My June picks are characterised by their honesty and bluntness, and their willingness to challenge ideas through fiction and non-fiction.
There are two blistering non-fiction reads that can be seen as manifestoes - Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Juno Dawson’s The Gender Games. Kayo Chingonyi’s Kumukanda is an extremely short collection of poetry, which packs a punch while looking at race, masculinity and more.
Koh-i-Noor by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explores the history of one of the world’s most famous diamonds, while Abir Mukherjee picks up on some of the history explored by Dalrymple and Anand for his crime novel A Necessary Evil.
In her second book, A Manual for Heartache, Cathy Rentzenbrink looks at grief and how we deal with tragedies small and large, while in fiction Rachel Khong’s Goodbye, Vitamin examines how a family deals with an unexpected illness and Laura Barnett looks at a life lived in her second novel Greatest Hits. Catherine Lacey’s The Answers looks at dating and love in the modern age.
And finally, there is Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a novel that comes 20 years after her first, the award-winning and much loved The God of Small Things.
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