My book of the year was Claire-Louise Bennett’s Pond, which, technically, came out in 2015, but has haunted me ever since first reading it. This is where the future of fiction in English is being written. Joanna Walsh is also pushing back boundaries in both fiction (Vertigo) and nonfiction (Hotel). With Hot Milk, Deborah Levy produced a worthy successor to her classic Swimming Home. With Feeding Time, Adam Biles has turned into a force to be reckoned with. Agustín Fernández Mallo’s Nocilla trilogy (Fitzcarraldo have brought out the first two volumes) is in a league of its own, as is Diane Williams’s Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine collection of shorts. Sam Coll’s The Abode of Fancy, written when he was a 20-year-old undergraduate at Trinity College, is a 500-page contemporary picaresque which will blow your mind. Stuart Jeffries’ Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School tops my nonfiction list, along with Dan Fox’s essay on Pretentiousness. Iain Sinclair’s My Favourite London Devils, a series of author portraits, was a delightful surprise.
Andrew Gallix is co-editor-in-chief and owner of 3:AM Magazine.
First posted: Sunday, December 18th, 2016.