By Fiona Melrose
6 December 2013. It is a searing hot day in Johannesburg. Gin has returned to the city of her birth to throw a party for her mother's eightieth birthday. She is determined, with lists and meals and flower arrangements, to show that she has become a fully capable woman. She knows, deep down, her mother will only ever see a lost cause.Meanwhile outside, crowds of citizens and the world's media have gathered to hear the expected announcement: Nelson Mandela has died. Set across the course of a single momentous day and narrated by a chorus of voices, Fiona Melrose's second novel is a hymn to an extraordinary city and its people, an ambitious homage to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on mothers and daughters, justice and love.'Beautifully observed' Mail on Sunday'Woolf produced blooms that are impossible to emulate. Johannesburg provides evidence of a novelist who can grow inimitable flowers herself' Spectator
Jack the Ripper: Case Closed
By Gyles Brandreth
London. 1894. 'I am not a detective, chief constable.' 'No, but you are a poet, a freemason and a man of the world. All useful qualifications for the business in hand.' So says Police Chief Macnaghten to Oscar Wilde, in a Chelsea drawing room in the company of Arthur Conan Doyle. The business they are gathered to discuss is none other than the case of Jack the Ripper, the most notorious murderer in England. And thus the three men set out to solve one of the world's most famous mysteries - the ultimate truth about the identity of Jack the Ripper. Case Closed is Arthur Conan Doyle's account of the events of 1894, the year of the return of Jack the Ripper. Based on Oscar Wilde's real-life friendship with Conan Doyle and the extraordinary but little-known fact that in 1894 the detective in charge of the Jack the Ripper investigations was Oscar Wilde's neighbour in Tite Street, Chelsea, this is a revelatory and gripping detective story, combining the intrigue of a classic murder mystery with a witty and compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.
The Just City
By Jo Walton
'Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent.' One day, in a moment of philosophical puckishness, the time-travelling goddess Pallas Athene decides to put Plato to the test and create the Just City. She locates the City on a Mediterranean island and populates it with over ten thousand children and a few hundred adults from all eras of history . . . along with some handy robots from the far human future. Meanwhile, Apollo - stunned by the realization that there are things that human beings understand better than he does - has decided to become a mortal child, head to Athene's City and see what all the fuss is about.Then Socrates arrives, and starts asking troublesome questions.What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.
Jennifer Egan Sampler
By Jennifer Egan
A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUADA brilliantly entertaining novel about memory, time, art and how humans connect at every level.LOOK AT METhe stunningly well praised second novel raises tantalizing questions about identity and reality in contemporary Western culture.EMERALD CITYEleven masterful stories, seamless evocations of self-discovery.THE INVISIBLE CIRCUSThis spellbinding novel introduces Egan's remarkable ability to tie suspense with deeply insightful characters and the nuances of emotion.