In his acclaimed debut We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas paints a sprawling, profoundly sympathetic portrait of a family coping with slow-burning tragedy. The novel is a grand testament to our deepest hopes and most human frailties. In this video, he speaks about his incredibly personal and touching first hand experience of his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. “He took the news like a champ,” the author recalls. Read more…
Meat Free Week starts today and runs to the 29th of June, and to celebrate and support this fantastic cause, we’ll be posting the best meat free Food From 4th recipes every day, rehashing some of the ones you loved most, as well as posting some new dishes you’re yet to master. There’ll be a competition too! To kick things off, we’ve got this delicious ‘Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet’ recipe from our vegetarian ambassador Anna Jones! Read more…
Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother – her only family – is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother has always concealed her own real name, or how she can ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organisation that traffics in all the secrets of the world – including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Purity is a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has created yet another cast of vividly original characters, Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers, and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Jonathan Franzen is a major author of our time, and Purity is his edgiest and most searching book yet.
Publishing 1st September 2015.
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This month our blog theme is Family Reunion, and last month it was Love In All Its Forms, so for this edition of 4x4th Estate we’ve combined the two, with icky results. But icky is at may be, incest has always been an important theme in literature, from the epic poetry of Classical Greece to the latest blockbuster book adaptation on HBO. Here are four sets of fictional siblings who prove that when it comes to a good romantic plot, sometimes it’s more interesting to keep it in the family:
If, like us, you’re planning on an indoor picnic for Mother’s Day (‘what a *fantastic* idea’ we hear you cry in unison), we’ve got three bespoke Mother’s Day Hummingbird recipes for you to download from Cake Days. Each of them are easy to make, beautiful to look at, and most of all, will be tasty (and impressive). Just click below to view or download recipes for:
Blueberry crumble loaf, rose cupcakes and custard and cinnamon tart!
Sunday the 15th of March sees Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate every single thing your Mum has done for you. Whether it’s something as basic as your washing, as unconditionally kind as coming to collect you from the train station when you’ve missed the last bus and don’t want to shell out for a cab, or telling your dad that he really ought to respect your life choices (even if it means you’ll be out of work for a year until the green grows out of your hair), Mum has your back, and Mum’s are the best. And, in some cases, let’s not forget that Mum has to be Dad too. To help you give your Mum the very best gift possible, we’ve paired some of our brilliant Mum-friendly books with some especially Mum-friendly presents. Spoil her rotten this Mother’s Day.
Sunday 8th March marked International Women’s Day – a celebration of women’s achievements throughout history. HarperCollins thought it would be a nice idea to ask which women in the literary world have inspired our own female colleagues, inciting inspirational and aspirational answers.
In this podcast, we were more than lucky enough to speak to T. Geronimo Johnson about his novel ‘Welcome to Braggsville’, his writing processes, his persona; soundtrack, the challenges that he faces as a writer, and how egotistical penning a novel really is. We touched upon character development, the subversion of stereotypes, and why making his main character, who he’d always envisaged as Black,White.
We spoke about the superficial progression of race in the U.S., and we asked if the inauguration of President Obama has done anything for Black culture. One thing we dreaded asking, but did anyway, was how the Ferguson movement and the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ campaign dedicated to the memory of Eric Garner impacts how he feels as a Black male in America. Read more…