A dozen books due in 2019, both fiction and non-fiction, that I’m looking forward to. Not books I have read, so not (yet, anyway) recommendations, but books I would like to read. There are a dozen more I might have included, and many more that I have missed, but this is a start.
John Lanchester, The Wall
Where Lanchester’s Capital took on the financial crisis, his latest novel tackles another big issue: migration and the fear of the Other.
Toby Green, A Fistful of Shells
Allen Lane, January
What looks like a fascinating history of West Africa, from before the slave trade to the Age of Revolution. Another of a recent crop of books beginning to illuminate what until recently have been the forgotten histories of Africa.
Samanta Schweblin, Mouthful of Birds
Samanta Schweblin’s first novel Fever Dream was surreal, dark and unsettling. By all accounts, her new collection of short stories is even more so.
Richard Evans, Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History
Little, Brown, February
Whether Evans makes the best chronicler of Hobsbawm’s life, I’m not sure, but nevertheless a significant biography of a significant, and flawed, Marxist, historian and public intellectual.
Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Hamish Hamilton, February
James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings was an extraordinary work. His new novel is a fantasy set in a mythical Africa. I would not normally be drawn to it, but after A Brief History it feels like it must have a place on this list.
Jonathan Rée, Witcraft
Allen Lane, May
From the always readable, ever thought-provoking Jonathan Rée, a new ‘history of philosophy in English’ – and not just of philosophers.
Angela Saini, Superior
Fourth Estate, May
Books about ‘the return of racial science’ are often lightweight and more rhetorical than illuminating. I am hoping that Saini’s Superior has greater depth and nuance.
Michel Houellebecq, Serotonin
Nihilistic, reactionary, misanthropist, and not as good a writer as he likes to think. Nevertheless Houellebecq is a unique cultural figure in contemporary Europe. His new novel – written before the gilets jaunes protests but telling a seemingly similar tale of disaffection – is out this month in France, but only in August in translation.
Peter Gatrell, The Unsettling of Europe
Allen Lane, August
A history of postwar Europe through the history of migration. A great lens, it could be an important book.
Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
A sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, narrated by three women and set 15 years after Offred drove off into a mysterious future at the close of the original novel. One to approach with both excitement and trepidation.
William Dalrymple, The Anarchy
A history of the East India Company, of its vast plunder and brutal rule.
Zadie Smith, Grand Union
Hamish Hamilton, October
Zadie Smith’s first collection of short stories.