/New Fiction

New Fiction

We’ve picked out our favourite new fiction titles – from Margaret Atwood to Carlos Ruiz Zafon, there’s something here for everyone – and if you choose click-and-collect at checkout there’s no postage to pay!

*UPDATE ON MONDAY 8TH JUNE 2020*

From Monday 8th June both of our bookshops will re-open. Please see new opening hours below. Our Cow’s Lane shop will continue to offer a post-out and click & collect service for web orders. Click & Collect is available Mon-Sat 11.30am-6pm once we have notified you that your order is ready for collection.

  • Blue in Chicago collects together the sharp, bittersweet stories of Bette Howland and restores to our bookshelves an extraordinarily gifted writer, who was recognized as a major talent before all but disappearing from public view completely, until nearly the end of her life. Bette Howland was an outsider: an intellectual from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago; a divorcee and single mother, to the disapproval of her family; an artist chipped away at by poverty and perfection. Each of these sides of her life plays a shaping role in her work. Mining her most precarious struggles for her art in each of these stories, she chronicles the fears and hopes of her generation. Blue in Chicago, and other stories introduces UK readers to a wry, brilliant observer and a writer of great empathy and sly, joyous humour. 'The work of a woman who has invested her life in her art, and who will, I think be remembered as one of the significant writers of her generation.' - Saul Bellow 'Her prose is cooler than a cocktail and sharper than a Japanese knife. It's zippy, witty and sometimes deeply sad: Nora Ephron meets Lorrie Moore, which is about as good as it gets.' - Observer ISBN 9781529035827
  • 'Tamara is going to kill her mother, but she isn't the villain. Tamara just has to finish what began at her birth and put an end to the damage encoded in her blood. Quitting her job in Communications, Tamara dresses carefully and hires a car, making the trip from London to her hometown in Kent, to visit her mother for the last time. Accompanied by a chorus of ancestors, Tamara is harried by voices from the past and the future that reveal the struggles, joys and secrets of these women's lives that continue to echo through and impact her own.'The Sound Mirror spans three familial generations from British Occupied India to Southern England, through intimately rendered characters, Heidi James has crafted a haunting and moving examination of class, war, violence, family and shame from the rich details of ordinary lives. This book will be published on 20th August 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781910422588
  • Lara Feigel's first novel, The Group, is a fiercely intelligent, revealing novel about a group of female friends turning forty. Who has children and who doesn't? Whose marriages are working, whose aren't, and who has embarked on completely different models of sexuality and relationships? Who has managed to fulfil their promise, whose life has foundered and what do they think about it, either way? The Group takes its cue from Mary McCarthy's frank, absorbing novel about a group of female graduates. The relations between men and women may be different now but, in the age of Me Too, they're equally fraught. This is an engrossing portrait of contemporary female life and friendship, and a thrillingly intimate and acute take on female character in an age that may or may not have been changed by feminism in its different strands. 'A very funny and brilliant book. Feigel does a thorough and virtuosic job of describing the dilemmas of contemporary middle-class women' Rachel Cusk. ISBN 9781529305005
  • 1924. Blinded in an attack in the aftermath of Irish independence, Rose Raven is living quietly with her brother. When she discovers he's involved in anti-government propaganda, she tells no one, even her lover Rudy. When Ultan dies, Rose is the only person who knows where the shameful truth is hidden. Charting the dangerous first years of the Irish Free State, the novel tells the story of Rose's secrets, every one of them a risk to the success of the new Ireland. ISBN 9781913207205
  • Convenience Store Woman meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this strange, compelling, darkly funny tale of one woman's search for meaning in the modern workplace. A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing - and ideally, very little thinking. She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly - how did she find herself in this situation in the first place? As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she's not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful... Published 26th November 2020. Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781526622242
  • "A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. Its brutal and brilliant." Zadie Smith. Meet Edie. Edie is not okay. Shes messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting. No one seems to care that she doesnt really know what shes doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white, middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesnt have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young, black woman wasnt already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling headfirst into Eric's home and family. Razor sharp. provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster is a painfully funny coming-of-age story told by a fresh new voice. Published 20th August 2020. Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781529035995
  • In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup: bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDs epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, he finds his partner is infected, and that he might even have the virus himself. The only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona's stories unfold in incredibly moving and sometimes surprising ways, as both struggle to find goodness in the face of disaster. ISBN 9780708899120
  • The bold and boundlessly original debut novel from the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, neurotic and underappreciated film critic (failed academic, filmmaker, paramour, shoe salesman who sleeps in a sock drawer), stumbles upon a hitherto unseen film by an enigmatic outsider - a three-month-long stop-motion masterpiece that took its reclusive auteur ninety years to complete. Convinced that the film will change his career trajectory and rock the world of cinema to its core, that it might possibly be the greatest movie ever made, B. knows that it is his mission to show it to the rest of humanity. The only problem: the film is destroyed, leaving him the sole witness to its inadvertently ephemeral genius. All that's left is a single frame from which B. must somehow attempt to recall the work of art that just might be the last great hope of civilization. Thus begins a mind-boggling journey through the hilarious nightmarescape of a psyche as lushly Kafkaesque as it is atrophied by the relentless spew of Twitter. Desperate to impose order on an increasingly nonsensical existence, trapped in a self-imposed prison of aspirational victimhood and degeneratively inclusive language, B. scrambles to re-create the lost masterwork while attempting to keep pace with an ever-fracturing culture of "likes" and arbitrary denunciations that are simultaneously his bete noire and his raison d'etre. A searing indictment of the modern world, Antkind is a richly layered meditation on art, time, memory, identity, comedy, and the very nature of existence itself - the grain of truth at the heart of every joke. ISBN 9780008319489
  • We're all something else inside... 1952. Standing in a cold Suffolk field with her family, six-year-old Mary Ward has a revelation: I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I'm a boy. So begins Mary's heroic struggle to change gender. Moving from the claustrophobic rural community of the 1950s to London in the swinging Sixties and beyond to the glitter of America in the Seventies, Sacred Country is the story of a journey to find a place of safety and fulfilment in a savage and confusing world. 'There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain' Irish Times. ISBN 9781784705923
  • Lilia Liska is 81. She has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to a strange little book published by a vanity press: the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair. Increasingly obsessed by this fragment of intimate history, Lilia begins to annotate the diary with her own rather different version of events. Gradually she undercuts Roland's charming but arrogant voice with an incisive and deeply moving commentary. She reveals to us the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. And she returns inexorably to her daughter, Lucy, who took her own life at the age of 27. Must I Go is an unconventional epistolary novel, a gleefully one-way correspondence between the very-much-alive Lilia and the long-departed Roland. Though mortality is ever-present, this is ultimately a novel about life, in all its messy glory. Life lived, for the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. With exquisite subtlety and insight, Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart. Published 20th August 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9780241284285
  • 1957, south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and - on the brink of forty - living a limited existence with her truculent mother. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more she investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen herself, her husband Howard - with his dry wit and gentle disposition - and her charming daughter Margaret. But they are the subject of the story Jean is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. And yet Jean cannot bring herself to discard the chance of finally having a taste of happiness. But there will be a price to pay - and it will be unbearable. 'This is one of the most tender, beautiful books I have ever read. Please, please order it now. I honestly don't want you to be without it. It is exquisite' Lucy Mangan. 'Will draw you in from the first page and keep you gripped until the very end' Ruth Hogan. ISBN 9781474613897
  • The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a mesmerising feminist re-imagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico. "He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me." When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her. Noemi's chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin. Tough and smart, she possesses an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin's new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemi; and not of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi's dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family's youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family's past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family's once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemi digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemi, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to leave this enigmatic house behind... ISBN 9781529402674
  • Broadcaster and classicist Natalie Haynes retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. "This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them They have waited to have their story told, and I will make them wait no longer. In the early hours of the morning, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and Troy has fallen. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash. The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across the oceans and sky in between. Arising from this are the individual tales of the women embroiled in the lead-up to and the aftermath of that legendary war, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all. Powerfully told from an all-female perspective, A Thousand Ships gives voices to the women, girls, and goddesses who, for so long, were kept silent. Paperback edition published 23rd July 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781509836208
  • On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents. A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak. Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls From the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Summerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times. 'Sharp, searching, thoroughly imagined, utterly of the moment... it throws much contemporary writing into the shade' Hilary Mantel This is a Limited Edition Independent Bookshop Exclusive Hardback - Signed & Numbered with special endpapers, ribbon marker & an exclusive letter from Sarah Moss. Published 20th August 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781529035438
  • From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others - the basis for the Academy Award nominated film Arrival - comes a groundbreaking second collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. In 'The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate', a portal through time forces a fabric-seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary 'Exhalation', an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in 'The Lifecycle of Software Objects', a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two previously unpublished stories: 'Omphalos' and 'Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom'. In Exhalation, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth - What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human? - and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion. Published 23rd July 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781529014495
  • 1941, and Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie is ferrying documents between Dublin and war-torn London. When Ireland's greatest actor is arrested in Soho, after the brutal murder of a gay man, Stefan extricates him from an embarrassing situation. But suddenly he is looking at a series of murders, stretching across Britain and Ireland. The deaths were never investigated deeply as dead queers are nobody's priority. And there are reasons to look away now. It's not only that the killer may be a British soldier, Scotland Yard is also hiding the truth about the victim. But an identical murder in Malta makes investigation essential. Malta, at the heart of the Mediterranean war, is under siege by German and Italian bombers. Rumours that a British soldier murdered a Maltese teenager can't go unchallenged without damaging loyalty to Britain. Now Britain will cooperate with Ireland to find the killer and Stefan is sent to Malta. The British believe the killer is an Irishman; that's the result they want. And they'd like Stefan to give it to them. But in the dark streets of Valletta there are threats deadlier than German bombs... ISBN 9781472130389
  • Life is finally on the right track for reporter and recovering addict Andrew: he is slowly coming to terms with the murder of his photographer boyfriend Carlos, pursuing sobriety and building a new home with a new partner. Andrew has almost forgotten about the story that ruined his life - but that story hasn't forgotten about him, and a series of deadly threats forces him into helping the very man whose gang murdered his boyfriend and left him homeless. A literary take on the classic chase movie, HOW TO BE NOWHERE is the sequel to Tim MacGabhann's genre-busting and critically-acclaimed debut CALL HIM MINE, and a blistering thrill-ride deep into the fog of Central America's murky present and tragic future. Published 23rd July 2020 - Pre-order Now. <span class="ws-green">ISBN 9781474610490
  • In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine: a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night - trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges - as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice. 'A marvel, a taut courtroom thriller that ultimately tells the most human story imaginable, a story of good intentions and reckless passions. Compelling, generous, at once empathetic and unsparing... the perfect novel for these chaotic times in which we live' Laura Lippman. ISBN 9781529335415
  • Intimacies exquisitely charts the steps and missteps of young women trying to find their place in the world. From a Belfast student ordering illegal drugs online to end an unwanted pregnancy to a young mother's brush with mortality; from a Christmas Eve walking the city centre streets when everything seems possible, to a night flight from Canada which could change a life irrevocably, these are stories of love, loss and exile, of new beginnings and lives lived away from 'home'. Taking in, too, the lives of other women who could be guiding lights - from Monica Lewinsky to Caroline Norton to Sinead O'Connor - Intimacies offers keenly felt and subtly revealing insights into the heartbreak and hope of modern life. ISBN 9780571353743
  • Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?... This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You've already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking... 'Catherine Ryan Howard is a gift to crime writing. Her characters are credible, her stories are original and her plotting is ingenious. Every book is a treat to look forward to.' Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver. ISBN 9781838950552
  • The palm trees give the street a holiday atmosphere. There must be something in the soil they like. They have straight leaves that get a bit ragged, with split ends. At night you hear them rattling in the wind. The narrator of Dublin Palms has returned to Dublin to set up home with his partner Helen and their two children. Their lives are filled with optimism, but also a sense of dislocation. Overshadowed by the Troubles in the North, their family enterprise begins to come apart. As the creditors line up to be paid, they must consider leaving everything behind. What will they gain when they stand to lose all? In this spectacular novel from the author of The Speckled People, a family tries to hold on in a falling world. It is a powerful story of fragmentation and belonging, of emigrants and people returning home. Published 23rd July 2020. ISBN 9780008128135
  • Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage? David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn't noticed. Or had chosen not to. Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept - some of these hidden in plain sight - makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself? Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage - a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart. 'What a beautiful novel ... Elegant, understated, subtly powerful, and rings so perfectly true' Donal Ryan 'Gentle and triumphant, MacMahon offers us a novel seeped in beautiful prose and poignant tenderness' Anne Griffin Published 30th July 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781844884759
  • DCS Frankie Sheehan is experiencing a crisis of confidence - having become wary of the instincts that have led her face-to-face with a twisted killer and brought those she loves into direct jeopardy. She is summoned to the rural Wicklow mountains, where local mother of two, Debbie Nugent, has been reported missing. A bloody crime scene is discovered at Debbie's home, yet no body. Not only is foul play suspected, but Debbie's daughter, Margot, has been living with the scene for three days. Aware her team cannot convict Margot on appearances alone, Sheehan launches a full investigation into Debbie Nugent's life. And, before long, the discrepancies within Debbie's disappearance suggest that some families are built on dangerous deceptions, with ultimately murderous consequences. 'Cracking . . . Taut, gripping and beautifully written' Steve Cavanagh. ISBN 9781529401066
  • Lottie Kristin is independent from the start. Born in the middle of the century to a middle-class family in the very middle of America, Lottie is set apart by her smarts and sensuality. A girl who'd rather carry out dissections on a snowy back porch than join her family for Christmas dinner is a strange and exotic artifact in the town of Sleeping Bay. But by her early twenties, Lottie finds herself trapped in a marriage gone stale, with a daughter she adores but whose existence jeopardizes her place in the lab and her dream of becoming a scientist. How can a young woman make her way in a world determined to contain her brilliance, her will, and her longing to live? Bravely and wisely written, Artifact is an intimate and propulsive portrait of a whole woman, a celebration of her refusal to be defined by others imaginations, and a meditation on the glorious chaos of biological life. ISBN 9781526619419
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