Jane Shilling is a book critic for the Telegraph and the author of two books: The Fox in the Cupboard and The Stranger in the Mirror, a memoir of middle age, published in 2011. She writes on books for the New Statesman.
Translated with virtuosic precision by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Tokarczuk’s fiction seethes with the cleansing power of rage
“The merest spark of sexual attraction can cause a fire that has the potential to consume us”.
The Devils’ Dance is an intricate mixture of fact and fiction about the imprisonment and death of Uzbekistan’s greatest writer, Abdulla Qodiriy.
Journalist Adam Federman clearly venerates his subject, and his research is overwhelmingly diligent.
Astrid Lindgren's diaries reveal how Pippi's creator lived happily during the war – but was ascerbic about Britain's conduct.
Rawer and more unevenly wrought than Alone in Berlin, Nightmare is the necessary precursor to that great work.
In Peacock & Vine, Byatt has turned works of art and their shade, texture, patina and heft into words.
Margaret Forster's posthumous novel has much to admire – from its tragicomic opening chapters to the authenticity of its unusual protagonist.
Human Acts deals with the obliteration, both physical and psychic, of hundreds of its own citizens by the South Korean regime in the early 1980s.
The short stories by Lucia Berlin featured in this selection are perfectly poised.