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Paperbacks: What Will Survive, by Joan Smith

It's a brave woman who raises female genital mutilation on page three and goes on to tackle the complexities of Hezbollah and Lebanon's relationship with Israel alongside women's role in the media.

But tackle them Joan Smith does, in a novel that is part thriller, part travelogue and wholly original. Beginning in 1997 with model-turned-landmine crusader Aisha, and continuing as a young journalist investigates her strange death, this is a bold take on some tough material.