Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated and she sees the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela begins to take dance lessons. But life in the States isn't without difficulties. Unfortunately, tragedy can find its way to Michaela in America, too, and her past can feel like it's haunting her. The world of ballet is a racist one, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, hearing the words 'America's not ready for a black girl ballerina.'
And yet ... Today, Michaela DePrince is an international ballet star, dancing for the Dutch National Ballet at the age of nineteen. This is a heart-breaking, inspiring autobiography by a teenager who shows us that, beyond everything, there is always hope for a better future.
A journey into the glittering, surreal heart of 21st century Russia: into the lives of Hells Angels convinced they are messiahs, professional killers with the souls of artists, bohemian theatre directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, supermodel sects, post-modern dictators and oligarch revolutionaries.
This is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, where life is seen as a whirling, glamorous masquerade where identities can be switched and all values are changeable. It is home to a new form of authoritarianism, far subtler than 20th century strains, and which is rapidly expanding to challenge the global order.
An extraordinary book - one which is as powerful and entertaining as it is troubling - Nothing is True and Everything is Possible offers a wild ride into this political and ethical vacuum.
There are few artists who inspire such reverence as Kim Gordon. In Girl in a Band she tells with complete openness the story of her family, her work in the visual arts, her move to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music and her band. It is a rich and beautifully written memoir, taking us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and '90s that gave birth to and nurtured Sonic Youth and the alternative revolution in popular music they spearheaded. But at its core, Girl in a Band is an examination of what partnership means - and what happens when it dissolves.
Evocative and edgy, filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a remarkable life, Girl in a Band is the moving chronicle of an extraordinary artist.
Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf's latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go.
Miriam Toews's All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities.
'The novel she has written - so exquisitely that you'll want to savour every word - reads as if it has been wrenched from her heart.' Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
'[Miriam Toews] has produced a masterly book of such precise dignity. It is, also against all the odds, at times a desperately humorous novel.' Daily Mail
'Toews takes her place alongside Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood and Mordicai Richler as the loveliest quintet of Canadian writing.' Los Angeles Times
For eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju, life in Delhi in the late 1970s follows a comfortable, predictable routine: bathing on the roof, queuing for milk, playing cricket in the street. Yet, everything changes when their father finds a job in America - a land of carpets and elevators, swimsuits and hot water on tap. Life is exciting for the two brothers as they adjust to prosperity, girls and 24-hour TV, until one hot, sultry day when everything falls apart.
Darkly comic, Family Life is a story of a boy torn between duty and survival amid the ruins of everything he once knew.
Shortlisted for the Folio Prize 2015.
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