Sarah Davis Goff
The book that made my year: We spoke last year about Mike McCormack’s wonderful Solar Bones, which garnered rave reviews and a rake of prizes including the Goldsmiths and two BGE Irish Book Awards. We suspected it was only gathering speed – and we were so delighted when it was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker (thanks to Canongate publishing their gorgeous edition). And Sara Baume’s wondrous A Line Made By Walking helped make 2017 a brilliant year.
Our book that deserved to do better: Our Recovered Voices series is how we republish lost classics: this year we followed up our very successful haunted house story, The Uninvited, with The Unforeseen, also by Dorothy Macardle. Set in Wicklow just before the second world war, it’s an eerie and gorgeously written tale.
I wish I’d published: The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (Picador) is all my favourites – short, sharp, apocalyptic and beautiful.
Publishing director, Cassava Republic
The book that made my year: When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola. We’re really proud of this one. Set in King’s Cross and Port Harcourt, it is the coming-of-age story about two black adolescents and their friendship. The novel taps into issues of queer identity and social divides at the time of the 2011 London riots. Olumide captures a voice of black British youth that has been almost entirely absent from literary fiction.
Our book that deserved to do better: The Hidden Star by K Sello Duiker. Published posthumously, this magical YA quest is set in South Africa. We had a good deal of success with it in Africa, but I feel it was overlooked by UK reviewers.
I wish I’d published: Irenosen Okojie’s Speak Gigantular (Jacaranda Books) is an eclectic, disturbing and erotically charged short story collection by a scorching talent. And Diana Evans’s Ordinary People (Chatto & Windus) – brilliant.
Co-director, Galley Beggar Press
The book that made my year: We That Are Young by Preti Taneja. A translation of King Lear into a contemporary Indian setting, We That Are Young is a devastating novel; we’ve been overwhelmed by the fantastic reviews and reader reactions.
Our book that deserved to do better: We Are the End by Gonzalo Garcia is a wonderful book about a messed-up young man called Tomas, who (like all of us) gets things wrong. He isn’t much of a hero, though, and that’s proved tricky. It has really touched some readers – but I worry others judged the protagonist rather than the book about him, and maybe missed its humour and sadness.
I wish I’d published: Man With a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige (Bluemoose) – I fell in love with it.