Below you’ll find our selection of literary showstoppers, filled with Australian icons like Michelle de Kretser, Peter Carey and Richard Flanagan, as well as the latest from international stars like Jennifer Egan and Salman Rushdie.
Dax is a second year student reading English, coming from a rackety upper middle class background; Sparsholt is from a humbler Midlands community and is reading engineering, a young man whose good looks and fine figure have proved highly attractive to his peers.
This time is a unique one in the history of the university: with military call-up at twenty, soon brought forward to nineteen, almost all students come up to Oxford knowing that they will only have a year or so of study. A sense of futility is mixed with one of recklessness. All life after dusk is lived under black-out, encouraging and covering what would normally be impossible liaisons. What happens to these two men in this year will affect many lives and will set in motion the mystery at the heart of The Sparsholt Affair.
Alan Hollinghurst's masterly novel takes us through several generations and across key periods of uncertainty and change in British society. From the darkest days of the Second World War, it moves to the changing world of the socially and sexually liberated London of the 1960s, before landing in the mid-1970s, with the three-day week, fuel shortages and power cuts.
The reverberations continue through the next generation in the 1990s before reaching a conclusion in the present decade, a world of new media and new ideas.
On a gloomy day in February, Jim sends his wife Annie out to do the shopping before dark falls. He seals their meagre apartment, unhooks the gas tube inside the oven, and inhales.
Sister St. Saviour, a Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, catches the scent of fire doused with water and hurries to the scene: firemen, a gathered crowd and a distraught young widow, who is with child.
Moved by Annie's plight, the kindly nun finds her work in the convent's laundry, and Annie's baby daughter grows up amidst the crank of the wringer, the hiss of the iron, the reminiscences of Sister Illuminata and the games of Sister Jeanne.
Yet what will become of this convent child? Will Sally join the women who raised her in their unending efforts to alleviate Brooklyn's poverty and sickness?
Tracing three generations of an Irish immigrant family, The Ninth Hour tells, in prose of startling radiance and piercing precision, a story that is both individual and universal in its understanding of the human condition.
Meditating on fairness, faith, sacrifice, duty and love, it illuminates, with the depth and sensitivity for which Alice McDermott is known, the bonds that unite or divide us.
The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their daughter Heather, and the world seems to follow: beautiful, compassionate, entrancing, she is the greatest blessing in their lives of Manhattan luxury. But as Heather grows - and her empathy sharpens to a point, and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest - their perfect existence starts to fracture. Meanwhile a very different life, one raised in poverty and in violence, is beginning its own malign orbit around Heather.
Matthew Weiner the creator of Mad Men - has crafted an extraordinary first novel of incredible pull and menace. Heather, The Totality demonstrates perfectly his forensic eye for the human qualities that hold modern society together, and pull it apart.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Cedar feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby's origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women, of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in.
It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.
'Erdrich is one of the greatest living American writers' Guardian
Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred.
But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters' lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to or defy.
Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz's salvation?
Two families' fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?
A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles' Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.
'Elegant and evocative ... A powerful exploration of the clash between society, family and faith in the modern world' Guardian
'There is high, high music in the air at the end of Home Fire' New York Times