On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed our Book of the Month, Girl by Edna O’Brien. O’Brien is an important writer who has long given a voice and created a space for girls and women in crisis. This novel tells the story of Maryam, one of a group of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria. Girl will rip your heart out, but you won’t be able to put the book down. What a writer!
Book of the Month
Our Book of the Month for October is Edna O’Brien’s Girl. A clear-sighted and gripping novel about Maryam, one of a group of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria. At 88-years-old, O’Brien is as icicle sharp as ever - on a recent trip to Nigeria on research for this book, she smuggled £15,000 in her knickers to give to people there. Girl will rip your heart out, but you won’t be able to put the book down. What a writer!
You can listen to Kiran’s RNZ Nine to Noon review of Girl here.
Deborah Levy’s Booker Prize longlisted The Man Who Saw Everything may not have made the shortlist but it is our Book of the Month for September! An intriguing and expertly plotted novel abut politics, history, surveillance, beauty and envy, this book shows Levy is a clever writer of immense control and clarity. You can listen to Kiran’s 95bFM Loose Reads review here.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed our Book of the Month The Man Who Saw Everything by one of her favourite writers Deborah Levy. An intriguing and expertly plotted novel abut politics, history, surveillance, beauty and envy, this book shows Levy is a clever writer of immense control and clarity.
Our Book of the Month for August is The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Award for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad. Based on a real and brutal segregated Florida reform school in the 1950s, the Nickel Academy claims to provide “physical, intellectual and moral training” that will equip its inmates to become “honorable and honest men”. Time Out’s owner Wendy loved this book!
Our Book of the Month for July is Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi which has won the Man Booker International Prize. It’s a powerful saga about three sisters living in al-Awafi, an Omani village on the brink of change. Exploring themes of slavery, urbanisation, women’s wisdom, patriarchy and masculinity, it’s a beautiful read. Celestial Bodies is also our Lit Reads title for July.
Click here to hear Kiran’s review on 95bFM’s Loose Reads.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed our July Book of the Month and Lit Reads title Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi which has won the Man Booker International Prize. It’s a powerful saga about three sisters living in al-Awafi, an Omani village on the brink of change. Exploring themes of slavery, urbanisation, women’s wisdom, patriarchy and masculinity, it’s a beautiful read.
We are thrilled to introduce you to our June Book of the Month! Saltwater by Jessica Andrews is a stunning work of working class autofiction about fragility, place, class, the mother/daughter relationship and the body. It's a firecracker. Velvety, sensuous, and wonderfully allusive, it's a sublime evocation of a young woman's inner world as she moves between London and a small village on the coast of Ireland. Saltwater crackles with raw energy and real feeling, and Jessica Andrews' writing is intensely beautiful. Click here to listen to Kiran’s review on RNZ’s Nine to Noon.
Dead People I Have Known
We are pleased to announce that our May Book of the Month is the highly anticipated memoir Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter, published by Victoria University Press.
From Kiran Dass’ NZ Herald review:
“Dead People I Have Known is sharp, moving and tender. Carter has backbone. He writes with a staunch self-awareness and alongside the successful moments doesn't shy away from revealing the awkward, embarrassing and low points. It's compelling, smart and immersive and I couldn't put it down. “
The days may be getting shorter and cooler, but spring has definitely sprung at Time Out! Our Book of the Month for April is Spring by Ali Smith, who returns with the eagerly awaited third installment of her seasonal quartet of novels.
”Spring will come. The leaves on its trees will open after blossom.Before it arrives, a hundred yards of empire-making. The dawn breaks cold and still but, deep in the earth, things are growing.”
Riffing on the work of Katherine Mansfield and Rilke, Greek myths and the lyricism of the season spring itself, Smith’s luminous and hope-filled novel is an empathetic look at the fallout of contemporary politics and current affairs.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed our Time Out Book of the Month for March - The Wall by John Lanchester. It’s a startlingly prescient allegory for our times where The Defenders patrol a Wall to keep out The Others. Looking at climate change and political turbulence, John Lanchester is a brilliant writer.
Our Book of the Month for March is The Wall by John Lanchester.
"It's cold on the Wall. You look for metaphors. It's cold as slate, as diamond, as the moon. Cold as charity - that's a good one. But you soon realise that the thing about the cold is that it isn't a metaphor. It isn't like anything else. It's nothing but physical fact. This kind of cold, anyway. Cold is cold is cold."
After a catastrophic environmental disaster, sea levels have risen, there are no beaches, and a Wall encircling Great Britain has been erected. Beset by cold, loneliness and fear, it is on the Wall that the Defenders stand guard to keep the Others out. A dystopian allegory about the current political and environmental climate, The Wall also looks at intergenerational disparity and will hook you in from the first line.