A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking. She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place? As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful.
As Rehana awakes one morning, she might be forgiven for feeling happy. Today she will throw a party for her son and daughter. But none of the guests at Rehana’s party can foresee what will happen in the days and months that follow. For this is East Pakistan in 1971, a country on the brink of war. And this family is about to change forever.
A literary novel which follows present-day narrator Mathilda’s fixation with the forgotten black Scottish modernist poet, Hermia Druitt, ‘Lote’ is an exploration of aesthetic, beauty, and the ephemeral realm in which they exist.
The Cold War is over and retired secret servant Tim Cranmer has been put out to pasture, spending his days making wine on his Somerset estate. But then he discovers that his former double agent Larry – dreamer, dissolute, philanderer and disloyal friend – has vanished, along with Tim’s mistress. As their trail takes him to the lawless wilds of Russia and the North Caucasus, he is forced to question everything he stood for.