From Kafka to Murakami, there’s good reason why fever dream narratives do well through time. Like a mythical creature that’s half beast and half man, the balance of what’s real and what isn’t bridges the gap in our imagination, spurring us to explore the unlikely headspace a little more.
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
A contagion slowly envelops a small town in Southern California and its mysterious symptoms take shape in a deep sleep where its cause and how it transmits remain unknown. The pace of the story likens to a spread of a silent illness, investing time in consuming different characters and though written in third person perspective, you get a sense of intimacy with how the effects infiltrate their lives.
All the Names They Used for God: Stories by Anjali Sachdeva
This diverse debut collection reaches into terrorism, genetics, divinity, and of course, the human experience. While the fantasy element is subtle under layers of realism, there are hints of writing that are poetic without being pretentious. You may not like all nine stories, but a handful will certainly keep you.
The Literary Conference by César Aira
A city-wide hemp line, hidden treasure, cloning, a mad scientist and much more come into play in this strange adventure. The obscure Argentinian author pushes genre-bending to its limit with this novella, yet manages not to sound too experimental by sewing faintly absurd events into smooth prose and deadpan humour. It’s decidedly quirky so you’ll either love or hate it.
Children of the Cave by Virve Sammalkorpi
Read like a convincing academic journal complete with timestamps, the testimony of an explorer’s assistant follows the discovery of creatures not quite human inhabiting the Russian wilderness. Push through the scientific start to find the bigger anecdote, which may not be the most novel of concepts but carries sentences that linger in the mind well after closing the book.
Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn
When seven-year-old Nainoa Flores is miraculously rescued by sharks after falling overboard a cruise ship on a family vacation, what is seemingly a sign of favour from the gods only drifts further from the blessing it was thought to be over time. Surfacing sibling rivalry and individual tragedy amidst Hawaiian folklore, this challenging read requires some patience but resonates with pragmatic family dynamics.
All titles are available at Kinokuniya.