This month’s book tip is brought to you by UK publicity director (and translator) Nichola Smalley.
With prose that somehow seems to runs rings around the English language, Isabel Waidner’s delightfully unhinged novel Sterling Karat Gold is the worthy winner of this year’s Goldsmith’s Prize. The tale of two queer performance artists grappling with a tortuous and repressive state apparatus, it takes in matadors, spaceships and an ingenious system of time travel that utilises a little-know feature in Google Maps. The result is a narrative that would be ridiculously far-fetched if only it wasn’t rooted in hard reality, and it’s full of a joy and fury I wish I found more often in contemporary literature. Waidner’s brilliant publisher Peninsula Press is run by the people behind East London’s Burley Fisher Books, who themselves are diehard indie press supporters, and it’s fantastic to see them getting the attention they deserve.