It happens only once every ten years, but this evening the literary journal Granta announced its latest Best of Young British Novelists. For the purposes of perspective, have a look at the 1983 list and read the related article.
Saints of the Shadow Bible, in November - Mr. C. is already rubbing his hands in anticipation, and I'm glad to have at least one present 'done'.
Just arrived today and out early next month is Kate Clanchy's Meeting the English, "a bright story about dark subjects".
" 'Literary giant seeks young man to push bathchair. Own room in Hampstead, all found, exciting cultural milieu. Modest wage. Ideal 'gap year' opportunity....'
So it is that Struan Robertson, orphan, genius and just seventeen, leaves his dour native town of Cuik, and arrives in London in the freakish fine summer of 1989. His job is to care for Phillip Prys, silenced and paralysed by a massive stroke, because, though two teenage children, two wives, and a literary agent all rattle round Phillip's large house, they are each too busy with their peculiar obsessions to do it themselves. As the city bakes, Struan finds himself tangled in a midsummer's dream of mistaken identity, giddying property prices, wild swimming and overwhelming passions. For everyone it is to be a life-changing summer."
Blackfriars is a new digital-only literary imprint from Little Brown and Virago, "created with the aim of discovering and nurturing new talent (or talent that has been away for a while)". It will be launched in June with three titles including The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan, " a heartrending novel set in belle époque Paris, inspired by the real-life model for Edgar Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, Marie van Goethem, and a notorious criminal trial of the era".