Translator, writer, and editor Daniel Hahn has sent us his book tip for this month, Donald S. Murray’s As the Women Lay Dreaming by publishers Saraband.

This felt like one of this year’s great discoveries for me. Taking as its starting point a true story, about the HMY Iolaire that was wrecked on the island of Lewis on New Year’s Day of 1919 (I knew nothing about it before reading this), the novel’s focus is not on that story itself but on its consequences – the effect of deeply buried secrets, of truths concealed, of important things unsaid. Ranging widely in time, and hardly at all in space, it explores dislocation, loss and so much more through painfully complex characters and some of the most beautifully crafted prose I’ve read all year. I’d not read Murray before and have a lot of catching up to do – got two of his non-fiction books currently on order now.

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