It is 1800. On desolate, marshy ground between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River, a man builds a house and a city is born. This debut novel follows Chicago’s tumultuous first century, evoking how a city is made: by a succession of vivid, sometimes villainous individuals and their cumulative invention, energy and vision.
Written with an infernal lyricism that is as affecting as it is enthralling, Hurricane Season, Fernanda Melchor’s first novel to appear in English, is a formidable portrait of contemporary Mexico and its demons, brilliantly translated by the award-winning translator Sophie Hughes.
‘Rainbow Milk’ is a coming-of-age story told from the point of view of a young black man from a religious background, who identifies several major contradictions between himself, his family life, and his beliefs. Upon rejecting the doctrine, he is shown the need to form a new centre of gravity, and uses his sexuality to explore new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality.
One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. 16 and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea. Staying with Dulcie, Robert’s life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures.