SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
Published Date: 14 September 2008
NEW FICTION ROUND-UP
By LUCINDA BYATT
Hamish Hamilton, £17.99
In this geographical reversal of the transatlantic slave trade, Evaristo’s aim was to enable people to question it afresh, challenging what we accept as the truth. In this imaginative alternative history, Doris and her family live on the Cabbage Coast of Europa until they are abducted and sold as slaves, to be shipped to the West Japanese Islands or the United Kingdom of Great Ambossa. Evaristo has provided a brilliant satire whose flashes of comedy make the underlying tragedy all the more poignant.
Also try: Octavia Butler, Kindred
Muse combines finely crafted verbal pyrotechnics with a disturbingly dark subject matter. Naomi Price is visiting Paris as the stylist on an important shoot when she is handed a poem by the hotel receptionist. Eric is a loner, a poet, and for the next 10 years or so he is besotted by the memory of Naomi, his Muse. Naomi the Muse remains firmly two-dimensional, while the real Naomi quits her job and boyfriend and sinks into an inferno of drugs and sex. Muse offers no easy solutions in its quest to discover what fashion and femininity mean to modern society.
• Wigtown Book Festival, September 27, 4.30pm
THE LUMINOUS LIFE OF LILLY APHRODITE
John Murray, £12.99
In this confident debut, Colin creates a filmic and evocative description of life in Berlin – from the cusp of the 20th century to the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism – seen through the prism of Germany’s burgeoning film industry. Orphaned before she was two, Lilly spent the first 10 years of her life in an orphanage. But outside this safe haven, society was in flux. Colin’s descriptions of Berlin are as vibrant and alive as Lilly and the rich cast of characters around her.
Also try: Sarah Waters, Fingersmith