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Wandering Stars
Tommy Orange
Tommy Orange made a splash in 2018 with his debut novel, There There, which followed Native American characters in Oakland, California, the author’s hometown. Expectations are high, then, for Wandering Stars, which serves as both a prequel and a sequel. The book centres on multiple generations of a family and the fallout of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre, in which more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were killed by the US Army. 
‘Wandering Stars’ is out now


Rita Bullwinkel
The appeal of a novel about teenage girl boxers risks being limited to those in and around the ring. But Headshot punches above its weight. Rita Bullwinkel’s second book – following her collection of short stories, Belly Up – centres on eight young women competing in a tournament in Reno, Nevada. It’s a taut tale of intimacy, violence, control, joy and desire. 
‘Headshot’ is out now


The Morningside
Téa Obreht

The third novel from the Belgrade-born US author of The Tiger’s Wife and Inland began as a short story in The Decameron Project, an anthology commissioned in 2020 by The New York Times Magazine. It unfolds in a not-too-distant future in a place called Island City and follows 11-year-old Silvia, who together with her mother is forced to leave their home and move into a high-rise managed by her aunt. There, Silvia begins to unearth a few troubling family secrets. 
‘The Morningside’ is out now



Anthony Chen 
Stories of refugees tend to tread a familiar path. Director Anthony Chen quietly circumvents clichés with Drift, which follows the well-to-do daughter of an upper-class Liberian family forced to flee to Greece after conflict catches up with them. The film rests on the pathos of Cynthia Erivo’s performance – she is an actress who can make anything look enthralling. 
‘Drift’ is released on 24 March 


Love Lies Bleeding
Rose Glass
Gym manager Lou (Kirsten Stewart) falls hard and fast for bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) – and their love affair may be their only respite from the drama of her small-town gangster family. Dripping in 1980s dirtbag Americana aesthetics, the film is a pounding and aggressive melodrama from the director of horror film Saint Maud.
‘Love Lies Bleeding’ is released on 19 April 


Close Your Eyes
Víctor Erice
Spanish film-maker Víctor Erice has never made a bad movie. Now, after a long absence, he has returned with what’s, on the surface, a mystery film about the disappearance of an actor. Look deeper, though, and you’ll find an exploration of memory, identity and their intersection with cinema. 
‘Close Your Eyes’ is released on 12 April



Willem de Kooning e l’Italia 
Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia, Venice
Dutch-American expressionist painter Willem de Kooning bookended the 1960s with two trips to Italy. On the first, he met Cy Twombly and experimented with his expressive “Rome” drawings; the second saw him attempt sculpture for the first time. The effect of these brief visits permeated throughout his late career, as this ambitious retrospective illustrates in suitably broad brushstrokes. 
From 17 April to 15 September



Theaster Gates: Afro-Mingei
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
As a committed Japanophile, artist Theaster Gates has brewed his own saké, explored the mingei movement and engaged with Tokoname ceramic traditions across two decades. While the work created for the Chicago-born polymath’s first major exhibition in Japan will reflect a deep love for his host country, don’t expect his art to be watered-down. Gates has always responded to such occasions, using his platform to present explorations of Black American identity. 
From 24 April to 1 September

Fix: Care and Repair
Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, Helsinki
This show celebrates the fine art of maintenance, from the careful restoration of buildings to the beauty of the time-worn. Five early-career artists, chosen via an open call, were tasked with expanding the central theme to encompass poetry, architectural theory, social inclusion and more. Their collected works will act as a reminder that maintenance is about more than just quick fixes; it’s about nurturing the good things in life. 
From 26 April to 31 December


Moon Safari
The French electronic duo’s 1998 debut album still feels fresh today, from the serene “La femme d’argent” to the vocoder paradise of “Sexy Boy”. Belatedly celebrating 25 years since its release, Air have reissued Moon Safari with added live sessions, unreleased demos and a documentary film. 
The ‘Moon Safari’ 25th anniversary edition is out now 

Las Mujeres ya no Lloran
The Colombian pop diva is back with her first album since 2017’s El Dorado. Its name references her recent hit single “Music Sessions, Vol 53”, a collaboration with Argentinian producer Bzrp, on which she sings “women no longer cry, women make money”. The record’s catchy hooks and pithy lyrics prove Shakira is still a force in pop. 
‘Las Mujeres ya no Lloran’ is released on 22 March


A La Sala
The Houston trio’s fourth album is more subdued thanprevious releases. Highlights include “Pon Pón”, a mixture of African disco and distorted guitars, and the sensual “Todavía Viva”. 
‘A La Sala’ is released on 5 April




Andrew Scott plays the titular character in this adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr Ripley. Its eight episodes follow Ripley’s journey from the US to Italy, where he is embroiled in fraud, murder and deceit. 
‘Ripley’ is released on 4 April

Apple TV+
Colin Farrell is busy. Alongside Batman spin-off The Penguin, this year also sees him starring in and producing Sugar, a subversive series about a private detective investigating the disappearance of a Hollywood producer’s granddaughter.
‘Sugar’ is released on 5 April

The Veil
Equal parts captivating spy thriller and Thelma & Louise, this fascinating look into the global espionage community follows two women on the road from Istanbul to London via Paris. 
‘The Veil’ is released on 30 April

Plots of adrenaline
Thrillers to read

Great thrillers have you rooting for characters up against the odds and keep you hopeful even when things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. The best of the new crop, listed here and chosen by crime-fiction aficionado Paul Burke, share these qualities. — L

1. The Shadow Network
Tony Kent
UN super-agent Joe Dempsey and London lawyer Michael Devlin are on the trail of The Monk, leader of a cabal dedicated to wrecking the world order. Fighting this global threat is a war on many fronts, from the US to the Middle East –and the pace never lets up. 
Published by Elliott & Thompson

2. The New Couple in 5B
Lisa Unger
New Yorkers Rosie and Chad Lowan inherit an apartment in the iconic Windermere building. The residents are welcoming, the portents less so. Rosie witnesses a biker die in a crash just as the good news arrives, The Windermere’s aged doorman is ever present and its gruesome history emerges when a neighbour is found dead. It’s an unsettling, haunting read.
Published by Park Row

3. Smoke Kings 
Jahmal Mayfield
A racist murder leads Nate Evers to exact revenge for his cousin’s death in Jahmal Mayfield’s powerful debut. When Evers and friends kidnap the descendants of hate-crime perpetrators and demand reparations, it’s not long before white supremacists and a racist cop are on their trail. This is an excoriating account of open wounds in US race relations. 
Published by Melville House

4. A Spy Like Me
Kim Sherwood
This Bond-not-Bond franchise sequel features Double-O agents scouring for terrorists while searching for missing service legend James Bond. Fast, sassy fun, this is Fleming for the 21st century.
Published by Hemlock Press

5. On the Run In Max Luther’s latest, Alex Drayce, disillusioned ex-cop turned bodyguard for hire, searches for a businessman’s missing daughter in Las Vegas. Framed for murder, hunted by the law and the mob, Drayce fights back. Underestimate him at your peril – the self-aware Reacher type has a similar deadly skillset.
Published by Canelo

Paul Burke hosts ‘Crime Time FM’.

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