"There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
A writer’s life
Playing God

Playing God

Nikita Lalwani’s latest novel You People poses the tantalising question: in a world where the law is against you, how far would you be willing to lie for a chance to live? Set in London pizzeria where half the kitchen staff are undocumented immigrants, it is a witty and humane snapshot of undervalued lives and...
Myths, monsters and the misunderstood

Myths, monsters and the misunderstood

Monique Roffey’s latest novel The Mermaid of Black Conch is set on an imaginary Caribbean island where a mermaid is returned to land and falls in love with a local fisherman. Their story is intertwined with that of benevolent but formidable local landowner Miss Arcadia Rain, and tackles themes of unconditional love, friendship, community, identity,...
Spirits and stimulations

Spirits and stimulations

Rosanna Amaka’s The Book of Echoes is a searing debut novel about hope, redemption and the scars of history, narrated by the spirit of an enslaved African who journeys to 1980s Brixton and a sun-baked village in Nigeria, drawing together and transforming the lives of two youngsters who are struggling to hold onto their dreams....
In body and soul

In body and soul

Jane Rogers’ latest novel Body Tourists imagines a secretive, privately funded clinic in a near-future London that is experimenting with the digital transfer of the minds and personalities of the dead into young, supple bodies. The poor and healthy are recruited from the grim estates of northern Britain, compensated with hard cash for their brains...
All through the night

All through the night

H.M. Naqvi’s The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack draws a portrait of modern Karachi via the crumbling body and soul of a 70-year-old man who is pondering the city’s past from the viewpoint of a dilapidated family estate. His wistful daydreams of jazz clubs, cabarets, Sufi festivals and visiting Soviet officials are broken when...
Stepping into the dark

Stepping into the dark

A lifelong passion for gothic novels led Sara Collins to give up a career in law and test her mettle as a fiction writer. We catch up with her in the midst of a whirlwind US tour ahead of publication of her hotly anticipated debut The Confessions of Frannie Langton. Where are you now? I’m...
Mothers, daughters and make-believe

Mothers, daughters and make-believe

Whistle in the Dark, Emma Healey’s highly acclaimed follow-up to 2014’s Costa First Novel Award-winning Elizabeth is Missing, is now out in paperback. She fills us in on her daily routines and favourite reading, and explains why she is hesitant about meeting her literary heroes, preferring to confer with their creations. Where are you now?...
Have keyboard will travel

Have keyboard will travel

Any Means Necessary is the second book in Jenny Rogneby’s bestselling series of novels featuring rule-bending police detective Leona Lindberg. Keeping one foot on each side of the law, Leona mounts a special operation of colossal proportions that could reap high rewards personally as well as professionally. Here’s a glimpse into Jenny’s globetrotting writing routine....
Sensations and sensibilities

Sensations and sensibilities

Imogen Hermes Gowar’s debut novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a spellbinding and widely acclaimed tale of curiosities, desires, seduction and obsession, centring around the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels of late 18th-century London. She offers a peek inside her southeast London home on a typical writing day. Where are you now? On...
Scandal, intrigue and everything in-between

Scandal, intrigue and everything in-between

John Boyne is the author of nine novels for adults, five for young readers and a collection of short stories. His most recent novels are The Heart’s Invisible Furies (February 2017 – a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick, now shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award) and A Ladder to the Sky (August 2018)....