The Lie of the Land is a novel set against the background of the German colonial wars in Namibia in the early 1900s. The central character is an academic in linguistics who occasionally acts as a British agent. He is a cynical, private individual who sees himself as a neutral observer but is eventually forced to take sides when he witnesses the atrocities of the Herero and Nama genocide and, above all, meets a young Nama woman who enchants him. The novel explores the shifting nature of the oppressor and the oppressed. Despite the unfolding tragic events, the story is lightened by surprising bursts of humour, and is ultimately a love story.
Trust in our politicians is at an all-time low. We're in a "post-truth" era, where feelings trump facts, and where brazen rhetoric beats honesty. But do politicians lie more than they used to? And do we even want them to tell the truth? In a history full of wit and political acumen, Private Eye journalist Adam Macqueen dissects the gripping stories of the biggest political lies of the last half century, from the Profumo affair to Blair's WMDs to Boris Johnson's £350 million for the NHS. Covering lesser known whoppers, infamous lies from foreign shores ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman"), and some of the resolute untruths from Donald Trump's explosive presidential campaign, this is the quintessential guide to dishonesty from our leaders - and the often pernicious relationship between parliament and the media. But this book is also so much more. It explains how in the space of a lifetime we have gone from the implicit assumption that our rulers have our best interests at heart, to assuming the worst even when - in the majority of cases - politicians are actually doing their best.
At last, a book that magnificently draws together a sophisticated reading of landscape with a committed understanding of the labor process involved in its construction. Mitchell's analysis appropriates the best of studies of representation while critiquing their abstraction from material production. All this while capturing the role of migrant workers in the making of the California landscape.
Like most of us, Ian Vince used to think of the British countryside as average, unexciting - as dramatic as a nice cup of tea. Then, over the course of a single car journey, the features of our green and pleasant land reawakened a fascination with geology that he had long forgotten, and he began to delve beneath the surface (metaphorically, that is). From the rocks of north-west Scotland which are amongst the oldest on the planet to St Michael's Mount off the coast of Cornwall, which was still being shaped in human memory, The Lie of the Land takes us on a journey through a fantastically exotic Britain of red desert sands, shattering continental collisions and tides of volcanic lava. Ian Vince shows us how Britain came to look the way it does; and with warmth and wit transports us back through billions of years to a land that time forgot.
CHOSEN AS BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, OBSERVER, TELEGRAPH, NEW STATESMAN, EVENING STANDARD, SUNDAY TIMES AND IRISH TIMES 'Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny' India Knight 'As satisfying a novel as I have read in years' Sarah Perry 'Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now working in Britain' Alison Lurie Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can't afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can't afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon. Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can't understand why Lottie is so angry; devastated and humiliated, Lottie feels herself to have been intolerably wounded. Mud, mice and quarrels are one thing - but why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home? The beauty of the landscape is ravishing, yet it conceals a dark side involving poverty, revenge, abuse and violence which will rise up to threaten them. Sally Verity, happily married but unhappily childless knows a different side to country life, as both a Health Visitor and a sheep farmer's wife; and when Lottie's innocent teenage son Xan gets a zero-hours contract at a local pie factory, he sees yet another. At the end of their year, the lives of all will be changed for ever. A suspenseful black comedy, this is a rich, compassionate and enthralling novel in its depiction of the English countryside, and the potentially lethal interplay between money and marriage.