Author of our January book, Birds Art Life Death, Kyo Maclear shares her favourite reads for every season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Kyo Maclear’s Birds Art Life Death was our January book – and one which resonated with so many of you. Taking readers through a year of “The Art of Noticing the Small and Significant”, it’s a thought-provoking book – certain to encourage introspection and self-reflection. It’s a novel to enjoy all year round – but one that feels particularly relevant in January. So we’re delighted to have Maclear herself sharing her favourite reads for every season…
A short novel about a young Caribbean woman who goes to the United States to work as an au pair for a wealthy white family. Its deeper themes of displacement, domestic work, mother/daughter bonds are developed beautifully. I will never see daffodils the same way again.
Virginia Woolf called this dazzling novel a “play-poem.” It’s best experienced as you might experience the sea on a hot summer day—via surrender. Let its meanings tumble over you, ebbing, flowing, falling, rising.
This fragmentary memoir is as mesmerising as any novel. It shines an overdue light on the short but robustly creative life of German expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907)—the first female artist to paint herself not only naked but also pregnant. It is, among other things, a gorgeous testament to art flourishing under restrictive conditions.
Ali Smith’s work seems set to a unique and static-less dial between play and politics, dreamy magic and urgent realism. Her mind: vast and unconfined. This latest book takes place during a family gathering in Cornwall at Christmas but its scope is so much greater. Really, it’s about what happens when you let a book enter the flow of the world and the world enter the flow of a book.