A new year means new books are coming! Here is a selection of books I will be looking out for which are due to be published in the United Kingdom in 2017:
The early months of the year tend to be when lots of debut novels are plugged heavily by publishers. The Nix by Nathan Hill has been a big success in the United States drawing comparisons with everyone from Jeffrey Eugenides to David Foster Wallace and is out this month in the UK. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is another high-profile debut due in May billed as a historical murder mystery while Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is the long-awaited first novel from the prolific short story writer and is a fictional re-imagining of events following the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie.
Elsewhere, These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper due in April about the various residents of a Parisian apartment block looks promising, as does Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar which will be published in early March and tells the story of a Czech astronaut whose marriage falls apart while he is in space investigating a dust cloud surrounding Venus. I am currently reading a review copy of Little Deaths by Emma Flint which is an intriguing crime novel set in Queens, New York in 1965 about a woman suspected of being involved in the disappearance of her two young children.
Some second novels are published fairly quickly after their debuts such as Into the Water by Paula Hawkins due in May after the massive success of The Girl on the Train in 2015 or The Good People by Hannah Kent out in February following Burial Rites in 2014. However, others really are twenty years in the making such as The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, her first work of fiction since The God of Small Things in 1997 which will be published in the summer.
In the world of translated fiction, I will be looking out for The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke (translated from the Chinese by Carlos) in March having enjoyed The Four Books last year. The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis (translated from the French by Michael Lucey) is out in February. It is an autobiographical novel about growing up in poverty in Hallencourt in northern France and the author is still only 24 years old. They are both eligible for the Man Booker International Prize longlist which is due to be announced on Tuesday 14th March.
The Accusation by Bandi (translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith) is a collection of short stories smuggled out of North Korea by its pseudonymous author while Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel) due in May is the worldwide bestseller’s first new collection in ten years. Another book of short stories out this month is Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh and my review will be posted on my blog next week – it is the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author’s first collection and, unsurprisingly, they are just as weird and grotesque as Eileen, in a good way, of course.
Interesting non-fiction titles include The Women Who Shaped Politics: Fascinating Stories of the Women Who Influenced Government by Sophy Ridge which will be published in March. For those interested in healthcare and medicine, Admissions by Henry Marsh is the NHS neurosurgeon’s new memoir due in May following the success of his brilliant first book Do No Harm. I will also be looking out for Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World by Nell Stevens which charts the author’s trip to the Falkland Islands in an attempt to finally finish her first book.
Elsewhere, a special Harry Potter exhibition will be on show at the British Library in London from 20th October 2017 until 28th February 2018 with tickets on sale from April. J. K. Rowling recently revealed that she is working on two novels, one of which is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym while the other will be published under her own name. Hopefully they will appear this year but there has been no official news yet on their release dates.
What are you looking forward to reading in 2017?