Gwendolyn and Estella have always been close, each other’s source of comfort in an industriously wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family with more secrets than they can keep track of. But when Estella poisons their entire family, sole survivor Gwendolyn is left to trawl through her fractured memories to try and uncover their past and make sense of a sister she thought she knew.
Hanne Blank’s survey of virginity through the ages looks at how this abstract concept has evolved, uncovering origins to the myths that have been perpetuated over centuries. Blank also considers the stories of famous virgins from the biblical to the royal and even those on our television screens.
After breaking up with her boyfriend in a failed bid for more attention and then going on an Ambien-induced doughnut binge, Lucy agrees she needs to time to work on herself (and her PhD thesis that has been unfinished for years). Heading to Venice Beach to spend a summer in her half-sister’s beach side glass-walled house, she spends her days attending group therapy for love addicts and caring for her sister’s baby; a diabetic dog named Dom. But Lucy’s therapy takes a step back when she becomes involved with a mysterious swimmer she meets out on the rocks on night.
When Imo starts university, she dreams of a fresh start, or rather a chance to return to the Imo she used to be, before her whole family was turned upside down. Moving into her halls, she quickly becomes friends with her flatmates; the well-off and haughty Tegan, the level-headed and Mumsy Phoenix, and the eccentric and somewhat manic Amber. But Imo can never fully relax, especially as she keeps noticing a strange man keeping watch around campus. When Amber takes off without a word, Imo is convinced something terrible has happened. She refuses to let a girl go missing without a trace. Not again.
Hanne Blank looks at the invention of heterosexuality and what is has meant for society throughout history. Though existing for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1860s that heterosexuality first ‘made a name for itself’. Blank examines how the creation of this label has shaped politics, culture, and media, as well as our personal lives.
Alix Nathan’s debut short story collection follows a variety of characters and their lives during 18th century England, a time when the country is shrouded in the atmosphere of revolution and reaching the height of the Enlightenment.
Within the first few pages of If Cats Disappeared From the World, the narrator learns of his imminent death. He returns to his apartment, where he lives alone with little contact with his family following his mother’s death, and seeks solace in the fur of his beloved cat, Cabbage. Before he can truly come to terms with his prognosis, he encounters the Devil, a Hawaiian-shirt-clad version of himself who informs him that he has just a day to live. But the Devil offers him a deal: in exchange for removing one thing from the world, the narrator will be granted an additional day of life. What follows is an unusual week of decisions, in which our narrator learns what really matters to him and what he’s willing to lose in order to live.
David Wallace-Wells expands his viral article of the same name into a terrifying full-length examination of the consequences of unchecked climate change. By examining a multiplicity of effects of global warming, such as the increase in powerful natural disasters to economic depression like nothing we’ve ever seen, Wallace-Wells paints a stark picture of our future world and implores us to act.
House of Impossible Beauties charts the lives of the drags queens that formed the beginning of legendary Latino drag house, the House of Xtravaganza. In 1980s New York City, Angel is seventeen and finally coming into her own. When her mother rejects her, she looks for a new family in the ball scene, where she meets Hector. They fall in love and decide to create their own all-Latino house, with Angel as the ruling mother, and Hector beside her as house father. When Hector dies from AIDs-related causes, Angel must mother her drag children alone. Venus, Juanito and Daniel all lean on each other and their mother Angel, as they learn how to navigate the ballroom scene, along with sex work, drug addiction, and society’s rejection of their true selves.
In a not-so-distant future, abortion is once again illegal in America. Red Clocks explores the impact of these laws on five women living in a rural Oregon fishing town: The Biographer, The Explorer, The Daughter, The Mender, and The Wife.