Booklist

Gayle’s Spring Picks 2023

Selected by Gayle Lazda


There are two books I’m recommending to everyone this Spring. The first is Catherine Lacey’s Biography of X, a novel refreshingly unlike almost all the new fiction I’ve read in recent years: a fake biography of an avant-garde artist, written by her grieving widow, and at the same time, an alternate history of twentieth century America – one in which the South seceeded from the North in 1945 and became a totalitarian theocratic state. It’s incredibly ambitious and clever and strange, but it’s all those things while also being great fun to read.

Jeremy Cooper’s third novel, coming in May from Fitzcarraldo, is a very different beast, but one I am nonetheless fanatical about. Brian is a quiet novel about a man who leads a small, narrow existence, until he starts going to the BFI to watch films. It's about how art can expand our lives and open us up to friendship and community, as well as being a love letter to cinema, the BFI and London – all things extremely close to my heart.

Also on my radar: Amy Key on building a life without romantic love; Isabella Hammad’s follow-up to The Parisian, Enter Ghost; K Patrick’s extremely hot debut Mrs S; Fernanda Melchor’s first non-fiction collection to be published in English, This Is Not Miami; Sven Holm’s strange and terrifying post-apocalytic dystopia Termush; Caleb Azumah Nelson’s second novel Small WorldsIan Penman on Fassbinder; Elizabeth Bingham on church kneelers; and Alice Slater’s Death of a Bookseller, which is both a cracking thriller, and the most accurate literary depiction of bookselling I’ve ever read.

From the publisher:
When X – an iconoclastic artist, writer and polarizing shape-shifter – dies suddenly, her widow, wild with grief, hurls herself into writing a biography of the woman she deified. Though X was recognised as a crucial creative…

From the publisher:
When poet Amy Key was growing up, she looked forward to a life shaped by romance, fuelled by desire, longing and the conventional markers of success that come when you share a life with another person. But that didn't happen for her. Now in…

From the publisher:
An unforgettable Palestinian story of artistry under occupation, from the winner of the Betty Trask AwardAfter years away from her family's homeland, and reeling from a disastrous love affair, actress Sonia Nasir returns to Haifa to visit…

From the publisher:
Powerfully sensual and sublimely stylish, Mrs S is a tale of queer love that smoulders with the heat of summer.In an elite English boarding school where the girls kiss the marble statue of the famous dead author who used to walk…

From the publisher:
Translated by Sophie HughesSet in and around the city of Veracruz in Mexico, This Is Not Miami delivers a series of devastating stories – spiralling from real events – that bleed together reportage and the…

From the publisher:
Translated by Sylvia ClaytonIntroduced by Jeff VanderMeer – ‘a classic: stunning, dangerous, darkly beautiful’ – welcome to the post-apocalyptic White Lotus: a luxury hotel at the end of the world in this lost…

From the publisher:
The one thing that can solve Stephen's problems is dancing. Dancing at Church, with his parents and brother, the shimmer of Black hands raised in praise; he might have lost his faith, but he does believe in rhythm. Dancing with his friends,…

From the publisher:
Melodrama, biography, cold war thriller, drug memoir, essay in fragments, mystery – Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors is cult critic Ian Penman’s long awaited first original book, a kaleidoscopic study of the late West German film…

From the publisher:
A charming and witty history of the quirky - but widely-practiced craft of embroidering kneeler cushions'A treasure of a collection' Amber Butchart, of BBC's The Great British Sewing Bee'I think I may already have…

From the publisher:
A BOOKSHOP. A TRUE CRIME CASE. A DEADLY FRIENDSHIP.THE UNMISSABLE DEBUT THRILLER.Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive – is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer…

Latest booklists
See all booklists

Latest booklists