Vertigo by Joanna Walsh (And Other Stories, £8.99)
Walsh’s collection of short stories is a splendidly wry and offbeat look at the experiences of ageing, of relationships ending, of accepting the flawed personalities we all have. Her narrators are usually older women speaking in the first person, and they’re both intellectual and aware. The kind of stories to be digested slowly, and savoured.
Zero Hours by Rab Wilson (Luath Press, £9.99)
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Many of Wilson’s poems here, in both Scots and in English, are essentially stories in miniature, which is perhaps why he so often seems inspired by storytellers like Walter Scott, as well as artists like Joan Eardley. He has a highly effective and impressive skewering style, cutting through pretence and pomposity with ease.
Speak by Louisa Hall (Orbit, £8.99)
Hall’s novel is an unusual one, with a mix of voices from different periods, all connected by a computer in the future called MARY3. With some skill she combines a young woman from the seventeenth century, Alan Turing, 1960s computer experimentation and a dystopian future, but it can feel a little cold at times.
The Latecomer by Dimitri Verhulst (Portobello, £12.99)
Desire Cordier fakes Alzheimer’s so that he can get into a home where the love of his life from many years ago, Rosa Rozendahl, is living. His publishers call this a ‘tender-hearted comic novel’ but it’s also a raging against the dying of the light, with wicked observations and more than a little cynicism.