March 2020 Literary Forecast
The new releases we’re reading this month.
The Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones
5th March 2020
The author of An American Marriage and winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, Tayari Jones releases her fourth novel this month. The Silver Sparrow is set in the city of Atlanta during the 1980s and revolves around the friendship of two young women. When Dana and Chaurrise become friends, only Dana knows that they are sisters. Their father, James Witherspoon, is determined to keep his second family a secret. With both sisters’ narrating half of the novel each, their different relationships with the same father are revealed. The novel considers the intricacies of familial relationships and where we belong within them.
The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel
5th March 2020
The Mirror and The Light is the third and final novel in Mantel’s historical fiction trilogy. Readers have waited over eight years for its release after the second instalment was published in 2012. The novel continues following Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of King Henry VIII. Starting in 1536 with Ann Boleyn’s execution, Mantel traces the last four years of Cromwell’s life in over 800 pages. The politics of power, treachery and sex are explored in this complex, gripping conclusion.
The Discomfort of Evening, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
19th March 2020
The Discomfort of Evening is already a Dutch bestseller and the English translation has been highly anticipated. The story is told from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl, living on a dairy farm in the bleak Dutch countryside. Her family is severely ruptured by grief when her brother is killed in an ice skating accident. Young Jas navigates both her own and her family’s grief through some disturbing, curious and wild fantasies. The atmospheric and poetic debut novel has drawn readers into the child’s unique way of interacting with the world.
Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell
31st March 2020
Retellings and reimagining’s of classic literature have become popular over the last few years. British-Irish author Maggie O'Farrell approaches this trend with a twist: rather than retelling the Hamlet, she explores the story behind it. The novel takes us to William Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, where Agnes Shakespeare is dealing with the loss of her eleven year old son, Hamnet. O’Farrell provides a compelling portrait of a woman usually condensed to a single footnote. An important and affecting work.