In short: Bach’s Cello Suites; The Book of Mother; Reality and other stories | Books
Faber, £ 12.99, page 240
Steven Isserlis is one of the world’s greatest cellists, and his recordings of Bach’s 2007 cello suites have received critical acclaim for the integrity of their performance. Now he’s putting that idea to good use in a very engaging book “for music lovers of all shapes and sizes”. From a brief biography of Bach, through the historical context and the emotional significance of the suites, Isserlis produces an illuminating, accessible and detailed analysis of one of Bach’s seminal works.
Virago, £ 16.99, page 224
Huisman’s debut album, translated from French by Leslie Camhi, tells the story of Catherine Cremnitz through the eyes of her youngest daughter, Violaine. Psychologically fragile, Catherine is a mercurial mother, alternating very demonstrative love and scathing attacks against her children. Rewinding the story into her mother’s past, Violaine discovers two generations of women abused and exploited by men, in a novel that explores the complexities of trauma and love.
Faber, £ 8.99, pp240
Well known in his fiction for his keen sense of social observation, Lanchester turns his attention in this collection of stories to our relationship to technology in its various manifestations. In the first, a dead man haunts a country mansion, clutching his cell phone, looking for his children and a phone signal. In Cold Caller, a woman is harangued by her toxic stepfather from beyond the grave through a telephone care service. With notes of both horror and surrealism, this is a very imaginative and deeply disturbing collection.