Is your summer reading list looking empty? Always room in your suitcase for another book? Then follow our recommendations for this summer’s hottest reads.
After a year of literary excellence, we have rounded up six of the best summer reads courtesy of Goldsmiths students, staff, and alumni.
With everything from experienced novelists to first-time writers, and a range of poetry, photography and historical fiction, we are sure you will find the perfect papery holiday companion below.
Golden Hill – Francis Spufford
First-time novelist and senior lecturer in Creative Writing Francis Spufford’s novel Golden Hill was the winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2017 and is in the running for Costa Book of the Year. Set in Eighteenth century America and centred around a young man from London, the novel has been described by the Guardian as “splendidly entertaining” and a “frolicsome first novel”.
Kingdom of Gravity – Nick Makoha
Kingdom of Gravity by Nick Makoha, an MA student in Creative & Life Writing, is a collection of poems addressing the horrors of the civil war in Uganda, and features a curiosity about how people behave in extreme situations. The collection is shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, with the judging panel describing it as a “searing, mysterious contemplation of exile, fatherhood and violence”.
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between – Hisham Matar
Hisham Matar completed the first ever MA Design Futures course at Goldsmiths and has now been awarded the Pulitzer prize for his book The Return: Fathers, Son and the Land in Between. Matar’s book describes his search for his father – a political dissident and opponent of the Gaddafi regime who was kidnapped and imprisoned 22 years earlier. The Return charts his return to Tripoli alongside his mother and wife, and what they found on their journey.
Island Story: Journeys Around Unfamiliar Britain – Dan Taylor
Described as “a poetic mixture of travelogue, class polemic, fable and myth”, Island Story chronicles Dan Taylor’s cycle across the UK in an attempt to capture a sense of modern day Britain. Taylor completed a BA in History & History of Ideas and a MA in Cultural Studies, and is also an Associate Lecturer in History at Goldsmiths. The novel is on the shortlist for the Orwell Prize for Books and was written by Taylor after speaking to strangers at stops in pubs, cafes and hostels about life in their town.
The Observances – Kate Miller
Kate Miller’s poetry collection The Observances has been called an “ambitious and unusual debut, with an assurance and an authority that poets more often find later in their careers”. Kate, who graduated from the Department of English and Comparative Literature, is the recipient of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection.
London Youth – Julian Mährlein
London Youth is a photography book by MA Art and Politics student Julian Mährlein which shows an alternative side to young people in the capital. The striking portraits contradict the negative representation of young Londoners and gives visibility to a demographic that is often overlooked as artistic subjects. Julian was inspired by the media coverage of the 2011 London riots and started working on the book a year later. He calls his degree “crucial” in informing his work as a photographer, and he centres social and political topics in his work.