifty years of American history. It offers a panoramic vision of America, defined by the overarching conflict of the cold war. This masterpiece of American literature saw Don DeLillo nominated for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 

Dirt Music

by Tim Winton

Book cover for Dirt Music

Georgie Jutland is a mess. At forty, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded with a man she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. She spends her days in isolated tedium and her nights in a blur of vodka and self-recrimination. Until, early one morning, she sees a shadow drifting up the beach below her house. It is Luther Fox, an outcast, a man on the run from his own past. And now here he is stepping into Georgie’s life. He brings hope, maybe even love, but also danger . . . This is a stunning novel about the power of love from one of Australia’s best literary fiction authors. 

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

Book cover for A Little Life

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome  but that will define his life forever.

White is for Witching

by Helen Oyeyemi

Book cover for White is for Witching

This spine-tingling novel by Helen Oyeyemi was the 2010 winner of the Somerset Maugham Award. The Silver family, twins Eliot and Miranda and their father Luc, are mourning the loss of wife and mother Lily. Their house, perched high on the cliffs near Dover, belonged to Lily’s ancestors, and to Miranda, it seems like they never left. 

Girl, Woman, Other

by

Book cover for Girl, Woman, Other

 This 2019 Booker Prize winner follows twelve characters on their personal journeys over the last one hundred years. From Newcastle to Cornwall and the beginning of the twentieth century to the modern day, each of them is searching for something. These wonderful interwoven stories address issues of race, identity and womanhood. 


In this episode of Book Break Emma shares her recommendations for the best new literary fiction. 

5 Brilliant New Literary Fiction Books | #BookBreak