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The President's Gardens

By Muhsin Al-Ramli
Authors:
Muhsin Al-Ramli
One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite-Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq"A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting"Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi ChristOn the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.
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A People without a Past

By Jaan Kross
Authors:
Jaan Kross
The second part in an epic historical trilogy - The Estonian answer to Wolf Hall - by the nation's greatest modern writer The year is 1563, and by any account Balthasar Russow can be said to have risen in the world. Fresh from his studies in the German town of Stetten, he has assumed the role as pastor of Tallinn's Holy Ghost Church. Moreover, he is betrothed to a maiden of the town - much to the chagrin of her father, who has no wish to welcome peasant stock to the family when there is no shortage of upstanding young German men - and is poised to begin the chronicle that will ensure his everlasting fame.But tribulations still await the now not-quite-young Pastor - Livonia is still plagued by foreign powers, with Tallinn braced to withstand a prolonged Muscovite siege. And he will discover that marriage is a often a battlefield in itself.Translated from the Estonian by Merike Beecher
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The Parable Book

By Per Olov Enquist
Authors:
Per Olov Enquist
"The love that dare not speak its name . . ." Sweden, 1949. A boy of 15, cutting across a garden, chances upon a woman of 51. What ensues is cataclysmic, life-altering. All the more because it cannot be spoken of. Can it never be spoken of?Looking back in late old age at an encounter that transformed him suddenly yet utterly, P.O. Enquist, a titan of Swedish letters, has decided to "come out" - but in ways entirely novel and unexpected. He has written the book that smoldered unwritten within him his entire life. The book he had always seen as the one he could not write.This poignant memoir of love as a religious experience - as a modern form of the Resurrection - is also a deeply felt reflection on the transitoriness of friendship, the fraught nature of family relationships, and the importance of giving voice to what cannot be forgotten. A parable as hauntingly intense as any Bergman film.
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The People We Were Before

By Annabelle Thorpe
Authors:
Annabelle Thorpe
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Pedigree

By Patrick Modiano
Authors:
Patrick Modiano
"It's a book less on what I did than on what others, mainly my parents, did to me"Taking in a vast gallery of extraordinary characters from Paris' post-war years, Pedigree is an autobiographical portrait of Post-War Paris and a tumultuous childhood - a childhood replete with insecurity and sorrow that informed the oeuvre of France's Nobel Laureate.With his sometime-actress mother and shady businessman father barely functioning in any parental role, the young Modiano spent his childhood being packed off to the care of others, or held at a safe distance in a grimy boarding school - which he ran away from several times. His impecunious mother had "a heart of stone"; his womanising father once called the police when his son asked him for money, and later ceased all contact with him.But for all his parents' indifference, it is the death of his younger brother when Modiano is eleven that cuts deepest, leaving a wound that can never be healed.
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Post Mortem

By Peter Terrin
Authors:
Peter Terrin
Emiel Steegman, an unknown writer with a handful of novels to his name, is seeking a way to escape a dinner with Estonian colleagues. Although things are plodding along quite happily, he cancels at the last moment "due to a rather difficult time for the family".A nasty feeling immediately comes over him: is he inviting trouble for his family in doing so? And what if a biographer stumbled on this? Would he not then suspect that something significant had happened in his life? The thought gives him a great idea for a new novel about a successful author, T, who becomes famous with an existential crime novel and increasingly worries about what his future biographer will write about him, so he withdraws entirely from public life.But Steegman's initial misgivings prove well founded. Because fate does strike. One afternoon, his daughter Renée falls asleep and it is impossible to wake her . . .
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  • Pen 33

    By Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström
    Authors:
    Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström
    THE FIRST IN THE MILLION-SELLING DCI EWERT GRENS SERIES, WINNER OF THE GLASS KEY 2005 FOR BEST SCANDINAVIAN CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR, AND AS HARD-HITTING A CRIME NOVEL AS YOU WILL EVER READ.'A must read' ObserverBernt Lund harbours a sickness. He is a monster: in the mind of society, in the mind of his nine-year-old victims' parents, and in the mind of his fellow inmates.Lennart Oscarsson has a situation. The worst scenario imaginable for Aspsås prison's Department for Sexual Crimes.These two men's actions are about to hand DCI Ewert Grens the most profoundly sickening and impossibly sensitive case of his career, and in Stockholm's history.Pen 33 is both an unforgiving collision between a time-hardened policeman and a truly heinous crime, and an unflinching exploration of what people - whether criminals or victims - are capable of when they choose to relinquish self-control.Loved Pen 33 and hungry for another DCI Ewert Grens thriller? If so, choose the next novel in the series, Box 21 . . .
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    Portrait Of A Man

    By Georges Perec
    Authors:
    Georges Perec
    Gaspard Winckler, master forger, is trapped in a basement studio on the outskirts of Paris, with his paymaster's blood on his hands. The motive for this murder? A perversion of artistic ambition. After a lifetime lived in the shadows, he has strayed too close to the sun. Fittingly for such an enigmatic writer, Portrait of a Man is both Perec's first novel and his last. Frustrated in his efforts to find a publisher, he put it aside, telling a friend: "I'll go back to it in ten years when it'll turn into a masterpiece, or else I'll wait in my grave until one of my faithful exegetes comes across it in an old trunk." An apt coda to one of the brightest literary careers of the twentieth century, it is - in the words of David Bellos, the "faithful exegete" who brought it to light - "connected by a hundred threads to every part of the literary universe that Perec went on to create - but it's not like anything else that he wrote".
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    The Playground

    By Julia Kelly
    Authors:
    Julia Kelly
    Eve is starting again. Newly single, unemployed and with a baby daughter, she joins the local mums trying to make their nearby playground the heart of the community. But not all games are innocent - and not all friends are true. When the rules change, Eve must forge her own independence - and realise that the playground is no place to hide from adulthood.
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    Pushing the Limits

    By CC Gibbs
    Authors:
    CC Gibbs
    Languishing on Rafe's luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, there's nowhere for Nicole to go - except deeper into her darkest fantasies. Playboy heir Rafe Contini knows he wants raven-haired beauty Nicole Parrish the moment he sets eyes on her. But headstrong Nicole - visiting for the summer before returning to university - is new to Rafe's glamorous world, a place where anything is obtainable... at a price. And while Nicole is intoxicated by the extreme pleasure Rafe is offering, is it wise to surrender her treasured freedom?Pushing the Limits is the first in a sumptuous series starring Rafe Contini and the object of his desire: Nicole Parrish, niece of Dominic Knight, the infamous hero of CC Gibbs' bestselling Knight trilogy.
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    Playing with Matches

    By Carolyn Wall
    Authors:
    Carolyn Wall
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    The Perfect Affair

    By Claire Dyer
    Authors:
    Claire Dyer
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    Poor Souls

    By Joseph Connolly
    Authors:
    Joseph Connolly
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    Promise Laid Bare

    By CC Gibbs
    Authors:
    CC Gibbs
    Isolde Perceval, Countess of Wraxall, has no intention of marrying. Not least the odious suitor who is out for her body and her money . . .The luck of Osmond, Baron Lennox, seems to have run out. When a dalliance with his mistress goes awry and the wrong woman is found in his bed, he is trapped at the centre of Isolde's scheme to escape her situation. Marriage now seems his only option but his last desire - something they have in common. But shared passion will draw them closer together than they could have ever imagined . . .
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    The Promise of Rain

    By Donna Milner
    Authors:
    Donna Milner
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