Literary Non-Fiction #2

Literary Non-Fiction #2

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Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood
An exhilarating collection of non-fiction from the bestselling, double Booker Prize-winning phenomenon that is Margaret Atwood.

From cultural icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of essays -- funny, erudite, endlessly curious, uncannily prescient -- which seek answers to Burning Questions such as:

Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories?
How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating?
How can we live on our planet?
Is it true? And is it fair?
What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?

In over fifty pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at our world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better questioner of the many and varied mysteries of our human universe.

Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl
This is a book for anyone who has ever loved someone who has died. Or who has ever loved someone. Because grief is the language of love, after all.

On Valentine’s Day, after a night of red wine and pasta and planning for their future, Natasha Sholl and her partner Rob went to bed. A few hours later, at the age of 27, his heart stopped.

Found, Wanting tells the story of Natasha’s attempt to rebuild her life in the wake of Rob’s sudden death, stumbling through the grief landscape and colliding with the cultural assumptions about the ‘right way’ to grieve.

It is a memoir about falling in love in the aftermath of loss, and what it means to build a life in the space that death leaves.

Furious and passionate, bracingly honest and beautiful, Found, Wanting is above all, a memoir about living and making sense of the multitude of lives within us.

Root & Branch: Essays on inheritance by Eda Gunaydin
I have come to see that I am an argumentative person who is frequently convinced that my angle, my take, on a matter, is the right one. This kind of delusional self-belief is not rewarded in many other spheres of social life, so I write essays.

There is a Turkish saying that one’s home is not where one is born, but where one grows full - doğduğun yer değil, doyduğun yer. Exquisitely written, Root & Branch unsettles neat descriptions of inheritance, belonging and place. Eda Gunaydin’s essays ask: what are the legacies of migration, apart from loss? And how do we find comfort in where we are?

‘In Root & Branch, Eda Gunaydin’s essays showcase the fine craft of a writer whose seemingly dispassionate observations set a wide stage for astute, deeply considered reflections on place, people, politics and power. It takes immense skill to weave personal narratives seamlessly into broader conversations and complex social commentary. To do so in an effortless manner, as Gunaydin has accomplished, is pure alchemy. This is a book I will revisit many times for both the beauty of its language and for the generous opportunities to think and learn alongside the writer. A moving, thought-provoking and truly stunning debut.‘ - Eileen Chong

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