A Brief History of Seven Killings
A failed assassination of Bob Marley becomes a prism through which to see Jamaica's history from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. Violent, lurid, scabrous, hilarious and beautiful, this novel teems with life, death and narrators.
A lyrical retelling of the Cain-and-Abel story in which four Nigerian brothers play truant from school, go fishing and meet a soothsayer who predicts that one brother will kill another. Not yet 30, Chigozie Obioma is a writer to watch.
Seiobo There Below
Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Translated by Ottilie Mulzet
Seventeen stories by a Hungarian modernist whose sentences wind and unwind and rewind, creating what one translator described as "a slow lava-flow of narrative, a vast black river of type".
No other French novelist knows how to stir trouble quite like Michel Houellebecq. This account of France under Muslim rule is set in 2022. It came out on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attack and has been called scaremongering. Its fans say it speaks to France's deepest secret fears.
A Little Life
On the surface a story about four university graduates trying to make it in New York, at heart Hanya Yanagihara's second novel is a fairy-tale about child abuse, pitting good against evil, love against viciousness, hope against hopelessness.
An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It
Restraint and a formal writing style, by a philosophy graduate from Cambridge University, give a tone of melancholy to this spectacularly accomplished, chilly debut collection of short stories about thwarted lives and opportunities missed. The strongest are also the most ordinary.
The Story of the Lost Child
Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein
This four-volume narrative, with all its operatic overtones, is a tribute to feminism and female friendship in mid-20th-century Naples.