Blake Friedmann Authors in Best of 2018 Lists

With 2018 drawing to a close, everyone is sharing their favourite books of the year. At Blake Friedmann, we are so proud that our authors have been featured in so many of these selections. In celebration of these amazing achievements, we have compiled this summary of the lists in which our authors were included, along with the praise that accompanied their selection.

SILENCE IS MY MOTHER TONGUE Final Cover.jpg

SILENCE IS MY MOTHER TONGUE by Sulaiman Addonia

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'Mesmerizing story…  It's impossible not to fall in love with Saba. She brings a ton of emotional texture to the story.'

SLAY IN YOUR LANE cover.jpg

SLAY IN YOUR LANE by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Grazia, The 12 Books We Couldn’t Stop Talking About This Year

‘Guide to be­ing a black girl in mod­ern ur­ban Britain which is es­sen­tial read­ing for both the women it de­scribes and any­one who could do with a crash course in un­der­stand­ing their lives. Un­miss­able.’

The Guardian, Favourite Books of 2018

‘Never would I have thought a modern take on the British black female experience would be covered so wonderfully and with such excitement by two British black females. The range of topics were discussion worthy, and filled me for weeks with talking points … BUY A COPY FOR THE NEW YEAR AND BE SURPRISED AND EXCITED.’

Kimberley Sheehan, The Reading Agency, Books of the Year 2018

‘This book is a brilliant starting point to understand what it's like to be woman, black and a Londoner in 2018. It ultimately left me feeling hopeful about the future for women and empowered -- which has been a nice change compared to the rest of the year!’

Forbes, The Most Empowering Books by Female Authors of 2018

‘In this highly anticipated work from award-winning journalist Yomi Adegoke and her best friend, marketer Elizabeth Uviebinene SLAY IN YOUR LANE celebrates the gains that black women have already made in Britain whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done. It’s an encouraging and honest account of their own lives and a celebration of the achievements of some of Britain’s most successful black women that’ll leave you feeling fired up and hopeful for the future. For black women it serves as an inspiration and for other women and men a guide on how we can better support women of colour.’

CITY WITHOUT STARS - BAKER Tim - UK Faber.jpg

CITY WITHOUT STARS by Tim Baker

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Raven Crime Reads, Top 10 Crime Reads of the Year 2018

 ‘CITY WITHOUT STARS is an intense, emotive and completely absorbing read, suffused with a violent energy, and with an unrelenting pace to its narrative. It heightens the reader’s senses and imagination throughout, completely enveloping the reader in this corrupt and violent society, with instances of intense human frailty and moments of strength, underpinned by precise description, and flurries of dark humour. I thought it was absolutely marvellous.’

The Telegraph, 50 Best Books of 2018

‘A grim but unputdownable thriller set in Mexico, where the homicide rate is so high that a prolific serial killer goes nearly unnoticed.’

UNCOVERED cover.jpg

UNCOVERED by Ian Birch

Steve Smith, Folio Magazine, The Best Books for Print Lovers 2018

‘This is the book true magazine geeks will appreciate most this holiday… a deft and deep compendium of provocations from titles large and small.’

LITTLE by Edward Carey

LITTLE hb front cover.JPG

The Times, Books of the Year (Historical Fiction)

'Told with extraordinary panache, and illustrated by Edward Carey, this tale of the founder of Madame Tussauds is a macabre joy.'

Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Books of the Year

'Edward Carey's LITTLE is weird, wonderful and unlike any other historical novel this year. Enriched by the author's own illustrations, this retelling of the early life of Marie Grosholtz (aka Madame Tussaud) is both macabre and moving.'

Kirkus, Best Historical Fiction

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR, Best Books of 2018

'Picking up on the same themes of bodies and objects as his Iremonger trilogy, Edward Carey's LITTLE is a tenderly macabre fictional memoir written in the voice of Anne Marie Grosholtz, the woman who would become Madame Tussaud… her life is full of deep sadness mixed with fabulous incident, and compassionate insight punctuated by the author's whimsical illustrations.'

William Ryan, Irish Independent, Authors Top Books of 2018

'A gripping novel of shy wit and darkly humorous occurrences and is mesmerising in its virtuosity. On top of which the author's own illustrations are wonderfully bizarre, as indeed is the story he tells.'

GOOD SAMARITANS - CARVER Will - UK Orenda.jpg

GOOD SAMARITANS by Will Carver

Jon Coates, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time, Best of the Year 2018

HoldCOVER.JPG

HOLD/HOUSEGIRL by Michael Donkor

Melissa Gray, NPR, Best Books of 2018

‘I hate novels. This is a strong statement, I know – here’s why I make it before telling you about HOUSEGIRL: I hate novels because too often, I know exactly where the story is heading, where the characters are heading. I loved HOUSEGIRL because Michael Donkor's storytelling and character building were so exquisite… Two days after I finished the book, I found myself actually missing the characters. This is a rare accomplishment for a first-time author, which is why I recommend HOUSEGIRL – even though it's a novel.'

The Observer, Best Books of 2018

‘Exquisite debut’

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'A unique take on the classic "housegirl" narrative.'

PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW ME cover.jpg

PRETEND YOU DON’T KNOW ME by Finuala Dowling

Jackie Kay, The Guardian, Best Books of 2018

‘A witty and wise collection. Her sequence about her mother’s dementia is very touching. Elsewhere, these vital works will have you crying with laughter.’

 

DESERTER_front.jpg

TODAY SOUTH LONDON, TOMORROW SOUTH LONDON by Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison

 Evening Standard, Best Comedy Books and DVDs of 2018

 

THE CHILDREN'S HOME UK final cover.jpg

THE CHILDREN’S HOME by Charles Lambert

New York Times, Before Watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Read These 13 Haunted Books

‘”Abandoned children of varying ages begin showing up at the sprawling estate of a disfigured recluse, Morgan Fletcher,” Carmela Ciuraru wrote, calling it “one of the year’s most bizarre stories.” “Lambert’s subtle prose enhances the novel’s creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.”’

BOOKWORM final.JPG

BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan

Den of Geeks, Top Books of 2018

‘I’d like to report a robbery. Under cover of darkness, writer and Guardian TV critic Lucy Mangan crept into my soul, pocketed my memories and wrote them up beautifully in the guise of her “memoir of childhood reading.”… Lucy Mangan’s funny, warm BOOKWORM is personal and universal in the way that the very best books are… [It] rekindles old obsessions and sends you in search of any stories you may have missed at the time. I loved this book so much, I ate it.’

THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK.JPG

THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK by Deon Meyer

The Times, Books of the Year 2018

'Are novellas making a comeback? If they can match the elegance of [THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK], let's hope so. THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK is a delicate story of a Dutch paining and the death of a naked woman in Cape Town. As usual, DI Benny Griessel inquires.'

WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT ppbk front.JPG

WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT by Sheila O’Flanagan

One of Ireland’s best-selling books of 2018

CATALOGUE OF SHIPWRECKED BOOKS - front.JPG

THE CATALOGUE OF SHIPWRECKED BOOKS by Edward Wilson Lee

The Spectator, Books of the Year  

‘the fascinating history of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando, guardian of his father’s flame, courtier, bibliophile and cataloguer supreme, whose travels took him to the heart of 16th-century Europe.’

Paperback of Charles Lambert’s THE CHILDREN’S HOME published in US today

Charles Lambert’s ‘genre-defying dream of a novel’ THE CHILDREN’S HOME is published in paperback in North America today. Pre-empted by Nan Graham and John Glynn of Scribner, Lambert’s first US publication is one of the American Bookseller's Association Indie Next Preview January 2017 Paperbacks and has received praise from writers and reviewers alike.

THE CHILDREN’S HOME was featured in a number of “Best of 2016” lists. Isabel Costello of Literary Sofa chose it as part of ‘My Year in Books’, saying that the book ‘Left me in awe of the beauty and potential of the English language... exudes gothic atmosphere and contains one of the most visually arresting and profoundly sinister scenes I’ve ever encountered.’

It was also chosen as one of the Litreactor Staff picks of 2016: ‘An ideal read for the winter season, especially if you have a fireplace and a wingback chair (but no less enjoyable if your furnishings are a bit more modern).’

Eric Karl Anderson AKA Lonesome Reader also chose it as one of his Ten Great Books of Experimental Fiction 2016, calling it ‘as seductive as it was terrifying.’

THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a beguiling and disarming novel about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor. It was published in the UK by Aardvark Bureau on 2 March and in France by Éditions Anne Carrière. Aardvark Bureau will also publish two of Charles Lambert’s novellas in a single volume, TWO DARK TALES, in time for Halloween 2017.

Born in England, Charles Lambert lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of several novels including LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the autobiographical work WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART (The Friday Project). He has won an O. Henry Award and other prizes for his short fiction.

Follow Charles on Twitter

Visit Charles' blog.

More praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME:

‘A beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise.’ – Jenny Offill, author of DEPT OF SPECULATION

‘Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue and atmosphere. I loved every weird moment of it.’ – Nuala O’Connor, author of MISS EMILY

‘Dark and nuanced, eerie and quiet, THE CHILDREN’S HOME creeps behind the curtains of your imagination. This book stays with you.’ – Amelia Gray, author of THREATS AND GUTSHOT

 ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the magic doesn't sparkle prettily but boils and oozes, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It's also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness.’ – Owen King, author of DOUBLE FEATURE: A Novel

 ‘A thoroughly original entry into the tradition of ghost stories, eschewing convention …compulsively readable…A one-of-a-kind literary horror story.’ – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

‘Lambert carefully constructs the restricted sphere that Fletcher inhabits, leaving the chaotic larger world and the source of his family fortune largely a mystery. After slowly unfolding Fletcher’s story, Lambert then accelerates the pace to a breathtaking climax. THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a magical, mesmerizing tale about the courage it takes to confront the unknown.’ –Booklist, Starred Review.

 

‘MAGICAL, MESMERIZING’ THE CHILDREN’S HOME OUT NOW IN US

children's home 1 LR.JPG

Charles Lambert’s ‘genre-defying dream of a novel’ THE CHILDREN’S HOME is published in North America today. Pre-empted by Nan Graham and John Glynn of Scribner, Lambert’s first US publication is an independent booksellers’ Indie Next Pick and has received praise from writers and reviewers alike.

Nuala O’Connor writes: 'Charles Lambert’s muted, beautiful prose leads the reader through THE CHILDREN'S HOME on a chain of burning questions: Who? When? How? Why? More delicate than Dickens and stranger than Snicket, this is a novel of odd, canny children; life-like wax figures; a wicked mother and her disfigured boy-man of a son. Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue and atmosphere. I loved every weird moment of it.’ Owen King describes it as ‘a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It's also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness’

Jenny Offill called it ‘a beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise’ and Amelia Gray writes: ‘Dark and nuanced, eerie and quiet, THE CHILDREN’S HOME creeps behind the curtains of your imagination. This book stays with you.’

Pre-publication, both Kirkus and Booklist gave THE CHILDREN’S HOME Starred Reviews:

‘A thoroughly original entry into the tradition of ghost stories, eschewing convention. … Compulsively readable, a one-of-a-kind literary horror story.’ Kirkus

‘A magical, mesmerizing tale about the courage it takes to confront the unknown.’ – Booklist  

And the first wider reviews are equally glowing:

‘This disquieting novel is surely one of the year’s most bizarre stories… Mr. Lambert’s subtle prose enhances the novel’s creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.’ – The New York Times

 ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a powerful construction of creeping dread which skilfully keeps the reader off-balance at every turn. … Much of the joy of THE CHILDREN’S HOME is the uncertainty at its heart, the uncanny nature of the experience which lingers long after the novel concludes. It’s a genre-defying dream of a novel, enigmas wrapped around deeper questions, rooted in the deepest mysteries of all: what is the truth within any of us? What connections do we have to those around us? What hold does the past keep fast on our hearts?’ – Robert Wiersema, The Toronto Star

 ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME reads like a dream … a truly unique and memorable experience. If this novel signifies what my reading in 2016 will be like, then it is going to be a wonderful year indeed.’ – Christopher Shultz, LitReactor

A piece by Charles Lambert on stately homes and class, to mark the end of Downton Abbey in the US, also ran in the New York Times this week.

THE CHILDREN’S HOME will be launched in the UK by Aardvark Bureau on 2 March and French rights have been acquired by Éditions Anne Carrière.

Born in England, Charles Lambert lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of several novels including LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the autobiographical work WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART (The Friday Project). He has won an O. Henry Award and other prizes for his short fiction.

Follow Charles on Twitter

Visit Charles' blog.

 

Charles Lambert’s THE CHILDREN’S HOME to Scott Pack of Aardvark Bureau

Aardvark Bureau publisher-at-large Scott Pack has acquired UK and BC rights excluding Canada to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, a chilling new novel by Charles Lambert . The two-book deal, with the novel PRODIGAL to follow in 2017, was brokered by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann. Scott published Charles’s innovative and acclaimed memoir WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART at The Friday Project and author and editor are now reunited at the new Belgravia imprint, Aardvark Bureau. Nan Graham and John Glynn of Scribner pre-empted earlier for North American rights to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, which will come out both sides of the Atlantic at the start of 2016.

In THE CHILDREN’S HOME shocking disfigured recluse Morgan never leaves the country mansion he is heir to. His isolation is only punctuated by the presence of his housekeeper, Engel, and the weekly visits of kindly Doctor Crane. But his solitary existence is disturbed when a young boy and girl arrive in the house, as if from nowhere. Drawn to the mysterious children, Morgan lets them stay, and with the help of Engel and Crane, begins to care for them – and others who soon follow them, in a strange Pied Piper-ish reversal. As the strangely wise children explore the corridors and abandoned rooms of the house, they reveal to Morgan a cabinet of curiosities – and bitter secrets of his own life.

Scott Pack says: “I'll be honest, I got a bit emotional when Charles said he wanted to come with me to Aardvark Bureau. I was thrilled that I would still be working with him. And then he delivered his most remarkable book yet. THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a masterpiece – disturbing and beautiful in equal measure – and I cannot wait to share it with the reading public.”

Charles Lambert says: “I was delighted when Scott invited me to be part of Aardvark Bureau at the start of its journey. He has courage, the kind of editorial sensitivity writers dream of and, last but not least, great commercial acumen. More than anything, Scott is a man who loves books. It's a privilege to work with him.”

Agent Isobel Dixon adds: “It’s a huge pleasure to seal this deal re-uniting a great author-publisher duo. We’re getting passionate pre-publication praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME and are excited to share this brilliantly eerie, unforgettable novel with more readers.”

 

Praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME:

‘A beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise.’ – Jenny Offill, author of DEPT OF SPECULATION

'Charles Lambert’s muted, beautiful prose leads the reader through THE CHILDREN'S HOME on a chain of burning questions: Who? When? How? Why? More delicate than Dickens and stranger than Snicket, this is a novel of odd, canny children; life-like wax figures; a wicked mother and her disfigured boy-man of a son. Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue and atmosphere. I loved every weird moment of it.’ – Nuala O’Connor, author of MISS EMILY

‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the magic doesn't sparkle prettily but boils and oozes, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It's also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness.’ – Owen King, author of DOUBLE FEATURE: A Novel

 

About the author:

Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of the novels LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the short story collection THE SCENT OF CINNAMON (Salt). His work is included in THE BEST OF BRITISH SHORT STORIES 2013 (Salt) and he has won an O. Henry Award and other short story prizes. THE VIEW FROM THE TOWER was published in 2014 by Exhibit A.

About Aardvark Bureau:

Aardvark Bureau is an imprint of Belgravia. Its mission is to publish innovative and unusual writing from around the world, in both fiction and non-fiction.

Charles Lambert’s THE CHILDREN’S HOME pre-empted by Scribner

Photo copyright: Patrizia Casamirra

Photo copyright: Patrizia Casamirra

Charles Lambert’s magnificent work of the literary uncanny, THE CHILDREN’S HOME, has been sold by Isobel Dixon in a pre-empt to Nan Graham and John Glynn at Scribner. Scribner has bought North American rights and will publish in late 2015.  

Morgan is a shockingly disfigured recluse who never leaves the country mansion he is heir to. His isolation is only punctuated by the presence of the housekeeper, Engel, and the weekly visits of the kindly Doctor Crane. But his solitary existence is disturbed when a young boy and girl arrive in the house, as if from nowhere. Drawn to the mysterious children, Morgan lets them stay, and with the help of Engel and Crane, begins to care for them – and others who soon follow them. As the cluster of strangely wise children explore the corridors and abandoned rooms of the house, they reveal to Morgan a cabinet of curiosities – and bitter secrets of his own life.

Charles Lambert’s latest work, WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART, was published in the UK by The Friday Project in 2014, to wide acclaim. His short story ‘The Scent of Cinnamon’, published by ONE STORY,  was a recipient of The O. Henry Award in 2007.

 

Praise for Charles Lambert:

‘Charles Lambert writes as if his life depends on it. He takes risks at every turn.’ – Hannah Tinti

‘Charles Lambert is a seriously good writer.' – Beryl Bainbridge

 

Praise for WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART

‘One of the finest books I’ve read this year. Its beauty lies in Lambert’s language – his skewering of a particular sentiment with a pithy phrase, his evocation of an experience in a few striking words.’ – A Life in Books Best Books of 2014’

'A striking conceit... elegantly written and carries considerable emotional clout... poetic, tender and funny' –  Guardian

‘With 24 themed chapters and 10 numbered paragraphs, and each paragraph consisting of exactly 120 words, Lambert pieces together the sum of a life using gorgeous pen-portraits. An unusual and wonderful book to dip into.’ – Viv Groskop, Red Magazine