Recommended books

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My Golden Trades by Ivan Klima, Granta pounds 13.99. A great storyteller's ironic account of survival under Communism. Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Award for September / October.

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Flamingo pounds 5.99. A powerful prize-winning novel that sets King Lear in rural Iowa. Review by Anthony Quinn, 17 October.

Shylock by John Gross, Chatto pounds 18. A varied and scintillating study of a hero and villain over 400 years. Review by Barbara Everett, 10 October.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals by Iris Murdoch, Chatto pounds 20. An audacious attempt to demonstrate the ethical importance of Western philosophy. Review by Ray Monk, 24 October.