Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby by Elyse Gasco (Picador, £6.99, 238pp)
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Adoption and parenting are the themes of Gasco's vivid debut collection, but don't expect a sentimental baby-fest. The mothers in these stories are often unlikeable, their offspring even more so. In one of the funniest stories, a woman's daughter begins to display magic powers, though it's possible she displayed them earlier when the clinic her mother was to attend for an abortion was blown up; a young woman, adopted at birth, imagines her mother's life during the first months of pregnancy. Stories bursting with ideas and unpalatable truths.