We’ll let you in on a little secret: here at Turnaround, we absolutely love October. We love Halloween and falling leaves and the fact that it is finally getting cold enough to wear our favourite jumpers. This year we’re hearing a lot of good buzz about soup, and we love that too. Another thing we love, of course, is literary fiction – and October is brimming with it. Shall we have a look at what’s on offer?
The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby
(9780857303271, No Exit Press, p/b, £8.99)
Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora?
Ghosts of Berlin by Rudolph Herzog
(9781612197517, Melville House, p/b, £12.99)
Berlin’s hip present comes up against the city’s dark past in these seven supernatural tales.
Set in hipster Kruezberg, chic airport lounges, and the former border between East and West Germany, the denizens of Rudolph Herzog’s Berlin are demon-conjuring tech bros, acid-tripping artists, and forsaken migrants, each encountering the ghosts of the city’s complicated past. Herzog delivers a collection at once arresting and thought-provoking, and the book’s true star, Berlin, is revealed as a modern metropolis with a past that won’t stay quiet.
Little Blue Encycolpedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
(9780994047199, Metonymy Press, p/b, £12.99)
The stunning, unrequited love story of two trans women.
Using humour, meticulous character sketches, memories, and interludes with others who knew Vivian, our narrator painstakingly reveals the woman she loved, why she loved her, and the depths and details of what she has lost. Little Blue asks, what do we value about those we admire? How do the tastes of those we’ve lost infuse our own? And how do we bend our lives to fit those we love, even as we can never know them completely?
The Museum of Lost Love by Gary Barker
(9781912987030, World Editions, p/b, £11.99)
In Zagreb, a couple discovers a museum that displays mementos of broken relationships.
Katia and Goran are in love. Tyler is in therapy. On a summer trip to Zagreb, the couple discover an unusual museum – a museum that displays mementos of broken relationships. Inside, Goran stumbles upon an exhibit that seems to be addressed to him, from a girl he met in a Sarajevo refugee camp at age fourteen. What follows is a whirlwind summer of reconnecting with lost pasts: Goran confronts the youth he lost during the Yugoslav Wars, Katia heads to Brazil to find her roots, and Afghanistan veteran Tyler pours out his soul.
These Our Monsters from English Heritage
(9781910907405, September Publishing, h/b, £14.99)
Ours has always been an island full of folklore. Even today, we look for mystery in the mundane and seek the thrills that only a well-spun story can provide.
From the legends of King Arthur embedded in the rocky splendour of Tintagel to the folklore and mysticism of Stonehenge, English Heritage sites are often closely linked to native English myths. Following on from the bestselling ghost story anthology Eight Ghosts this is a new collection of stories inspired by the legends and tales that swirl through the history of eight different English Heritage sites. New legends for modern times; sprung from our ancient lands, stories and stones.
This Way to Departures by Linda Mannheim
(9781910312438, Influx Press, p/b, £9.99)
What happens when we leave the places we’re from? What do we lose, and who do we become, and what parts of our pasts are unshakeable?
Linda Mannheim’s second short story collection tells the stories of twelve people who have relocated – both voluntarily and involuntarily. This Way to Departures is a deeply affecting portrait of American society and the constant search for a place to call ‘home’.
To The Volcano and Other Stories by Elleke Boehmer
(9781912408245, Myriad Editions, p/b, £8.99)
A thrilling new collection of short stories by Elleke Boehmer which cross continents from the perspective of the southern hemisphere.
An African student in England longs for her desert home; a shy Argentinian travel agent agonises about joining her boyfriend in New York; a soldier is pursued by his past; a writer’s widow fends off the attentions of his predatory biographer. From story to story we walk through radically different worlds and journeys packed with hopes and ideals. Sharp, tender, and always arresting, these exquisitely written pieces crackle with luminous insights as characters struggle to find contentment – with their pasts, with one another, and with themselves.
Welcome to America by Linda Bostrom Knausgard
(9781912987047, World Editions, p/b, £10.99)
A family on the brink of silence.
Ellen’s stopped talking. She thinks she may have killed her dad. Her brother’s barricaded himself in his room. Their mother, a successful actress, carries on as normal. We’re a family of light! she insists. But darkness seeps in everywhere and in their separate worlds each of them longs for togetherness. Welcome to America is a scintillating portrait of a sensitive, strong-willed child and a young mind in the throes of trauma, a family on the brink of implosion, and the love that threatens to tear them apart.