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    Minor Detail
    by Adania Shibli
    Book of the Month
    JUNE 2021

    BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH selection JUNE 2021: For our June selection, we have picked Minor Detail, and will be donating €2 from each sale to the Go Fund Me page helping to rebuild the Samir Mansour Book Store in Gaza, destroyed in recent airstrikes. -- ‘Though Minor Detail initially promises to be a kind of counterhistory or whodunit—a rescue of the victim’s story from military courts and Israeli newspapers–it turns out to be something stranger and bleaker. Rather than a discovery of hidden truths, or a search for justice, it is a meditation on the repetitions of history, the past as a recurring trauma ... For Shibli, the emblematic experience of occupation is the longue duree of ennui and isolation rather than a dramatic moment of crisis.’ — New York Review of Books Minor Detail begins during the summer of 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba – the catastrophe that led to the displacement and expulsion of more than 700,000 people – and the Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence. Israeli soldiers capture and rape a young Palestinian woman, and kill and bury her in the sand. Many years later, a woman in Ramallah becomes fascinated to the point of obsession with this ‘minor detail’ of history. A haunting meditation on war, violence and memory, Minor Detail cuts to the heart of the Palestinian experience of dispossession, life under occupation, and the persistent difficulty of piecing together a narrative in the face of ongoing erasure and disempowerment. Times Books of the Year 2020
  • 16.00

    Second Place
    by Rachel Cusk
    Book of the Month
    MAY 2021

    BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH selection MAY 2021: A haunting fable of art, family, and fate from the author of the Outline trilogy. A woman invites a famous artist to use her guesthouse in the remote coastal landscape where she lives with her family. Powerfully drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision might penetrate the mystery at the center of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence itself becomes an enigma—and disrupts the calm of her secluded household. Second Place, Rachel Cusk’s electrifying new novel, is a study of female fate and male privilege, the geometries of human relationships, and the moral questions that animate our lives. It reminds us of art’s capacity to uplift—and to destroy.
    “Her genius is that in deliberately blurring a boundary of her own – that between a writer and her subject, between the expectation of autobiography so often attached to writing by women, and the carapace of pure invention so often unthinkably afforded to men – she tricks us into believing that her preoccupations and failings, her privileges and apparent assumptions, are not our own. By the time we realize what has happened, it is too late: our own surface has been disturbed, our own complacent compartment dismantled. It is a shock, but as the narrator of Second Place reminds us, 'shock is sometimes necessary, for without it we would drift into entropy.' Cusk is necessary too – deeply so, and Second Place, exquisite in the cruelty of its rightness, reminds us why.”
    —Sam Byers, The Guardian
  • 19.50

    Diary of a Film
    by Niven Govinden
    Book of the Month
    APRIL 2021

    BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH selection April 2021: A book fizzling with energy, the vibrancy of potencial and artistic discovery, with the joys and pains of creation, the melancholy of longing, of having given oneself fully, of love. It’s a book we all need right now. It gives me hope every time I open it.
    "Precision engineered European modernism from a master stylist. It walks us into a luminous and loving conversational drama, rich with complex erotics and interwoven private agonies. He writes exquisitely about art making, about obsession and responsibility. It's a gorgeous novel."
    - Max Porter
    An auteur, together with his lead actors, is at a prestigious European festival to premiere his latest film. Alone one morning at a backstreet café, he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city’s secrets, historic and personal. As the walk unwinds, a story of love and tragedy emerges, and he begins to see the chance meeting as fate. He is entranced, wholly clear in his mind: her story must surely form the basis for his next film. This is a novel about cinema, flâneurs, and queer love – it is about the sometimes troubled, sometimes ecstatic creative process, and the toll it takes on its makers. But it is also a novel about stories, and the ongoing question of who has the right to tell them.