Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading – and forgetting. But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a legendary creature, Ren is inexorably drawn into an impossible mission. As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt – as myth merges with reality – both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.
In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways. But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer. In a series of spellbinding, interlocking narratives – with styles ranging from manga to footnotes – Nick Bradley has hewn a novel of interplay and estrangement; of survival and self-destruction; of the desire to belong and the need to escape.
Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighbourhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters – as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act – or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance – a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths. Suspenseful and poignant, ‘We Run the Tides’ is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation.
1289. A rich farmer fears he’ll go to hell for cheating his neighbours. His wife wants pilgrim badges to sew into her hat and show off at church. A poor, ragged villager is convinced his beloved cat is suffering in the fires of purgatory and must be rescued. A mother is convinced her son’s dangerous illness is punishment for her own adultery and seeks forgiveness so he may be cured. A landlord is in trouble with the church after he punched an abbot on the nose. A sexually driven noblewoman seeks a divorce so she can marry her new young beau. These are among a group of pilgrims that sets off on the tough and dangerous journey from England to Rome, where they hope all their troubles will be answered. Some in the party who have their own, secret reasons for going.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. They’ve been together for a few years but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. When Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he discovers the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it. Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they’ve ever known. And just maybe they’ll all be okay in the end.
The world is heating up, species are dying out, and data collection is thriving. Shel Murray, a primate researcher, is sent to lead a small team investigating suspicious deaths in one of the last remaining troops of bonobo chimpanzees. Establishing base in a national park controlled by an elusive conglomerate, the team encounter odd, then alarming behaviour, suggestions of an unknown predator, and they begin to consider their own safety. Back at home, Shel’s partner, John, a software engineer, is attacked, suffering head trauma. As he tries to rebuild his memory, in a remote house shrouded in fog, he starts to question not only the assault, but his present circumstances. How can he explain the fresh wounds on his body, and the activity he hears during the night? Can he really trust his doctor? And how much should he worry about the pattern of mould growing along the front of the house?