BOOKS / Paperbacks

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Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone, Penguin pounds 6.99. 'Bestselling author sails into copycat storm' ran the headlines when this novel about a round-the- world yacht race appeared last year. The parallels with Donald Crowhurst are there, but Stone's insights into his hero's self-doubt and moral trials are all his own.

Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa's Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa People by Noel Mostert, Pimlico pounds 15. A massive study of what used to be footnoted as the 'Kaffir Wars', in fact 100 years of conflict which culminated with the Xhosa people's sacrifice of their own cattle (believing that the expulsion of whites would follow), and the subsequent starvation of 40,000 people. Compelling narrative history.

The Lost Father by Mona Simpson, Faber pounds 6.99. Mayan is 28, a watchful, bookish medical student, but her heart still belongs to Daddy. Her Oedipal quest takes her across America, to Egypt, and into the recesses of her own soul. Bulky novel, with lyrical flights about 'the colours of absence'.