Exciting August Books Out in the UK

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Rabeea Saleem

Staff Writer

Rabeea is a Karachi-based writer. Her two vices are cricket and literature. Book critic for various international publications including Chicago Review of Books, Irish Times and The National. She can be reached at

A selection of the best new fiction and non-fiction out this month in the UK.

Astroturf by Matthew Sperling (Riverrun)

An absorbing, ingenious story of a web developer who starts using illegal steroids. This short novel takes a sharply incisive look at modern masculinity with deadpan humour and tenderness.

The Hazards of Good Fortune by Seth Greenland (Europa Editions)

One of the most compelling novels I have read recently, this is a biting and clear-eyed social commentary set in New York during the Obama presidency. This profound novel incisively explores political and social divides in contemporary America.

The Town by Shaun Prescott (Faber)

A writer arrives in New South Wales to investigate the disappearance of ghost towns in this darkly unsettling story. Absurd in the realms of Kafka and Garcia Marquez, this is a mind-bending novel about modern Australia.

Future Popes of Ireland by Darragh Martin (4th Estate)

A charming, big-hearted debut which follows a dysfunctional family over the course of 40 years. Set against the background of a rapidly changing Ireland, this novel is a hilarious yet socially relevant family saga.

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (Sceptre)

A poignant story of a traumatized soldier searching for peace and freedom. Nuanced characterization and stunning prose makes this suspenseful historical novel a riveting read.

Trenton Makes by Tadzio Koelb (Atlantic Books)

A chilling story of a woman who kills her husband and takes on his identity during the rise and fall of the American Century. Gripping and provocative, this debut brazenly explores White American manhood and male privilege.

A Double Life by Flynn Berry (W&N)

An intense, menacing thriller about a woman’s search for truth and retribution. This is a suspenseful tale of class, privilege and justice.

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs (Picador)

This debut short story collection revolves around Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Fans of Junot Diaz and Zadie Smith will find much to enjoy in these stories that range from being funny, contemplative to engaging.

Sick: A Memoir by Porochista Khakpour (Canongate)

A fiercely bracing account of chronic illness, addiction and misdiagnosis. With searing honesty, Porochista enlightens us with the struggle of living with an invisible illness and the loopholes in the healthcare system.