It’s best-of-the-year time: our roundup of 2017 titles covers all the genres — memoir, sci-fi, essay, and literary fiction — with each selection offering a blend of superb writing and compelling narrative. Have a look and choose a book — or two. You still have time to read them while they’re hot.
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Transit, by Rachel Cusk
Transit is the second book in what will eventually comprise a trilogy. Both it and the first in the series, Outline, published in 2014, were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. They’ve also been celebrated as a kind of “reinvention” of the novel — fictionalized autobiography in which the first-person narrator makes the scantest appearance, focusing instead on the stories of friends, acquaintances and co-workers, as recounted in conversation. Cusk’s writing is pristine and the detached voice of her narrator, Faye, a recently divorced British writer with two teenaged children, is deceptive — somehow, despite seeming to reveal nothing about herself, the character thrums with authenticity. —D.I.