The Vanishing Man

The Vanishing Man Laura Cumming (Chatto & Windus) In 1845, a bookseller attending a country house auction bought a dirt-blackened portrait and, convinced that it was a long-lost Velazquez, set out to discover its strange history – a quest that led him from fame...

The Return

The Return Hisham Matar (Viking) Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was imprisoned in Libya, never to be seen again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return home. This deeply poignant memoir is a quest for truth, a...

This Census Taker

This Census-Taker China Miéville (Picador) In a remote house on a hilltop, a boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries – and fails – to flee. Alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below,...

The Sport of Kings

The Sport of Kings C.E. Morgan (4th Estate) Henry Forge and his daughter, members of a great Kentucky racing dynasty, are breeding a champion. But when a young black man fresh out of prison comes to work for them, the violence of the Forges’ history and their...

The Argonauts

The Argonauts Maggie Nelson (Melville House) An autobiographical love story between Maggie Nelson and the artist Harry Dodge, who is fluidly-gendered. As Nelson undergoes the transformations of pregnancy, she explores the challenges and complexities of mothering and...

Golden Hill

Golden Hill Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber) New York, 1746.  A charming, handsome young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting-house in Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition – an order for a thousand pounds...