Our favourite recent literary novels and story collections.
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The Ghosts of Beatrice Bird is an unforgettable story of obsession, redemption, and the magic of unexpected friendship, from the acclaimed author of A Secret History of Witches.
Beatrice Bird is haunted by ghosts--a gift she's had since she was a small child. Unfortunately, it's an ability that has now grown more intense, shifting from flashes and feelings to physical manifestations she can't escape.
In a desperate attempt to find relief, Beatrice flees her home, her partner, and her psychology practice in San Francisco for a remote island with only nuns and a few cows for company. She doesn't call home. She sees as few people as she possibly can. Then she meets Anne Iredale, a timid woman who has lost everything that matters to her.
For the first time in a long time, Beatrice's gift will be called on to help someone in need. But the ghosts have taken on an even darker edge--and there is something sinister lurking in the shadows. Beatrice may not be enough to stop what's coming for them.
For more from Louisa Morgan, check out:
A Secret History of Witches
The Witch's Kind
The Age of Witches
The Great Witch of Brittany
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A newly sober, orphaned son of Iranian immigrants, guided by the voices of artists, poets, and kings, embarks on a remarkable search for a family secret that leads him to a terminally ill painter living out her final days in the Brooklyn Museum. Electrifying, funny, and wholly original, Martyr! heralds the arrival of an essential new voice in contemporary fiction.
"Kaveh Akbar is one of my favorite writers. Ever." --Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of There There
"The best novel you'll ever read about the joy of language, addiction, displacement, martyrdom, belonging, homesickness." --Lauren Groff, best-selling author of Matrix and Fates and Furies
Cyrus Shams is a young man grappling with an inheritance of violence and loss: his mother's plane was shot down over the skies of the Persian Gulf in a senseless accident; and his father's life in America was circumscribed by his work killing chickens at a factory farm in the Midwest. Cyrus is a drunk, an addict, and a poet, whose obsession with martyrs leads him to examine the mysteries of his past--toward an uncle who rode through Iranian battlefields dressed as the angel of death to inspire and comfort the dying, and toward his mother, through a painting discovered in a Brooklyn art gallery that suggests she may not have been who or what she seemed.
Kaveh Akbar's Martyr! is a paean to how we spend our lives seeking meaning--in faith, art, ourselves, others.
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New York Times bestselling author Natalie Haynes returns to the world of ancient Greek myth in this scintillating follow-up to Pandora's Jar.
Few writers today have reshaped our view of the ancient Greek myths more than revered bestselling author Natalie Haynes. Divine Might is a female-centered look at Olympus and the Furies, focusing on the goddesses whose prowess, passions, jealousies, and desires rival those of their male kin, including:Athene, who sprang fully formed from her father's brow (giving Zeus a killer headache in the process), the goddess of war and provider of wise counsel.Aphrodite, born of the foam (and sperm released from a Titan's castrated testicles), the most beautiful of all the Olympian goddesses, the epitome of love who dispenses desire and inspires longing--yet harbors a fearsome vengeful side, doling out brutal punishments to those who displease her.Hera, Zeus's long-suffering wife, whose jealousy born of his repeated dalliances with mortals, nymphs, and other goddesses, leads her to wreak elaborate and often painful revenge on those she believes have wronged her. (Well, wouldn't you?)Demeter, goddess of the harvest and mother of Persephone; Artemis, the hunter and goddess of wild spaces; the Muses, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory; and Hestia, goddess of domesticity and sacrificial fire.Infused with Haynes's engaging charm and irrepressible wit, Divine Might is a refreshing take on the legends and stories we thought we knew.
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A tragic plane crash that leaves two women stranded and fighting for their lives kicks off this sweeping and hilarious novel from award-winning writer Drew Hayden Taylor that blends thriller, murder mystery, and horror with humour and spectacle.
Elmore Trent is a professor of Indigenous studies who finds himself entangled in an affair that's ruining his marriage; Paul North plays in the IHL (Indigenous Hockey League), struggling to keep up with the game that's passing him by; Detective Ruby Birch is chasing a string of gruesome murders, with clues that conspicuously lead her to both Elmore and Paul. And then there's Fabiola Halan, former journalist-turned-author and famed survivor of a plane crash that sparked a nationwide tour promoting her book.
What starts off as a series of subtle connections between isolated characters quickly takes a menacing turn, as it becomes increasingly clear that someone--or something--is hunting them all.
Taking tropes from the murder mystery, police procedural, thriller, and horror genres, Drew Hayden Taylor weaves a pulse-pounding and propulsive narrative with an intricate cast of characters, while never losing the ability to make you laugh.
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From Booker Prize Finalist and bestselling author of "pitch perfect" (Boston Globe) Small Things Like These, comes a triptych of stories about love, lust, betrayal, and the ever-intriguing interchanges between women and men.
Celebrated for her powerful short fiction, considered "among the form's most masterful practitioners" (New York Times), Claire Keegan now gifts us three exquisite stories, newly revised and expanded, together forming a brilliant examination of gender dynamics and an arc from Keegan's earliest to her most recent work.
In So Late in the Day, Cathal faces a long weekend as his mind agitates over a woman with whom he could have spent his life, had he behaved differently; in The Long and Painful Death, a writer's arrival at the seaside home of Heinrich Böll for a residency is disrupted by an academic who imposes his presence and opinions; and in Antarctica, a married woman travels out of town to see what it's like to sleep with another man and ends up in the grip of a possessive stranger.
Each story probes the dynamics that corrupt what could be between women and men: a lack of generosity, the weight of expectation, the looming threat of violence. Potent, charged, and breathtakingly insightful, these three essential tales will linger with readers long after the book is closed.
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A breathtaking and mysterious new novel from the beloved Anne Michaels, internationally bestselling author of Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault.
1917. On a battlefield near the River Aisne, John lies in the aftermath of a blast, unable to move or feel his legs. Struggling to focus his thoughts, he is lost to memory--a chance encounter in a pub by a railway, a hot bath with his lover on a winter night, his childhood on a faraway coast--as the snow falls.
1920. John has returned from war to North Yorkshire, near another river--alive, but not whole. Reunited with Helena, an artist, he reopens his photography business and endeavours to keep on living. But the past erupts insistently into the present, as ghosts begin to surface in his pictures: ghosts whose messages he cannot understand.
So begins a narrative that spans four generations, moments of connection and consequence igniting and re-igniting as the century unfolds. In luminous moments of desire, comprehension, longing, and transcendence, the sparks fly upward, working their transformations decades later. This resonance through time--not only of actions but also of feelings and perceptions--desire in its many forms--are at the heart of this novel's profound investigation.
Held is a deeply affecting and intensely beautiful novel, full of unforgettable characters and imagery, wisdom and compassion. It explores the deepest mysteries, and the ways in which desire in its many forms--and perhaps the deepest desire, to find meaning--manifests itself. Held moves through history to light upon Darwin, Sir Ernest Rutherford, North Sea ganseys, early photography, Ella Mary Leather, modern field hospitals...while lovers find each other and snow drifts down across the centuries. From the WW1 battlefield where the novel begins, and its opening lines, Held is alive with seeking: "We know life is finite. Why should we believe death lasts forever?"
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The fourth novel in the internationally bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold Series
The regulars at the magical Café Funiculi Funicula are well acquainted with its famous legend and extraordinary time-travel offer. Many patrons have reunited with old flames, made amends with estranged family and visited loved ones. But the journey is not without risks, and there are rules to follow.
In the tradition of Toshikazu Kawaguchi's sensational Before the Coffee Gets Cold Series, readers will once again be introduced to a new set of visitors: the husband with something important left to say; the woman who couldn't bid her dog farewell; the woman who couldn't answer a proposal; and the daughter who drove her father away.
Featuring signature heartwarming characters and wistful storytelling, in the beautifully haunting Before We Say Goodbye, Kawaguchi asks: Who would you visit if you could travel through time?
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These loosely linked stories read like a novel. Lives are given form by the past but undergo change as the world reshapes beliefs and circumstances. Focusing on recurrent, related characters with a common reality: small town Mennonite life, this powerful collection connects us to the author's own background and experiences.
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OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK o Instant New York Times Bestseller o Shortlisted for the 2024 Carnegie Medal for Excellence
From Jesmyn Ward--the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow--comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War.
"'Let us descend,' the poet now began, 'and enter this blind world.'" --Inferno, Dante Alighieri
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader's guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land--the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward's most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.
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NATIONAL BEST SELLER o From the beloved author of Inheritance: "a haunting, moving, and propulsive exploration of family secrets" (Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings)
Two families. One night. A constellation of lives changed forever.
A TIME Best Fiction Book of the Year o A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction o A Real Simple Best Book of the Year
An ancient majestic oak stands beneath the stars on Division Street. And under the tree sits Ben Wilf, a retired doctor, and ten-year-old Waldo Shenkman, a brilliant, lonely boy who is pointing out his favorite constellations. Waldo doesn't realize it but he and Ben have met before. And they will again, and again. Across time and space, and shared destiny.
Division Street is full of secrets. An impulsive lie begets a secret--one which will forever haunt the Wilf family. And the Shenkmans, who move into the neighborhood many years later, bring secrets of their own.. Spanning fifty kaleidoscopic years, on a street--and in a galaxy--where stars collapse and stories collide, these two families become bound in ways they never could have imagined.
Urgent and compassionate, Signal Fires is a magical story for our times, a literary tour de force by a masterful storyteller at the height of her powers. A luminous meditation on family, memory, and the healing power of interconnectedness.
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A student becomes intrigued by a mysterious friend whose intimate relationship with the history of the mill town where he grew up informs his politics and enigmatic writing. With curiosity that often breaches the private boundaries of friendship, the student's warm and comedic accounts repeatedly shift to a narrative space where the harsh conditions, operations, and confines of the residents of the mill town are explored in clinical detail.
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LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER, FINANCIAL TIMES, AND A 2023 WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE WORK
From the bestselling author of The Garden of Evening Mists, a spellbinding novel about love and betrayal, colonialism and revolution, storytelling and redemption.
The year is 1921. Lesley Hamlyn and her husband, Robert, a lawyer and war veteran, are living at Cassowary House on the Straits Settlement of Penang. When "Willie" Somerset Maugham, a famed writer and old friend of Robert's, arrives for an extended visit with his secretary Gerald, the pair threatens a rift that could alter more lives than one.
Maugham, one of the great novelists of his day, is beleaguered: Having long hidden his homosexuality, his unhappy and expensive marriage of convenience becomes unbearable after he loses his savings--and the freedom to travel with Gerald. His career deflating, his health failing, Maugham arrives at Cassowary House in desperate need of a subject for his next book. Lesley, too, is enduring a marriage more duplicitous than it first appears. Maugham suspects an affair, and, learning of Lesley's past connection to the Chinese revolutionary, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, decides to probe deeper. But as their friendship grows and Lesley confides in him about life in the Straits, Maugham discovers a far more surprising tale than he imagined, one that involves not only war and scandal but the trial of an Englishwoman charged with murder. It is, to Maugham, a story worthy of fiction.
A mesmerizingly beautiful novel based on real events, The House of Doors traces the fault lines of race, gender, sexuality, and power under empire, and dives deep into the complicated nature of love and friendship in its shadow.
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Both epic and intimate, Sharon Emmerichs's extraordinary debut novel reimagines Beowulf from the perspective of a young woman reclaiming her power.
All her life, Fryda has longed to be a shield maiden, an honor reserved for Geatland's mightiest warriors. When a childhood accident leaves her tragically injured and unfit for the battlefield, her dreams are dashed--or so she thinks. But a strange, unfathomable power is awakening within her, a power that will soon be put to the test.
For when foreign lords and chieftains descend upon Fryda's home to celebrate her uncle King Beowulf's fifty-year reign, she realizes not all their guests come with good intentions. Treachery is afoot, and Fryda must gather her courage to fight for her people...as a queen should--as a shield maiden would--and as only Fryda can.
But as Fryda's power grows stronger, something ancient hears its call. For buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon awakens...and Fryda must prove herself once and for all.
Praise for Shield Maiden:
"A heroine with a generous spirit, an unshakable will, and a dragon's fury." --H. M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke
"Casts a superb spell. Shimmering with detail, with a propulsive plot to match" --D. K. Fields, author of the Tales of Fenest trilogy
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From the visionary author of Milk Fed and The Pisces, a darkly funny novel about grief and a "magical tale of survival" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
In Melissa Broder's astonishingly profound new novel, a woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow--for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path discovered on a nearby hike.
Out along the sun-scorched trail, the narrator encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it. What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious, and poignant.
Death Valley is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest, and is "a journey unlike any you've read before" (Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black).
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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
Twelve years after the lights go out . . .
An epic journey to a forgotten homeland
The hotly anticipated sequel to the bestselling novel Moon of the Crusted Snow.
In the years since a mysterious cataclysm caused a permanent blackout that toppled infrastructure and thrust the world into anarchy, Evan Whitesky has led his community in remote northern Canada off the rez and into the bush, where they've been rekindling their Anishinaabe traditions, isolated from the outside world. As new generations are born, and others come of age in a world after everything, Evan's people are stronger than ever. But resources around their new settlement are drying up, and elders warn that they cannot stay indefinitely.
Evan and his teenaged daughter, Nangohns, are chosen to lead a scouting party on a months-long trip down to their traditional home on the shores of Lake Huron--to seek new beginnings, and discover what kind of life--and what danger--still exists in the lands to the south.
Waubgeshig Rice's exhilarating return to the world first explored in Moon of the Crusted Snow is a brooding story of survival, resilience, Indigenous identity, and rebirth.
This is a selection of our current Literary Fiction titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.