JOHN BOYNE Jonathan Coe’s Middle England is the first novel to study the events that led up to the Brexit referendum and the reasons why the Leave campaign won. Coe, an ardent Remainer, is politically engaged on Twitter with his views on the subject and translates them into savage satire here, using characters from some of his earlier novels to examine the bewildering political climate across the water. The unashamed racism of his most malevolent creations is as shocking as it is credible. Perhaps it’s in response to the anti-immigrant stance of the current US president that more and more novels are being published from the perspective of those whose families arrived in America when it still embraced the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Fatima Farheen Mirza’s A Place For Us is one such book, exploring the lives of an Indian family in the States over several decades and the bonds that connect and divide them from their community. Mirza is a gifted storyteller and this moving novel was one of the highlights of my reading year. In non-fiction, I greatly enjoyed Toby Litt’s Wrestliana. One of Litt’s ancestors wrote a book about wrestling… Read full this story
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