September's best books from independent publishers

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Always taking risks with ground-breaking subject matter and exciting debut authors, independent publishers are the ones in the know when it comes the next big thing in literature.

From the Man Booker Prize to the Bailey’s Prize, you’ll find indie titles scattered throughout book award shortlists everywhere. And as it happens, September is when they publish some of the most exciting titles of the year.

So to celebrate the new reading season - start prepping your cosy nooks now - some of the best independent book publishers in the country have shared their pick of the best new September releases.

From the folks at And Other Stories (publisher of Booker Prize-shortlisted author Deborah Levy) to Galley Beggar (original publishers of award-winning A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing), prepare to try something new and discover the next big thing before anyone else does...

  • Not on Fire, But Burning by Greg Hrbek

    Zeljka Marosevic, Managing Director at Melville House UK, says: "When an object falls out of the sky and hits the Golden Gate Bridge, it disrupts and transforms America completely. A decade later, 12-year-old Dorian begins to question the divided world around him. Brilliant and wholly original, Not on Fire, But Burning is an absorbing adventure into the dark heart of a frighteningly familiar America."

    Follow Melville House on Twitter: @melvillehouse

  • Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

    Jacques Testard, Publisher at Fitzcarraldo Editions, says: “Feverish and forthright, Pond is an absorbing chronicle of the pitfalls and pleasures of a solitudinous life told by an unnamed woman living on the cusp of a coastal town. Captivated by the stellar charms of seclusion but restless with desire, the woman’s relationship with her surroundings becomes boundless and increasingly bewildering.”

    Follow Fitzcarraldo Editions on Twitter: @FitzcarraldoEds

  • Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques

    Nichola Smalley, publicist at And Other Stories says: “Moreira Marques accompanied a palliative care team to Trás-os-Montes, a remote region of rural Portugal, gathering the voices and stories of those affected by terminal cancer. The resulting book blends the immediacy of oral history with the sensibility of philosophical reportage, speaking about death in a fresh way.”

    Follow And Other Stories on Twitter: @andothertweets

  • Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick

    Daunt Books editor Karen Maine says: “Ruthless and unsparing, Vivian Gornick chronicles her lifelong relationship with her obstinate, expert-at-veiling-criticism-as-concern mother (‘Why can’t you find a nice man to be happy with?’). A portrait of difficult love that few can explore with such humour and clarity. A lost classic on par with Jeanette Winterson and Joan Didion.”

    Follow Daunt Books on Twitter: @Dauntbooks

  • Higher Ed by Tessa McWatt

    Sarah Braybrooke, Publicity & Operations Manager at Scribe UK says: Higher Ed is a novel about Londoners today, perfect for fans of NW and Capital. It follows five different characters in the rapidly changing city, from Katrin, a Polish waitress making a new life for herself to confused Uni student Olivia and lecturer Robin, who’s unexpectedly becoming a dad.”

    Follow Scribe on Twitter: @ScribeUKbooks

  • The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

    Daniela Petracco, UK Director at Europa Editions, says: “Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous, Elena Ferrante tells the story of Lila and Elena with unmatched honesty and brilliance.  Life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses suffered. But, throughout it all, their friendship remains the gravitational centre of their lives. The unmissable finale to a great literary achievement.”

    Follow Eurpoa Editions on Twitter: @EuropaEditions

  • A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance edited by Belinda Mckeon

    Co-publisher of Tramp Press Sarah Davis-Goff says: “With stories from some of the best writers working today, A Kind of Compass brings us to places and situations we could never otherwise experience. Funny, unnerving, vivid and real, these stories evoke the nature of distance, exploring the many ways in which it is possible to feel far from home. Contributors include Sara Baume, Sam Lipsyte and Kevin Barry.”

    Follow Tramp Press on Twitter: @TrampPress

  • Becoming Unbecoming by Una

    Creative Director and Graphics Editor at Myriad Editions Corinne Pearlman says: “A devastating personal account of gender violence told in graphic-novel form, set against the backdrop of the 1970s Yorkshire Ripper man-hunt, Becoming Unbecoming is a beautiful, unflinching and empowering memoir, and Una's is a major new voice speaking out about the silencing of women.”

    Follow Myriad Editions on Twitter: @MyriadEditions

  • The Looking-Glass Sisters by Gøhril Gabrielsen (translated from the Norwegian by John Irons)

    Meike Ziervogel, Publisher at Peirene Press says: “A gripping Norwegian drama about the love between two sisters. Far out on the plains of northern Norway stands a house. It belongs to two middle-aged sisters. They seldom venture out and nobody visits. Then, one day, a man arrives.”

    Follow Peirene Press on Twitter: @PeirenePress

  • Trans by Juliet Jacques

    Sarah Shin, Communications Director at Verso Books says: “In July 2012, aged thirty, Juliet Jacques underwent sex reassignment surgery—a process chronicled with unflinching honesty in a Guardian column. Interweaving the personal with the political, her memoir is an essential exploration of trans politics and a bildungsroman about self-articulation through writing, music and online spaces.”

    Follow Verso Books on Twitter: @VersoBooks

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Stylist Team