Summer tiiiime — and the readin’ is eas-ily the best way to be spending it with this staggeringly good collection of June fiction!! Our publishers are absolutely spoiling us for choice with the amount of astounding fiction being released in the next few weeks. Some are award-winning, some are debuts, all are utterly remarkable in their trailblazing originality, and all within your grasp to discover… simply scroll down for these tremendous new titles.
Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down
Text Publishing // 9781925773590 // PB // £11.99 // 22nd June 2023
Jennifer Down made big waves in Australia with Bodies of Light, winning the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2022 and appearing on the shortlist of the 2022 Stella Prize and the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Epic in scale yet observed in gorgeous detail, this novel tracks the life of a Melbourne woman named Maggie, from her childhood in foster care through to the present day, where she is living in the US under a new identity. When an unexpected Facebook message forces her to confront her history, she must face her past-self she thought she had long buried. Deeply touching and sublimely fierce, it looks at the legacy of trauma and the ways in which people can fall through the cracks in the system.
Constance by Joseph Zigmond
The Indigo Press // 9781911648567 // PB // £11.99 // 8th June 2023
This heart-rendering debut fiction from Joseph Zigmond is a novel of teenage fragility, male blindness and everyday complicity set in a world of climate collapse. In the year 2064, protagonist Ali is willing to desert family, life and work just find an extraordinary girl he met once as an 18-year-old back in 2006 who transformed his life over one night. Zigmond’s poignant narrative touches on the significant power of human emotion, love, and the truth. Constance is a mesmerising story about longing, human complexity and metaphorical blindness, yet hopeful in its message.
Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak
Bedford Square Publishers // 9780857305534 // PB // £9.99 // 29th June 2023
Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, travelling from Moscow and Paris to Washington and New York, Our American Friend is both a devastating love story and a timely page-turner exploring power, politics and complicity. A propulsive Cold War-era political thriller, intrepid journalist Sofie Morse uncovers dangerous secrets when the evasive First Lady asks her to write her official biography. Suddenly Sofie is in the middle of a game of cat and mouse that could have explosive ramifications. As the New York Times describes it, it is ‘[e]legant and well-paced… Like Emily in Paris meets Scandal — fantastic fun.’
The Murder of Anton Livius by Hansjörg Schneider, translated by Astrid Freuler
Bitter Lemon Press // 9781913394875 // PB // £9.99 // 15th June 2023
The latest in the international crime series featuring the indomitable Inspector Peter Hunkeler, The Murder of Anton Livius follows on from the success of the prize-winning The Basel Killings, and Silver Pebbles selected by the FT as a thriller of the month. Gruff, intuitive, and endowed with a deep sense of psychology and a horror of social injustice, Inspector Hunkeler is summoned back to Basel from his New Year holiday to unravel a gruesome killing. He must deal not only with the quarrelsome tenants of the garden but with the challenges of investigating a murder that has taken place outside his jurisdiction, across the French border in Alsace.
The Dear Ones by Berta Dávila, translated by Jacob Rogers
3TimesRebel Press // 9781739823689 // PB // £12.99 // 15th June 2023
The latest title from the wonderful 3TimesRebel Press, The Dear Ones is a book about bonds, abortion and the freedom of choice. Unflinching and enthralling, Berta Dávila’s prose is transparent, simple and accurate. But its skeleton is made up of a temporal braid in which a writer recalls the birth and first months of life of her son just when, five years later, she has decided to have an abortion and not have her second. She does this through a slimmed-down writing and a direct structure, without rhetorical embellishments. Everything is bone.
Human Sacrifices by María Fernanda Ampuero, translated by Frances Riddle
Influx Press // 9781914391224 // PB // £9.99 // 15th June 2023
A powerful follow up to celebrated debut collection, Cockfight, this acclaimed short story collection by a ground-breaking voice in contemporary Latin American literature confronts machismo, inequity, and violence. Ampuero considers the decay and oppression beneath the surface of our humid and hostile world, where those on the margins must pay the price for the comfort and safety of the elite. These twelve stories contemplate the nature of exploitation and abuse, illuminating the realities of those society consumes and leaves behind.
Where I Am by Dana Shem-Ur, translated by Yardenne Greenspan
New Vessel Press // 9781954404144 // PB // £15.99 // 8th June 2023
A poignant and piercing debut novel exploring yearning, passion, alienation, and regret, Dana Shem-Ur has been described as a ‘rising star of the new Istraeli literature’ by Pulitzer-winner Joshua Cohen. Explores the ever-relevant questions about women’s place in society, relationships, and work, this virtuoso debut blends comedy and travelogue to examine a woman’s attitudes about belonging to a man, to a culture and to a language.
Scrap by Kathy Biggs
Honno Welsh Women’s Press // 9781912905843 // PB // £8.99 // 29th June 2023
From the author of The Luck, a longlist title for the Mslexia Prize, comes an original, vivid title about displacement and belonging, set in Swansea. Fostercarer Mackie is juggling many issues in his da-to-day, including a tyrannical boss and a missing daughter. But his fate takes an unexpected turn when he discover The Kid, a young boy hiding out in the boot of an abandoned scrap car. The Kid has a remarkable gift he can draw the future, and this opens up new possibilities that Mackie could never have foreseen. Grit-lit meets magical realism, this imaginative story that will have you crying both with laughter and sadness in equal measure.
Relentless Melt by Jeremy P. Bushnell
Melville House Publishing // 9781685890322 // PB // £16.99 // 8th June 2023
For lovers of wild, weird, and genre-bending fiction, this is a great mashup of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series, featuring an androgynous young woman detective who is determined to fight for her space in male dominated 1909 Boston. This a rollicking supernatural detective thriller that introduces Artie Quick, a sales assistant at Filene’s in Boston, who moonlights as an amateur detective. Described by the Boston Globe as ‘[u]tterly charming, silly, and heartily entertaining’, this gloriously quirky novel melds reality and make believe in the vein of Neil Gaiman, with all the style of Patrick de Witt and the absurdity of Douglas Adams.
The House of Love and Prayer and other stories by Tova Reich
Seven Stories Press // 9781911710028 // PB // £10.99 // 22nd June 2023
In this extraordinary collection of short fiction, Tova Reich dives deep into the world of Orthodox Jewry — a world that her stories, like the shows “Unorthodox” and “Shtisel,” embrace with respect and affection while also poking at the fault lines in its unshakeable traditions. The eight stories collected in this volume are all populated by seekers of holiness, illumination, liberation, meaning, and love. The narrative voice bringing all this to life has been described as fearlessly satiric and subversive, with a moral but not moralizing edge, equally alive to the sacred and the profane, comically absurd to the point of tragedy.
At the Edge of the Woods by Kathryn Bromwich
Two Dollar Radio // 9781953387318 // HB // £20 // 6th June 2023
Haunting, gorgeously descriptive, and spellbinding, At the Edge of the Woods is a magnificent and assured debut novel that delivers all the resonance and significance of an instant classic. Set in the Italian Alps, Laura feels safely hidden in her cabin deep in the countryside, only venturing to the nearby town for necessary essentials. Yet when there is knock on her remote cabin door one night, Laura finds herself face-to-face with her long-escaped past. With its dexterity and appreciation for the natural world, its slow-burn tension and thematic considerations of illness, infertility, and femininity, Kathryn Bromwich’s beguiling and lyrical prose spins us into a spell-binding and spectacular story.
Inside Information by Eshkol Nevo
Other Press // 9781635423235 // PB // £17.99 // 29th June 2023
In this novel of enrapturing psychological suspense, Nevo stands out as a master of dark, psychological fiction, with three intersection storylines set internationally. A honeymoon in South America that should have been romantic becomes more nightmarish by the minute. A senior doctor at a Tel Aviv hospital feels a powerful, inexplicable urge to protect a young female resident who has recently joined the internal medicine department. A married couple goes out for their regular Saturday morning walk in the orchards on the outskirts of town. Exploring the vagaries of love and relationships through three interlocking stories, Nevo captures all the subtle complexities of human relationships in this roller coaster, page-turning tour-de-force.