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Indie Books to Look Forward to in 2021 (January-April)

Love is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar

Published: 2nd Feb '21
Hardback
£14.99

Publisher: Sandstone Press

This memoir is an unabashedly joyful and triumphant response to violence, oppression, and hostility. Randa Jarrar is a queer, Muslim, Arab American, and proudly Fat woman. She sets off on a road trip from California to Connecticut, inspired by a historical road trip made by a renowned Egyptian belly dancer across the United States in the 1940s, and looks back at her own life so far – both traumas and triumphs – in this funny yet profound memoir.

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microbursts by Amanda Thomson, Elizabeth Reeder, Traven T. Croves

Published: 8th Feb '21
Paperback / softback
£12.00

Publisher: Prototype Publishing

A beautiful, haunting and deeply intimate book, microbursts sits at the intersection of memoir, poetry, and lyric essays. Written by Elizabeth Reeder as a response to the illness and deaths of her parents, it is complemented through collaboration with visual artist and fellow writer Amanda Thomson to become a poetic exploration of the fabric of life: love, family, grief and creativity.

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In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, Sasha Dugdale

Published: 17th Feb '21
Paperback / softback
£14.99

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions

Drawing on many forms – essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue, historical document – in In Memory of Memory Stepanova sifts through her deceased aunt’s old papers in an apartment in Russia, and constructs a collection of ideas, thoughts and philosophies on how an ordinary Jewish family survived the persecutions of the last century. The book explores ideas of cultural memory with intellectual curiosity.

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Havana Year Zero by Christina MacSweeney, Karla Suarez

Published: 23rd Feb '21
Paperback / softback
£9.99

Publisher: Charco Press

Set in Cuba in 1993, at the height of the Special Period – a widespread economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet bloc – Julia, a maths lecturer, teams up with her colleague and former lover, Euclid, to prove that the telephone was invented in Havana, convinced that this will restore purpose to Cuba. Julia’s investigation makes for a slightly eccentric, engaging, and witty novel that will stay with you after you finish it.

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Self Portrait in Green by Jordan Stump, Marie NDiaye

Published: 25th Feb '21
Paperback / softback
£7.99

Publisher: Influx Press

Turning the memoir genre on its head, Self Portrait in Green presents the narrator’s chase of the mysterious green women, who are sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Haunted by the Garonne River, she looks for them in places like Paris, Marseille, and Ouagadougou, and the pursuit of this obsession develops into a strange exploration of identity, memory and paranoia. Presented in diary entries written in a poetic, dreamlike prose, the book flows just like the river that frames it.

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Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows by Sophie White

Published: 4th Mar '21
Paperback / softback
£12.99

Publisher: Tramp Press 

Described as ‘Nora Ephron meets Bram Stoker’, this is a vivid and ambitious literary non-fiction collection. The essays look at the reality of living through the 21st century as a woman in a witty and sharp style. White doesn’t shy away from the cruelty of grief, mental illness and the body, but still manages to make each essay charming.

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Dryland by Sara Jaffe

Published: 18th Mar '21
Paperback / softback
£9.99

Publisher: Cipher Press

A coming-of-age story about a fifteen year old girl, Dryland is written in a dry (of course) style which perfectly captures the idiosyncrasies of adolescence. Swimming is a key theme in the novel, providing the backdrop for Julie to explore her sexuality in this nostalgic, relatable and meditative narrative. Whilst this book has been out in the US for a few years now, Cipher Press are publishing it in the UK for the first time.

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In the Garden by Various Authors

Published: 25th Mar '21
Paperback / softback
£9.99

Publisher: Daunt Books

Daunt Books is bringing out the third in their brilliant collections of essays. To follow up In The Pond and In The Kitchen is a tall order, but In The Garden promises to be as good as the previous two.

Fourteen writers take on the topic of outdoor domestic spaces, something everyone should have access to but that, like home and shelter, is tied up in privilege and class. Exploring issues from gardening as a shared language to the environmental changes our planet is facing, these essays will be perfect for anyone who has already found, or is yet to find, their green fingers.

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Permafrost by Eva Baltasar, Julia Sanches

Published: 6th Apr '21
Paperback / softback
£10.00

Publisher: And Other Stories

Already a hit in its original language, the debut novel from acclaimed Catalan poet Eva Baltasar is narrated by a woman who travels from Barcelona to Brussels to Scotland, chasing any form of escape she can. Her observations of modern life are hilarious and poignant, a forthright call for women’s freedom to embrace both pleasure and solitude in all their different forms.

 

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Terminal Boredom: Stories by Izumi Suzuki

Published: 20th Apr '21
Paperback / softback
£10.99

Publisher: Verso Books

This book presents a collection of stories written in the 70s and 80s by Izumi Suzuki, a legend of Japanese speculative fiction. Suzuki’s stories veer towards the strange and the dark and yet are always grounded in domestic realities of day-to-day working class life. Suzuki’s influence has echoed out in later works by Margaret Atwood or even Black Mirror.

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