China’s Cultural Revolution

Two contrasting accounts explore a period of upheaval that the country is yet to reckon with

©Dan Mitchell

‘The Bickford Fuse’, by Andrey Kurkov

A wandering seaman, a refugee monk and a truck trundling downhill feature in this surreal tale of Soviet-era Russia. Review by Sam Leith

‘Science, the State, and the City’, by Geoffrey Owen and Michael Hopkins

A study of British biotechnology shows how belief in imminent success was fuelled by techno-scientific hype. Review by David Edgerton

What is Not Yours is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi

‘What is Not Yours is Not Yours’, by Helen Oyeyemi

The supernatural and the ordinary sit defiantly cheek-by-jowl in these short stories. Review by Rebecca Abrams

Front cover of 'The Wood for the Trees', by Richard Fortey

‘The Wood for the Trees’, by Richard Fortey

An erudite and resolutely empirical portrait of the author’s four-acre woodland. Review by Melissa Harrison

‘The Crow Girl’, by Erik Axl Sund, translated by Neil Smith

‘The Crow Girl’, by Erik Axl Sund, translated by Neil Smith

The lives of three women interweave in a sharp Scandi thriller. Review by Barry Forshaw

‘Writing the Thames’, by Christina Hardyment

‘Writing the Thames’, by Christina Hardyment

A compendium of literary responses to the Thames. Review by Suzi Feay

Shtum, by Jem Lester

‘Shtum’, by Jem Lester

The moving story of a family’s fight for their autistic child’s future. Review by Isabel Berwick

‘The Black Prince of Florence’, by Catherine Fletcher

A vivid history shows how illegitimacy loomed larger than race in Renaissance Florence. Review by Mathew Lyons

‘City Squares’, by Catie Marron

Review by Orlando Bird