International Fiction reviews

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

It’s 1954 and Emmett has just returned home from a stint in a juvenile prison. The bank is foreclosing on the family’s Nebraskan farm after his father’s death, and Emmett plans to pack up his little …

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Matrix by Lauren Groff

Scour the formal historical record and you won’t find much about the woman known as Marie de France beyond information that she lived in the 12th century and wrote a series of Breton lais, or short r…

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The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

Benny Oh has lost his father in a terrible accident. Shortly afterwards, something peculiar happens to the grief-stricken teenage boy: he starts to hear objects speaking. Snow globes, scissors, windo…

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Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Theo Byrne, a rising star in the field of astrobiology, has lost his wife, leaving him the sole parent to nine-year-old Robin. Robin is both a fascinating and a troubled boy. His love and appreciatio…

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Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

For me, a new Elizabeth Strout novel is always cause for excitement – she is, after all, one of my favourite authors. Strout has written several novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kit

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Travelling Companions by Antoni Jach

My brother Luke says this thing: ‘It’s not the destination. It isn’t even the journey. It’s the company.’ Antoni Jach’s novel Travelling Companions, which presents a particularly untroubled dream-vis…

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The Magpie Wing by Max Easton

Max Easton is the creator of the brilliant podcast Barely Human, which explores the underground music scene and the musicians who fascinate him. (The episodes on Randy Newman, Poly Styrene and R.L. B…

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Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, centres on Ray Carney, a furniture store owner who is doing a bad job of flying straight. His father was an infamous crook, and despite Ray’s best effort…

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Believe in Me by Lucy Neave

When American teenager Sarah is sent away on a mission with the married pastor of her family’s church, Sarah’s mother, Greta, tells her: ‘don’t worry about us. Be as free as a bird, as a fox. You kno…

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Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Calling Sally Rooney’s third novel (in only four years) highly anticipated doesn’t quite cut it. Thanks to the immense global success of both Conversations with Friends and Normal People, which toppe…

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