Isabel Allende’s first novel for a younger audience, City of the Beasts, begins from a distinctly modern point of crisis. Alexander Cold’s mother is dying of cancer and her illness is tearing the family apart. Unable to cope, Alex’s father sends him to New York to stay with his grandmother, Kate. The older woman turns out to be a fiercely independent travel writer, with ‘blue eyes sharp as daggers’ points’ and, one suspects, more than a little of the author in her. She takes Alex on assignment to the jungles of South America, in search of a legendary nine-foot ‘beast’. This is the arena in which he will make sense of his mother’s illness, and from which he will emerge a man.
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In Ali Smith's "Summer", 'the coronavirus pandemic has arrived. Lockdown happens too. There are allusions to Black Lives Matter, to online abuse and radicalisation, to things so recently news that it feels shocking to find them in a novel.'
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Our pre-publication copies of #OneLoveChigusa by #SojiShimada have just arrived! An homage to Osamu Tezuka from #Japan’sManOfMystery
- trans by Sir David Warren (former UK ambassador to Japan). The 6th title in the #RedCircleMinis series. Pub date: 6/08/20 #島田荘司 #手塚治虫