2533 results 1-20
Grief. Anger. Joy. Fear. Distraction. Disgust. Hope.
All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime.
But what if this was every day?
And what if your ability to manage them was the difference between life and death?
For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Fear in the eyes of a terminally ill patient who pleads with you to not let them die. Grief when an elderly person dies alone. Disgust at having to care for a convicted rapist. But there’s also the hope found in the resilience of a family and the joy that comes with a meaningful connection with a patient, however fleeting it may be.
These real stories reveal what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital. Told through seven emotions that we can all empathise with, this book from the British Medical Association’s own Secret Doctor gives us a unique window onto the other side of a hospital experience, showing us how it feels to care for a living.
‘You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade…You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline… I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.’
My Purple Scented Novel follows the perfect crime of literary betrayal, scrupulously wrought yet unscrupulously executed, published to celebrate Ian McEwan’s 70th birthday.
In the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Gwendolen – not yet truly famous as the writer ‘Jean Rhys’ – is presented with the opportunity she has been waiting for. Her husband has received an unexpected inheritance; she can, at last, return to the island of her childhood.
For Gwendolen, Dominica is a place of freedom and beauty, far away from the lonely nights and failed dreams of England. But this visit home compels her to reflect on the events of her past, and on what they may mean for her future.
This Is Just My Face is the whirlwind tour of Gabourey Sidibe’s life so far. In it, we meet her polygamous father, her gifted mother who fed the family by busking on the subway, and the psychic who told her she’d one day be ‘famous like Oprah’.
Gabby shows us round the Harlem studio apartment where she grew up, relives the debilitating depression that hit her at college, and reminisces about her first ever job as a phone sex ‘talker’ (less creepy than you’d think).
With exhilaratingly honest (and often hilarious) dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different - and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.
‘Solstad doesn’t write to please other people. Do exactly what you want, that’s my idea…the drama exists in his voice’ Lydia Davis
Armand is a diplomat rising through the ranks of the Norwegian foreign office, but he’s caught between his public duty to support foreign wars in the Middle East and his private disdain of Western intervention. He hides behind his knowing ironic statements about the war, which no one grasps and which change nothing in the real world. Armand’s son joins the Norwegian SAS to fight in the Middle East, despite being specifically warned against such a move by his father, which leads to catastrophic, heartbreaking consequences.
Told exclusively in footnotes to an unwritten novel, this is Solstad's radically unconventional novel about how we experience the passing of time: how it fragments, drifts, quickens, and how single moments can define a life.
Winner of the Brage Prize
A terrible drought hits the population of a small mountain village and they flee to better climes. Incapable of marching for days, one old man and his blind dog stay behind, keeping watch over his single ear of corn. Every day is a victory over death.
The Years, Months, Days is a universal story, an homage to all that is good in mankind. A bestseller in China and now available in English for the first time, this is a powerful, moving fable by ‘one of China’s greatest living authors’ (Guardian).
Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.
Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2017
'An eye-opening, well-written and very timely book' Yuval Noah Harari
'The best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating' Pankaj Mishra
'It strikes a blow…for common humanity' Sunday Times
The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Modern ideals and practices were embraced across the region, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.
The Islamic Enlightenment looks behind the sensationalist headlines in order to foster a genuine understanding of Islam and its relationship to the West. It is essential reading for anyone engaged in the state of the world today.
‘The extraordinary story of a 1950s Glasgow murder mystery’ Guardian
**WINNER OF THE 2017 MCILVANNEY PRIZE FOR SCOTTISH CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**CHOSEN BY THE TELEGRAPH AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE GUARDIAN AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE SCOTSMAN AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
Glasgow, 1957. It is a December night and William Watt is desperate. His family has been murdered and he needs to find out who killed them.
He arrives at a bar to meet Peter Manuel, who claims he can get hold of the gun that was used. But Watt soon realises that this infamous criminal will not give up information easily.
Inspired by true events, The Long Drop follows Watt and Manuel along back streets and into smoky pubs, and on to the courtroom where the murder trial takes place. Can Manuel really be trusted to tell the truth? And how far will Watt go to get what he wants?
‘A masterpiece by the woman who may be Britain’s finest living crime novelist’
‘Absorbing… this is a bravura performance, a true original’
‘Revisits a dark episode in Glasgow’s past… Mina navigates the uneasy territory between fact and fiction with consummate grace’
From Dylan Thomas’s eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath’s desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen; from Chatterton’s Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats’ death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.
The post-Romantic lore of the dissolute drunken poet has fatally skewed the image of poets in our culture. Novelists can be stable, savvy, politically adept and in control, but poets should be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive. Is this just an illusion , or is there some essential truth behind it? What is the price of poetry?
In this book, two contemporary poets embark on a series of journeys to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, but also as investigators, interrogating the myth.
‘An extraordinary book of real passionate research’ Edmund de Waal
In 1945, Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. But before the trial could take place Pound was pronounced insane. Escaping a potential death sentence he was shipped off to St Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, DC, where he was held for over a decade.
At the hospital, Pound was at his most contradictory and most controversial: a genius writer – ‘The most important living poet in the English language’ according to T. S. Eliot – but also a traitor and now, seemingly, a madman. But he remained a magnetic figure. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell and John Berryman all went to visit him at what was perhaps the world’s most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist and held in a lunatic asylum.
Told through the eyes of his illustrious visitors, The Bughouse captures the essence of Pound – the artistic flair, the profound human flaws – whilst telling the grand story of politics and art in the twentieth century.
Hame, n. Scottish form of ‘home’: a valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin
After her relationship breaks down, Mhairi McPhail dismantles her life in New York and moves with her 9-year-old daughter, Agnes, to the remote Scottish island of Fascaray. Mhairi has been commissioned to write the biography of Grigor McWatt, the late Bard of Fascaray.
But who was the cantankerous Grigor McWatt? Despite his international reputation, details of his past are elusive. As Mhairi struggles to adapt to her new life she begins to unearth the astonishing secret history of the poet regarded by many as the custodian of Fascaray’s – and Scotland’s – soul.
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.
But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.
In a divided world, empathy is not the solution, it is the problem.
We think of empathy – the ability to feel the suffering of others for ourselves – as the ultimate source of all good behaviour. But while it inspires care and protection in personal relationships, it has the opposite effect in the wider world. As the latest research in psychology and neuroscience shows, we feel empathy most for those we find attractive and who seem similar to us and not at all for those who are different, distant or anonymous. Empathy therefore biases us in favour of individuals we know while numbing us to the plight of thousands. Guiding us expertly through the experiments, case studies and arguments on all sides, Paul Bloom ultimately shows that some of our worst decisions – in charity, child-raising, criminal justice, climate change and war – are motivated by this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, Against Empathy overturns widely held assumptions to reveal one of the most profound yet overlooked sources of human conflict.
Kate, a grieving, semi-alcoholic film student, invites an elderly woman to take part in an oral-history documentary. Jean declines, but makes her a bizarre counter-offer: if Kate can stay sober for four days, she will tell her a story. If she can stay sober beyond that, there will be another, and then another, amounting to the entire history of one family’s life.
Gradually, Jean offers a heart-breaking account, not only of her own history – a lost lover, a family scarred by war – but of the American century itself; as a deep connection emerges between the women which will transform both of their lives.
‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk’ Junot Díaz
In this non-fiction novel – road trip, confession, and erotic tour de force – Emmanuel Carrère pursues two consuming obsessions: the disappearance of his grandfather amid suspicions that he was a Nazi collaborator in the Second World War; and a violently passionate affair with a woman that he loves but which ends in destruction. Moving between Paris and Kotelnich, a grisly post-Soviet town, Carrère weaves his story into a travelogue of a journey inward, travelling fearlessly into the depths of his tortured psyche.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD
Mussolini was not only ruthless: he was subtle and manipulative. Black-shirted thugs did his dirty work for him: arson, murder, destruction of homes and offices, bribes and intimidation. His opponents – including editors, union representatives, lawyers and judges – were beaten into submission. But the tide turned in 1924 when his assassins went too far, horror spread across Italy, and antifascist resistance was born. Among those whose disgust hardened into bold and uncompromising resistance was a family from Florence: Amelia, Carlo and Nello Rosselli. Caroline Moorehead draws readers into the lives of this remarkable family – their loves, their loyalties, their laughter and their ultimate sacrifice.
**A New York Times top 100 Notable Book of the Year**
Alexander Bruno is a man with expensive problems. Sporting a tuxedo and trotting the globe, he has spent his adult life as a professional gambler. His particular line of work: backgammon, at which he extracts large sums of money from men who think they can challenge his peerless acumen. In Singapore, his luck turned.
Maybe it had something to do with the Blot – a black spot which has emerged to distort Bruno’s vision. It’s not showing any signs of going away. As Bruno extends his losing streak in Berlin, it becomes clinically clear that the Blot is the symptom of something terrible. There’s a surgeon who can help, but surgery is going to involve a lot of money, and worse: returning home to the garish, hash-smoke streets of Berkeley, California. Here, the unseemly Keith Stolarsky – a childhood friend in possession of an empire of themed burger bars and thrift stores – is king. And he’s willing to help Bruno out. But there was always going to be a price.
‘A brilliant novel… courageous, necessary and deeply touching’ Guardian
Édouard Louis grew up in a village in northern France where many live below the poverty line. His bestselling debut novel about life there, The End of Eddy, has sparked debate on social inequality, sexuality and violence.
It is an extraordinary portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own. Written with an openness and compassionate intelligence, ultimately, it asks, how can we create our own freedom?
‘A mesmerising story about difference and adolescence’
New York Times
‘Édouard Louis…is that relatively rare thing – a novelist with something to say and a willingness to say it, without holding back’
‘Louis’ book has become the subject of political discussion in a way that novels rarely do’
Garth Greenwell, New Yorker
*Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017*
*Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2017*
*Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018*
*Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Sunday Times*
Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.
When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea.
Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China: censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.
'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph