Spring 2021 Preview

JANUARY

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns | Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 28 Jan 2021

‘Comyns’s world is weird and wonderful . . . A neglected genius.’ Guardian

A novel that starts with a village flood and ends with a mysterious virus – a visionary Corona novel originally published in 1954 and now a modern classic.

One of Comyns’s most famous novels, banned in Ireland on its original publication, and out of print until now; an uncannily prescient book about an English village and a mysterious virus.

FEBRUARY

Empty Houses by Brenda Navarro | Translated by Sophie Hughes | Debut Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 25 Feb 2021 | DB Originals

‘One of the best-kept secrets of Mexican literature.’ Fernanda Melchor, author of International Booker-Prize shortlisted Hurricane Season

A novel about abduction that asks: is motherhood the greatest crime of all?

Set in Mexico City, Empty Houses takes place in the aftermath of a child’s disappearance and follows the mother who lost her child and the woman who risked everything to take him.

For readers of Valeria Luiselli and Samanta Schweblin as well as novels such as Lullaby by Leïla Slimani and The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante.

MARCH

Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga | Translated by Melanie Mauthner | Fiction | Paperback Original | £9.99 | 18 March 2021 | DB Originals

‘An astonishing book.’ Guardian

Introducing Scholastique Mukasonga to the UK: a major international author and her brilliant and award-winning first novel.

Parents send their daughters to Our Lady of the Nile, an elite school run by white nuns, to be moulded into respectable citizens, and to escape the dangers of the outside world.

Fifteen years prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the girls try on their parents’ preconceptions and attitudes, transforming the lycée into a microcosm of the country’s mounting racial tensions and violence. In the midst of the interminable rainy season, everything unfolds behind the closed doors of the school: friendship, curiosity, fear, deceit, and persecution.

For readers of The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.

In the Garden: Essays on Nature and Growing | Non-Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 25 March 2021

An essay collection about gardening and our relationship to nature, following on from At the Pond and In the Kitchen.

A new collection of literary essays about gardening and growing, from writers including Penelope Lively, Paul Mendez, Zing Tsjeng, Jon Day and Victoria Adukwei Bulley.

APRIL

The Coming Bad Days by Sarah Bernstein | Debut Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 22 April 2021 | DB Originals

The Coming Bad Days is a penetrating interior portrait of feminine negation and cruelty.

After leaving the man with whom she’d been living, and moving to an unnamed university city, a woman dedicates her life to solitude. The abiding feeling in the city is one of paranoia; the weather has been deteriorating, a curfew has been imposed, and outside her office window she can hear police helicopters circling, looking for the women who have been disappearing. But when she meets Clara – a woman who is exactly her opposite – her plans begin to unravel.

For readers of Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, Jenny Offill’s Weather and First Love by Gwendoline Riley.

Bear by Marian Engel | Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 30 April 2021

‘A strange and wonderful book, plausible as kitchens, but shapely as a folktale, and with the same disturbing resonance.’ Margaret Atwood

Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book meets Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen.

Lou is a shy and diligent librarian at the local Heritage Institute. She works monotonous and dusty hours long into the night but she has found noth­ing – and no one – to go home to. When she is summoned to a remote island to inventory the estate of Colonel Cary, she doesn’t expect to find a pet bear. Lou begins to care for the bear and as summer blossoms across the island and Lou shakes off the city, she realises the bear might satisfy some needs of her own.

An explosive yet tender novel about nature, animals, desire and self-love.

MAY

The Dry Heart and The Road to the City by Natalia Ginzburg | Translated by Frances Frenaye | Fiction | Paperback original | £8.99 | 20 May 2021

‘If Ferrante is a friend, Ginzburg is a mentor.’ Guardian

Two essential novellas from Natalia Ginzburg, published simultaneously in bold new designs, continuing Daunt Books’ revival of this extraordinary writer.

In The Dry Heart Ginzburg transforms the unhappy take of an ordinary dull marriage into a rich psychological thriller.

The Road to the City is a short, poignant novel about the dreams of youth, and the cruelty it takes to make them come true.

For readers of The Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese, Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, and Elena Ferrante.

JUNE

Ride a Cockhorse by Raymond Kennedy | Fiction | Paperback original | £9.99 | 21 June 2021

‘Perhaps the funniest American novel since John Kennedy Toole’s prize winner, A Confederacy of Dunces.’  Newsweek

A revolution is under way at a once sleepy New England bank. Forty-five-year-old Frances Fitzgibbons has gone from sweet-tempered loan officer to insatiable force of nature almost overnight.

Brimming with snappy dialogue and gleeful obscenity, Ride a Cockhorse is a rollicking cautionary tale and one of the finest portrayals every created of a female antiheroine – resist her at your peril! 

A comedic masterpiece for fans of The Bonfire of the Vanities, Ducks, Newburyport, and films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short and The Favourite.