It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Madre in possession of some free time, must be in want of a good book.
This Book Lover’s day we’re paying homage to some of the best women writers out there.
And there are so many: just look at the 2021 Booker long list, y’alls. There are women writers working in new forms, introducing new voices, disrupting the novel form, remaking it in their image…. It’s about to get lit. And when we say lit, we mean… literary.
After recommendations? Here’s what we’ll be reading this summer:
Luster - Raven Leilani
In Luster, Leilani’s writing is acerbic, brutal, acutely observed. And it’s only her bloody debut.
The book follows Edie, a broke black woman in her early ‘20s, who moves in with an older, wealthy white couple, and all the shenanigans that follow.
We’re stunned by this writing. People are calling it a ‘millennial novel’ but that’s a bit of a cliché. It sells this book short. ‘Cause Luster is more than that – it’s zeitgeisty but we’ll still remember it in two, five, even ten years. We can’t put this book down – we had to drag ourselves away to write this newsletter!
No One Is Talking About This - Patricia Lockwood
Patricia Lockwood is a bit of a star. An internet star. She rose to fame in 2013 after one of her poems went viral. Rest assured – since then, she’s not been resting on her laurels: she wrote a memoir in 2017 and this year No One Is Talking About This came out to much (well-deserved, if you ask us) fanfare.
We all know what it’s like living on the internet… things can get a bit mad sometimes. Lockwood’s book is a brilliantly comic attempt to explore the way the internet affects the hearts & minds of its users.
Real Estate - Deborah Levy
What is the meaning of home? This question preoccupies Levy in Real Estate. In this ‘living autobiography’, Levy turns 60 and accepts a fellowship in Paris, leaving at the same time her younger daughter flies the nest for uni. Levy’s book is beautifully written, deftly weaving in reflections on what it means to be a female artist.
She revisits the writers who influenced her - from Susan Sontag to Marguerite Duras to Simone de Beauvoir. We love Levy’s reflections on her younger self… It's a brill meditation on ageing and change.
Victoria Park - Gemma Reeves
This year, our favourite local park is playing a leading role in a brand-new novel by Gemma Reeves. Set over the course of 12 months, Reeves introduces us to twelve seemingly unrelated people in dreamy, episodic encounters. Connecting them is their closeness to Victoria Park.
Reeves might not live by the park any more, but she’s still a top local Madre in our eyes. We loved reading this book and recognising some places we visit every day. This is Reeves’ debut and, well, safe to say she’s won some fangirls...