“…her own experience was beginning to tell her that an alert old age can be more keen than the cards.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
As we gaze into the crystal ball to see what literary delights are in store for us in 2019, there are already a few novels that we are very excited about, emerging from the tea leaves. These include the following:
Margaret Atwood – The Testaments (a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale).
We don’t know much about this book but what we do know makes it one of the most anticipated books of 2019. What we know is that it is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and it’s set fifteen years after the final scene of that book.
Joanne Harris – The Strawberry Thief.
She shot to fame and wide spread popularity with her 1999 novel “Chocolat” this book is the fourth book in that sequence and it has been a long seven years since the third installment Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure came out.
Ian McEwan – Machines Like Me .
Ian McEwan’s new book is a subversive re-imagining of 80’s Britain in which the UK has lost the Falklands war and Alan Turing has developed sophisticated AI.
Mark Haddon – The Porpoise.
Coincidentally, it’s also been seven years since Mark Haddon last released a novel. In his new outing The Porpoise he finds inspiration from the world of Ancient Greece during its golden age and bases his new novel around the statesman, orator and general of Athens, Pericles.
Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Result.
The third instalment of the international bestselling comic series in which geneticist Don Tillman searches for love looks sure to please his legions of fans.
Jeanette Winterson – Frankisstein.
Jeanette Winterson reworks Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for the 21st Century. Examining as she goes along gender, sexuality, technology and identity. Written, we are told, in Winterson’s unique unflinching style.
Tracy Chevalier – The Single Thread.
There’s not much released about this title yet but going from Chevalier’s track record it should be a major highlight of 2019.
Ali Smith – Spring.
Spring is the third installment of Ali Smith’s much loved and acclaimed Seasonal Quartet cycle.
Soren Sveistrup – The Chestnut Man.
Sveistrup, is the creator and writer of the award winning Scandi Noir crime series The Killing TV series. So expect super clever and unexpected plot twists and much Scandinavian bleakness.
Chigozie Obioma–An Orchestra of Minorities.
From the Man Booker finalist and author of “The Fishermen” this novel follows a Nigerian farmer on a quest to find love with the woman he loves.
Samanta Schweblin–Mouthful of Birds.
Schweblin’s Fever Dream was variously described as “rivetingly compelling”,”brilliant” and “terrifying”. This collection of twenty short stories is her first to be translated into English and promises to be another eerie, surreal, dark thrill ride.
But if you can’t wait for these books to come out here is a selection of these authors’ previous works which are already published, and in the library just waiting to be discovered. Enjoy.
The handmaid’s tale / Margaret Atwood
“The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour-de-force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Atonement / Ian McEwan ; with an introduction by Claire Messud
“On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony’s sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl’s scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time / Mark Haddon.
“Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbor’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering?” (Syndetics summary)
Five quarters of the orange / Joanne Harris.
“Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake – but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the creperie – and lets memory play strange games.” (Syndetics summary)
The Rosie project / Graeme Simsion.
“Funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book.” (Marian Keyes)
A first-date dud, socially awkward, and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, Don Tillman has given up on love. Until a chance encounter gives him an idea. He will design a questionnaire – a sixteen-page, scientifically researched questionnaire – to uncover the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent, strangely beguiling. And looking for her biological father – a search that a DNA expert might just be able to help her with. The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy like no other. It is arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails.”(Syndetics summary)
Oranges are not the only fruit / Jeanette Winterson.
“This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, intoxicating and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a journey to the bizarre outposts of religious excess and an exploration of love.” (Syndetics summary)
The lady and the unicorn / Tracy Chevalier.
“Set over the period 1490 to 1492, Tracy Chevalier’s novel moves between a chateau in Lyons and the cities of Paris and Brussels. The story concerns a series of six Flemish tapestries known as the lady and the unicorn tapestries.” (Syndetics summary)
Winter / Ali Smith.
“In Ali Smith’s Winter, life force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens- art, love, laughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The fishermen : a novel / Chigozie Obioma.
“In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers – the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen – use their strict father’s absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophesy breaks their strong bond, and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions.
Passionate and bold, The Fishermen is a breathtakingly beautiful novel, firmly rooted in the best of African storytelling.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Fever dream : a novel / Samanta Schweblin ; translated by Megan McDowell.
“A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)