HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS and THE FORGOTTEN FAMILY by Beryl Matthews published yesterday

Two of Beryl Matthew’s novels, HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS and THE FORGOTTEN FAMILY were published in the UK yesterday by Allison & Busby. The books are available as paperbacks and ebook. Beryl has previously published 12 novels in hardback with Severn House.

Beryl Matthews is an accomplished novelist, writing in the genre that Catherine Cookson made her own, but with stories set in London. As a young girl her ambition was to become a professional singer but lack of funds drove her into an office, where she worked her way up from tea-girl to credit controller. After she retired, she began to pursue her dream of becoming a published author.

HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS is the story of Gertrude Melrose. She is concerned for her brother, Edward, who seems intent on squandering his inheritance at the gaming tables. Her fears are justified when Edward's debts threaten to destroy the Melrose family's prosperity.

THE FORGOTTEN FAMILY is set in Whitechapel, London 1890. Queenie Bonner is only two when she is taken from her large family in the slums to a big house in the country. She is frightened and confused, begging to be taken back, but she is told that this is now her home. As time passes Eleanor forgets about her other family. But fifteen years later, she sets about tracing her forgotten family. The search holds pleasure, distress and even danger as she discovers what has happened to her siblings over the years. Eight are traced, but one remains missing. She knows she will never rest until he is found.

Allison & Busby are giving these re-issued novels a fresh cover style, and are committed to publishing at least 4 more titles.

YOU ARE DEAD out in hardback today!

Peter James’ 11th Roy Grace novel, YOU ARE DEAD, is published in hardback today in the UK by Macmillan.

The last words Nick hears from his fiancée Logan, are in a terrified mobile phone call from her. She has driven into the underground car park beneath their apartment and seen a man acting strangely.  She screams, the phone goes dead.  The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and telephone.  This is the beginning of what becomes a tortuous case for Roy Grace and his team, leading to the discovery of bodies of young women, and a terrifying chase to find the murderer, and Logan, dead or alive.  Surprising twists and chilling discoveries deliver a breath-taking read.

Peter was recently longlisted for the Dagger in the Library Award 2015. The shortlist will be announced on 8th June.

Earlier this year, Peter James was voted the ‘Best Crime Writer of All Time’ in a poll run by WH Smiths. Peter James won the poll ‘by a landslide’, beating crime heavyweights including Ian Rankin, James Patterson and even the classic Agatha Christie.

The designer of Peter’s spectacular new covers, Neil Lang, recently told us all about the redesign – see his story here on the Blake Friedmann Blog.

The Roy Grace novels are translated into more than three dozen languages.

Praise for Peter James

'Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.' -- Karin Slaughter

'Exceptional, knock-your-socks-off.' -- Washington Post


GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes is published this month in South Africa by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House SA. Unsettling and moving, GREEN LION is a page-turning story of containment and freedom, power and loss, examining the borderline between human and animal, and revealing the beast that crawls under every skin, itching to escape.

 GREEN LION made its first appearance at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in South Africa, where Henrietta spoke on two author panels. It will be launched this Thursday at Kalk Bay Books.

 GREEN LION will be published in French translation by Edtions Zoe in 2016.

 Henrietta is the author of four novels and one book of short stories. She was winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008 (for which she was shortlisted in 2007), the PEN Short Story Prize 2007, and awarded the Runner-Up prize for her short story 'Sanctuary' at the BBC International Short Story Awards 2012. Her novel, NINEVEH, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Fiction Prize (South Africa), the M-Net Prize 2012 and won the Francois Sommer Literary Prize.

 She has degrees in archaeology and biology and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. For more information on Henrietta, please visit her website.

 Praise for GREEN LION:

 ‘In GREEN LION Henrietta Rose-Innes has written another extraordinary novel, lyrical, deftly plotted, and as full of life as the Ark. In the Cape Town of her imagination, a place both utterly strange and eerily familiar, wildness is always pressing up against the fence. The ‘animal’, she suggests, is not just out there but in here, shaping what we do and say, embedded in language itself like a stubborn gene.’ – Ivan Vladislavić

 ‘Remarkable new novel: an eccentric, dream-like meditation … The novel’s idiosyncrasy is welcome in a place where the stories we agree to tell ourselves about “nature” are often so predictable … Her prose is minutely alert to what George Steiner called “teeming strangeness and menace” of the organic presence all around us, and the pressure that it exerts at the borders of our understanding … Pulsing behind it all is a something deeply sorrowful: a work of mourning for both the human losses within the book but also the life forms that are vanishing from the earth beyond … GREEN LION reads as a local requiem for this global story: for the vast planetary die-off that is mostly happening outside language, that is both immeasurably sad and inescapably “natural”. Rose-Innes’s work seeks out ways of honouring our animal ghosts and keeping them, in some small and symbolic measure, alive.’ – Hedley Twindle, BooksLIVE

 Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes:

 'Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.' – Leon de Kock, Sunday Times

 ‘Henrietta Rose-Innes is a master of the beautifully thought-out metaphor. Her prose is elegant and liquid.’ – Cape Times

Marlene Van Niekerk in the UK for Man Booker International Prize Announcement

Marlene Van Niekerk is in the UK this week for the announcement of the Man Booker International Prize. Marlene is one of 10 writers selected as finalists for the £60,000 prize which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The judges describe Marlene as “the author of two immense masterpieces, TRIOMF and AGAAT, which chart in evocative, sometimes disturbing detail the aches and aggravations of political transition in South Africa for those who saw themselves as on the losing side, in particular impoverished Afrikaners. Van Niekerk’s vision is ambitious, uncompromising and irrefutable. The bold experimentalism of her Afrikaans takes the reader deep inside the contortions of the apartheid psyche and asks whether some historical hurts and hatreds can ever be entirely erased.” Read more on the Man Booker website.

The overall winner will be announced at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 19 May.

On 17 May, Marlene read at the Man Booker International Prize readings for Guardian Live, at The British Library from 13.30 – 16.00. The finalists spoke to the newspaper about their writing.

 On 18 May, she will be appearing at Birkbeck University Arts Week in “Found in Translation: 2015 Man Booker International Prize”. The talk is at Keynes Library in London from 18.45 – 20.45. You can book tickets here.

Marlene Van Niekerk was awarded South Africa’s high honour, the Order of Ikhamanga, in 2011 for her “outstanding intellectual contribution to literary arts and culture field through poetry, literature and philosophical works”. Her debut novel TRIOMF (Little Brown, 1994) was a New York Times Notable Book, 2004, winner of C.N.A Literary Award, M-Net Prize and prestigious Noma Award for the Best Book in Africa. The film adaptation won the Best South African Film Award at Durban International Film Festival, 2008.

Her novel AGAAT received the following accolades in its Afrikaans and English editions:

- Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, 2008.
- Winner of the South African Sunday Times Literary Prize 2007 and the Hertzog Prize 2007, SA.
- University of Johannesburg Prize, M-Net Award, W.A. Hofmeyr Award, all 2005.
- Shortlisted Booksellers' Choice Award South Africa 2005 and the M-Net Literary Prize 2007.
- #1 on Swedish Bestsellers List for five weeks in 2012.
- Chosen as Book of the Month by Good Housekeeping.
-Shortlisted for Three Percent's Best Translated Book Award, sponsored by Amazon.com, 2011.
- Longlisted for the Independent Booksellers Choice Award 2011
- Listed in Publisher Weekly’s Top 100 Best Books of 2010 and picked as one of Booklist Editor’s Choice List for 2010. 

Marlene van Niekerk is also the author of the short story collections, DIE VROU WAT HAAR VERKYKER VERGEET HET and DIE SNEEUSLAPER and the novella MEMORANDUM, as well as the poetry collections SPROKKELSTER, GROENSTAAR and KAAR.  You can read some of her poetry in English on Poetry International here. 

Praise for AGAAT:

'I was immediately mesmerized by Ms. van Niekerk's novel. Its beauty matches its depth and her achievement is as brilliant as it is haunting.' -- Toni Morrison

'Van Niekerk follows the widely lauded TRIOMF with a dark, innovative epic that trudges through the depths of a South African farmwife's soul...Clearly an allegory for race relations in South Africa, the novel succeeds on numerous other grounds: a rich evocation of family dynamics; a chilling portrait of bodily and mental decay; and a successful experiment in combining diaries, the second-person, and stream of consciousness. Van Niekerk marshals it all to evoke the resigned mind of a dying woman who realizes, too late, the horrible mistakes that have made her life a waste.' -- Publishers Weekly starred review

'This novel stuns with its powerful sense of the rigors of farm life, desolation of a failing marriage, and comfort of a long and complex relationship.' -- Vanessa Bush, Booklist starred

Praise for TRIOMF:

‘A tempestuous, heartbreaking, exhilarating read.’ -- Elisabeth Vincentelli, Time Out New York

‘A distinguished new voice from South Africa writes about a white working class Afrikaner family with a shameful secret…A remarkably evocative portrayal of the usually ignored white underclass: the best post-apartheid novel yet.’  -- Kirkus