Literary fiction, modern fiction, contemporary fiction, mainstream fiction. I always struggle with what to call the books not shelved in one of the genres in the bookstore, so I decided to go with just fiction. I know it’s silly because everything on my other lists is fiction as well, but hey, I have to call it something! So in today’s Anticipated Books post we take a look at non-genre fiction. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the round-up with my most Anticipated Reads!
Sophie Divry – The Library of Unrequited Love (Maclehose Press)
One morning a librarian finds a reader who was locked in overnight. She starts to talk to him, a one-way conversation that soon gathers pace as an outpouring of frustrations, observations and anguishes.
Two things shine through above all: her shy, unrequited passion for a quiet researcher named Martin, and an ardent and absolute love of books.
Ronlyn Dominique – The Mapmaker’s War (Atria)
In an ancient time, in a far away land, a young woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom’s mapmaker, tasked with charting the entire domain. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. They claim to protect a mythic treasure, one connected to the creation of the world. When Aoife reports their existence to her kingdom, the community is targeted as a threat. Attempting to warn them of imminent danger, Aoife is exiled for treason and finds refuge among the very people who had been declared her enemy. With them, she begins a new life surrounded by kindness, equality, and cooperation. But within herself, Aoife has no peace. She cannot share the grief she feels for the home and children she left behind. She cannot bear the warrior scars of the man she comes to love. and when she gives birth to their gifted daughter, Aoife cannot avoid what the child forces her to confront about her past and its truth.
Michael Marshall – The Forgotten (Orion)
It should have been the greatest day of David’s life. A trip to New York, wife by his side, to visit his new publisher. Finally, after years of lonely struggle it looks as though the gods of fate are on his side. But on the way back to Penn station, a chance encounter changes all of that. David bumps into a man who covertly follows him and, just before he boards the train, passes by him close enough to whisper: ‘Remember me.’
When the stranger turns up in his home town, David begins to understand that this man wants something from him…something very personal that he may have no choice but to surrender.
Meanwhile, back in New York, ex-lawyer John Henderson does his girlfriend Kristina a favour and agrees to talk to Catherine Warren, an acquaintance of hers who believes she’s being stalked by an ex-lover. But soon John realises that Catherine’s problem is far more complex and terrifying than he could ever have imagined…
There are people out there in the shadows, watching, waiting. They are the forgotten. And they’re about to turn.
Peggy Riley – Amity & Sorrow (Tinder Press)
In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her children and flees from the cult where her children were born and raised. Now she is on the run with no one but her barely-teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, neither of whom have ever seen the outside world, to help her. After four days of driving without sleep, Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station, unsure of what to do next. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most.
Patrick Ness – The Crane Wife (Canongate)
One night George Duncan is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by a giant arrow. Unexpectedly moved, he helps the crane, and from the moment he watches it fly off, George’s life is transformed. The next day, he meets and falls in love with the enigmatic Kumiko. It is a passion that burns hot as a volcano. But this passion comes at a terrible price.
Wise, magical, romantic and funny, The Crane Wife is hugely entertaining. A celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love and a hymn to the creative imagination, it is a completely enchanting novel.
Brian Kimberling – Snapper (Tinder Press)
“Told with precise and memorable prose in beautifully rendered, time-shifted vignettes, Snapper richly evokes the emotions of coming to adulthood. Nathan’s fascination with the physical world and with living an authentic and meaningful life, his disdain for jingoistic environmentalism, and his struggle to find balance between the cloistered liberalism of college towns and the conservatism of small towns are thoughtfully explored. All this and it’s funny, too. Whether it’s a snapping turtle biting off a friend’s finger or a borrowed dog finding a human thigh bone in a cemetery, Kimberling writes gracefully about absurdity, showing a rich feeling for the whole range of human tragicomedy. A delightful debut.”
So says US publishing bible Booklist about Snapper by Brian Kimberling, a debut novel published under Headline’s new literary imprint Tinder Press in May 2013. With shades of David Vann and Annie Proulx, Snapper is a coming-of-age story, loosely based on the author’s teenage years as a bird watcher in backwater Indiana. The novel started as a collection of short stories, but Brian’s course tutor on the Bath Spa Creative Writing Course, Tessa Hadley, saw a glimmer of something special and Snapper the novel was formed. Set in a brilliantly observed rural Indiana, ‘the bastard son of the Midwest ‘, it is a book about birdwatching, being in love with the wrong woman, and about a man’s relationship with the town he loves to hate.
Anton Di Sclafani – The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (Tinder Press)
1930s America, southern high society: Part love story, part coming-of-age novel, this is the moving, raw and exquisitely vivid story of an uncommon girl navigating a treacherous road to womanhood.
Thea Atwell is fifteen years old in 1930, when, following a scandal for which she has been held responsible, she is ‘exiled’ from her wealthy and isolated Florida family to a debutante boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. As Thea grapples with the truth about her role in the tragic events of 1929, she finds herself enmeshed in the world of the Yonahlossee Riding Camp, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty and equestrienne prowess; where young women are indoctrinated in the importance of ‘female education’ yet expected to be married by twenty-one; a world so rarified as to be rendered immune (at least on the surface) to the Depression looming at the periphery, all overseen by a young headmaster who has paid a high price for abandoning his own privileged roots…