Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island) by Mia Gallagher is made up of several voices, from an elderly woman’s memories of 1940s Bohemia to a troubled transsexual in contemporary Dublin.
The Theoretical Foot (Bloomsbury), the only novel by the great American food writer MFK Fisher. A story of Americans abroad in the late 1930s, against the backdrop of the coming war.
Lionel Shriver’s brilliant satire of America, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (Borough), offers a prophetic glance at the dangers into which toxic governments can lead us.
Negroland by Margo Jefferson (Granta), a memoir of growing up posh and black in Chicago in the 1950s.
Jill Dawson’s The Crime Writer (Sceptre) reimagines Patricia Highsmith’s escape to the Suffolk countryside in 1964.
Graham Swift’s exquisite, brief Mothering Sunday (Scribner) shows love, lust and ordinary decency straining against the bars of an unjust English caste system.
Jenny Diski's In Gratitude(Bloomsbury), her memoir about her time with Doris Lessing.
Mark Haddon’s The Pier Falls, whose title story is either perfect beach reading, or perfectly terrible beach reading. Some of these stories have already been shortlisted for awards and one suspects the whole collection will justifiably follow suit.
Elizabeth Strout’s plain and beautiful My Name Is Lucy Barton, in which a woman pays an unexpected visit to her daughter in hospital.
Natasha Walter’s A Quiet Life (Borough) is based on the figure of Melinda Marling, wife of the Cambridge spy Donald Maclean: it’s a troubling, understated novel, almost hypnotic in the completeness with which it inhabits the mind of its impressionable central character.
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (Sphere) A tense, poignant and ingeniously crafted mystery about a missing child, toxic relationships and family secrets.
More: The Guardian