Racial and gender divides in contemporary Britain are cross-examined in this intelligent courtroom thriller by Kia Abdullah. The case under consideration concerns Jodie Wolfe, a 16-year old girl who is facially disfigured by neurofibromatosis. She claims she has been raped by a group of four classmates. The fact that she is white, and the accused are Muslim and of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, adds racial conflict to an already incendiary legal battle.
The classic debate of whether our lives are determined by self-will or fate is given a provocative twist in the latest novel from Indian author Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay.
We first meet Kazu Mori, the protagonist of award-winning Japanese author Yu Miri’s newly translated novel Tokyo Ueno Station, after his death. Unable to move fully into the afterlife, Mori seems condemned to merely observe his former abode, its visitors and its inhabitants. Through his eyes we learn about the park’s history as, variously, a battleground, a disembarkation point for immigrant workers from its train station and, in modern times, a hub for museums and galleries.
An imagined love affair between two great architects of the 20th century is the foundation of this lyrical novel by Shiromi Pinto.
First published in Japanese in 1995 and now in English translation, The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami takes the form of ten short stories linked by a central character, the titular Mr Nishino. Each encapsulates one of ten affairs Nishino conducts through his life ranging from schoolboy romance to extramarital liaisons. Sadly, despite his notable talents as a lothario, Nishino cannot make any of these trysts last.
Tishani Doshi’s latest novel begins in Paramankeni, a far-flung coastal village in Tamil Nadu. The protagonist, Grace, has returned from America to take ownership of a house left to her by her recently deceased mother. There’s another legacy too—a sister she never knew about. This, however, is a mixed blessing as Lucia has Down’s syndrome and requires full-time care.
Dark secrets in the steamy jungle of British colonial Malaya are the subject of this engrossing retelling of William Somerset Maugham’s short story, The Force of Circumstance.