Here’s this week’s pick of the best new books around.
Family Life by Akhil Sharma
The second novel from the author of An Obedient Father was published last year, but it’s just been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2015 Folio Prize for Fiction, so well worth a look. For young Ajay, growing up in 1970s Delhi is a comfortably predictable routine of modest living. Everything changes when his father lands a job in America, but their exciting new life becomes a nightmare when events take a tragic turn and Ajay must try to find his place in this vast and unfamiliar land.
Published by Faber & Faber, priced at £14.99
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Shy and unadventurous, Harry leads a conventional existence as a married father in Edwardian England – until an illicit and dangerous affair suddenly turns his life upside down. Forced to abandon his family and start a new life in the Canadian colonies, Harry finds himself fighting for survival in an unforgiving landscape. In facing up to the threat of war, madness, a charismatically evil man and nature itself, Harry discovers hidden qualities he never knew he possessed.
Published by Headline, priced at £16.99
The Stranger by Harlan Coben
In this chilling thriller, The Stranger appears out of nowhere and whispers words into your ear that will reveal unimagined secrets. For Adam, this means a shocking revelation about his beautiful wife Corrine that shatters his image of their perfect life. Faced with Corrine’s deception, Adam realises that the deeper conspiracy he has uncovered could end, rather than just ruin, lives – unless he can make exactly the right moves…
Published by Orion (on March 26), priced at £19.99
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
In this modern world, social media has given the general public a global platform on which to express their outrage and hound anyone who displeases them. In a book that is both hilarious and powerful, Jon Ronson explores one of the greatest tools of ruin: shame. Here he meets people all over the world who have been shamed and criticised in the public arena and hear how it has affected – and in some cases, destroyed – their lives. What part do we all play in this and are we using our newfound voices in the right way?
Published by Pan Macmillan, priced at £16.99
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
At the age of just 24, Matt Haig’s life collapsed around him and he was left feeling that there was no way to go on. Here he recalls how he triumphed over the illness that almost destroyed him, fought through the crisis and learned to live once again. This is not just a memoir about his struggle; it’s also an exploration of how we can all enjoy better lives and discover what it means to truly feel alive.
Published by Canongate Books, priced at £9.99