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The Independent Culture
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton, Doubleday, £14.99. A chilling courtroom drama, threaded with a quiet sense of elegy. Review by Natasha Walter, 7 January.

In Praise of Truth by Torgny Lindgren, tr. Tom Geddes, Harvill, £14.99. Mysterious tale of art fraud. Winner of the Independent Award for Foreign Fiction for November/ December.

William Morris: A Life for Our Time by Fiona MacCarthy, Faber £25. Engaging portrait of the great designer and socialist. Review by Claire Tomalin, 3 December.

Classic Crews by Harry Crews, Gorse £9.99. Collected works of a grandee of American fiction, including his superb autobiography. Review by John Williams, 7 January.

Shaka's Children by Stephen Taylor, HarperCollins £18. History of the Zulu nation which evokes its legendary savage grandeur while remaining both objective and humane. Review by Jan Morris, 7 January.

Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson, Andre Deutsch £25. Passionate and idiosyncratic, this is far more than a mere reference book. Review by Anthony Quinn, 7 January.

Flesh and Stone by Richard Sennett, Faber and Faber, £25. Intriguing journey through the history of the city. Review by Robert Winder, 6 January.

The Brontes by Juliet Barker, Weidenfeld £25. A painstaking, richly detailed account of literature's most famous family. Review by Lucasta Miller, 17 December.