Fourth Estate, £14.99, pp352
Nur is of Pakistani heritage and from a close-knit family, but he cannot bring himself to tell his parents about his girlfriend, Yasmina. She is Sudanese and Nur fears that his family will disapprove of her being black. The novel’s structure, interspersing the backstory of Nur and Yasmina’s relationship with Nur’s current dilemma, impedes propulsion of the story, but Nur is nonetheless a sympathetic protagonist and Ali sensitively explores racial tension and filial guilt.
Profile Books, £14.99, pp256
In her thought-provoking and topical book, ecologist Rebecca Nesbit investigates the current state of conservation in the natural world, asking a series of pertinent and timely questions: “Are the species we love the best ones to protect? Do all extinctions matter? What sacrifices should we make in the name of conservation?” Looking at issues such as culling, hunting, rewilding and the complexities of invasive species, she provides an illuminating analysis of where human efforts may best be directed.
Picador, £9.99, pp256 (paperback)
When Zauner’s mother dies, she feels she’s losing ties to her parent’s Korean heritage. In an endeavour both to reconnect to that heritage and to honour her mother, she remembers the Korean food of her childhood. Through memories of her sometimes troubled relationship with her mother, including a sustained period of estrangement, Zauner explores themes of cultural dissonance and diaspora, producing a raw and tender portrayal of grief.