Recently I've read Thea Lim's An Ocean of Minutes, a speculative novel showing a USA even more than now poisoned by class and race hatred, and Helen Dunmore's The Siege, a totally non-speculative treatment of Leningrad in WWII.
Both books engaged me completely. I even did that thing of walking into the kitchen reading, reading while the coffee made itself, reading as I went back to my chair. (Not my writing chair!) Both novelists use sensory detail to make their worlds vivid, and both books feature characters who have depth and contradiction. Also these two writers are political, showing how individuals in a specific kind of society work, think, fail, love, lose their way. I'll look forward to reading more by Lim, a young new writer, and though Dunsmore's gone now she left a shelf of works that I know I'll admire.
Cynthia Flood lives in Vancouver. She's published a novel and five collections of stories, the most recent being What Can You Do (Biblioasis, 2017). A selection of Flood's short fiction, You Are Here, will appear from Biblioasis this summer. Her story “They Took Her Out” appeared in The Fiddlehead no. 280 (Summer 2019).