New in Fiction
Beguiling Miss Bennet
Stories Inspired by the Work of Jane Austen

If you've ever wished you could dance with Mr Darcy, be whisked off your feet by Mr Wickham or indulge in gossip with the daring Dashwood sisters this is the volume for you...the third collection of tales shortlisted for the Chawton House Library Short Story Award. The twenty stories take as their inspiration minor characters from the famous novels and lesser known works and turn them into heroes and heroines for a new generation. Award winner 'The Wedding Planner' takes the characters from Austen's novella Lady Susan and transports them to the 21st century and new modes of communication. Some are contemporary to Austen, others contemporary to current readers. All offer an intriguing insight into the inner lives of one of the world's most loved authors' best-loved works.

Honno Press
Drawn to the abyss: literature's fascination with homelessness
Why would a writer seek to be homeless? For  George Orwell , it was "a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety." Authors and poets have long traded the comforts of home for the hardships of the road and produced great work as a result. Among them are some of literature's more complicated and daring figures: the likes of Orwell, Thomas De Quincey, Jack London and John Clare.

A Novel of Mary Shelley
On a dark and stormy night in 1816, a teenage girl sat down and invented science fiction. Mary Shelley was no more than 18 years old when she wrote "Frankenstein". From the moment of its publication 200 years ago, readers have been wondering, as Mary put it, "How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?" "Outcasts" takes readers behind the scenes, to reveal the surprisingly contemporary thoughts and feelings of Mary, an unmarried mother and the lover of radical poet Percy Shelley, their friend Lord Byron, and the other guests at the "most famous literary party in history". What led the daughter of two of the most radical philosophers in England to turn her hand to horror? As the 200th anniversary of "Frankenstein" approaches, many readers will be rediscovering the novel, perhaps reading it for the first time. "Outcasts" reveals new insights into the origin of the most famous monster in the world, while showing us the stunning new science, radical politics and social turmoil of Europe in the wake of the Napoleonic wars. The world was on the brink of a new era, when anything and everything was possible, and in this brave new world a new literature - and a timeless Creature - was born.

Wings Press
Of Thee I Read: The
United States in Literature
Reporters and editors on the National Desk of The New York Times were asked to suggest books that a visitor ought to read to truly understand the American cities and regions where they live, work and travel.
There were no restrictions - novels, memoirs, histories and children's books were fair game. Here are some selections.

A Beckoning War
Captain Jim McFarlane, a Canadian infantry officer, is coming apart at the seams. It's September 1944, in Italy, and the allied armies are closing in on the retreating Axis powers. Exhausted and lost, Jim tries to command his combat company under fire, while waiting desperately for letters from his wife Marianne. Joining the army not out of some admirable patriotic sentiments but rather because of his own failings and restlessness, he finds himself fighting in a war that is far from glorious. In this story of love and war, Murphy brilliantly captures our ambiguous relationship to war.

Baraka Books

The Book of Khartoum
A City in Short Fiction
Edited by Raph Cormack, Edited by Max Shmookler

Nestled on the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, the city of Khartoum has, for two centuries, been a focal point for both imperialism and rebellion, a breeding ground for revolutionary fervor, begrudging target for international criticism, and a refuge for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by wars conducted from this city. The Book of Khartoum provides an intimate tour of this city through the eyes of 10 of its best authors, representing a wide array of literary schools and political stances; from the social realism of old Communist stalwarts, to the fantastical abstraction of a new generation of Sudanese writers.

Carcanet Press, Ltd.

By Stevie Davies

Sebastian has long been haunted by the disappearance of his father, Jack Messenger: celebrated travel writer, potential spy and murder victim, his absent presence and equivocal past continue to cast inescapable shadows over his son, who must also contend with his ageing mother's fragmented memory and his own dereliction of a partner. So who is the stranger that buttonholes Sebastian at an academic conference on the Welsh coast, and reveals lies and transgressions neither outgrown nor comprehended? How does he know Sebastian, and what are his connections to Jack Messenger? Equivocator, in a story that stretches from Egypt to Germany, from Iran's Zagros Mountains to the Gower coastline, is a study of fathers and sons, lovers and betrayers, loss and recovery, and combines dark fable, satire and a love story in its pursuit of the question: can Sebastian find his own salvation, despite the inheritance from his father?

Parthian Books, Ltd.

The final frontier: Science fiction in Arab literature
Arabic literature stretches over a thousand years and has left very few stones unturned. From the classic tales of A Thousand and One Nights to the modern stories that occupy the shelves of bookstores throughout the Arab World, Arab writers have carved out a name for themselves as being bold and intrepid - sometimes at great personal cost considering the oft-maligned lack of press freedom in the region.

Nwelezelanga: The Star Child
By Unathi Magubeni

With a rich vocabulary that is poetic and uncluttered, this debut novel is nothing short of a masterpiece. It is both a well-written and philosophical book. The story begins with Nokwakha giving birth at her village home, and when it is discovered that the child is an albino the midwife convinces her that it is a curse and she should snuff the life out of it before it takes another breath. The dreadful deed is done by the river, but the 'all-knowing one' has other plans ... With an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been, contrasting the themes of darkness and light, embracing the unknown and unseen in a way no one else has - or can.

Jacana Media
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