A Distant Shore

a distant shoreby Caryl Phillips

Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2003)
ISBN 1400034507 (ISBN13: 9781400034505)

Available at your local bookstore and also via Amazon.de and Amazon.com.

The English village is a place where people come to lick their wounds. Dorothy has walked away from a bad thirty-year marriage, an affair gone sour, and a dangerous obsession. Unable to cope with the change from the civility of life as a teacher in a grammar school to the democratic brutishness of a comprehensive, she has taken early retirement. Between her visits to the doctor and the music lessons she gives to bored teenagers, she is trying to rebuild a life.

Her neighbour seems concerned to conceal his past behind a façade of impeccable manners. It’s not immediately clear why Solomon is living in the village, but his African origin suggests a complex history that is at odds with his dull routine of washing the car and making short trips to the local supermarket. Though all he has in common with the English is a shared language, it soon becomes clear that Solomon hopes that his new country will provide him with a safe haven in which he might enjoy the decent behaviour and graciousness that he believes the English habitually practice. Gradually Solomon and Dorothy establish a form of comfort in each other’s presence that alleviates the isolation they both feel. (Source: Goodreads)

About the author

caryl phillipsCaryl Phillips is a Kittitian-British novelist, playwright and essayist. Best known for his novels (for which he has won multiple awards), Phillips is often described as a Black Atlantic writer, since much of his fictional output is defined by its interest in, and searching exploration of, the experiences of peoples of the African diaspora in England, the Caribbean, and the United States.

As well as writing, Phillips has worked as an academic at numerous institutions including Amherst College, Barnard College, and Yale University, where he has held the position of professor of English since 2005. (Source: Wikipedia)

His Bloody Project

by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 5th 2015 by Contraband
ISBN 1910192147 (ISBN13: 9781910192146)

Available at your local bookstore and also via Amazon.de and Amazon.com.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

In 1869, a brutal triple murder in the remote Wester Ross village of Culduie leads to the arrest of a seventeen-year-old crofter, Roderick Macrae. There is no question of Macrae’s guilt, but it falls to the country’s most eminent legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to his bloody deeds. Ultimately, the young man’s fate hinges on one key question: is he insane?

The story ingeniously unfolds through a series of found documents, including police statements; the accused’s prison memoir; the account of renowned psychiatrist, J. Bruce Thomson; and a report of the trial, compiled from contemporary newspapers.

About the author

graeme macrae burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet us the author of two novels, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (2014) and the Man Booker shortlisted His Bloody Project (2015), both published by Saraband Books. He has appeared at numerous literary festivals, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Cheltenham, Aye Write, and Bloody Scotland, and he is part of the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Database.

While born in Kilmarnock, Scotland and now living in Glasgow, Burnet has previously lived and worked in Prague, Porto, Bordeaux, and London. He has an MA in English Literature/Film Studies from Glasgow University and an M.Litt in International Security Studies from St Andrews. (from the author)

The Sellout

The Selloutby Paul Beatty

Hardcover, 289 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN 0374260508

WINNER, 2016 Man Booker Prize

Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, it challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

Born in the „agrarian ghetto“ of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: „I’d die in the same bedroom I’d grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since ’68 quake.“ Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes, but when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

The Sellout won the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and was among the „best books“ reading lists of The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek, The Denver Post, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly.

About the author

Paul BeattyPaul Beatty (born 1962 in Los Angeles) is a contemporary African-American author. Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California.

In 1990, Paul Beatty was crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. One of the prizes for winning that championship title was the book deal which resulted in his first volume of poetry, Big Bank Takes Little Bank. This would be followed by another book of poetry Joker, Joker, Deuce as well as appearances performing his poetry on MTV and PBS (in the series The United States of Poetry). In 1993, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle received a positive review in The New York Times — the reviewer, Richard Bernstein, called the book „a blast of satirical heat from the talented heart of black American life.“ His second book, Tuff received a positive notice in Time Magazine. Most recently, Beatty edited an anthology of African-American humor called Hokum.