Happy new year! Without further ado, here is a selection of 20 upcoming titles I will be looking out for in 2018 (publication dates where known apply to the UK):
Among non-fiction titles, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari will be out in August as the historian turns his attention to issues in the present day following the success of Sapiens and Homo Deus. I have a particular interest in non-fiction concerning healthcare and medicine and two books I will be looking out for are Shapeshifters: On Medicine and Human Change by Gavin Francis and Brainstorm: Detective Stories from the World of Neurology by Suzanne O’Sullivan. Elsewhere, Feel Free by Zadie Smith is a collection of the celebrated author’s essays on a variety of subjects due in February.
The translated fiction title causing the most buzz right now is Lullaby by Leila Slimani (translated from the French by Sam Taylor), which is out later this month and is said to be a disturbing thriller set in Paris about a murderous babysitter. Another title which looks like it could have a big impact is The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells (translated from the German by Charlotte Collins), a contemporary literary novel which won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016 and is due in March. Elsewhere, The Fruits of My Labour by Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Martin Aitken) will be released in August and is the final volume of his epic six-book cycle of autobiographical novels. I am also hopeful that Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami will be out this autumn. Although no publication date or translator(s) have been officially confirmed yet, the Amazon listing page suggests it could be out in the UK around September.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton are two of the most talked-about debut novels due to be published in the next few weeks. The former is a historical fiction novel set in the 18th century while Turton’s first book is a mind-bending high concept murder mystery. Due in March, Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday also sounds very promising, in which two seemingly unrelated stories concerning an American editor’s relationship with an older author and an Iraqi-American economist being detained at Heathrow Airport turn out to have surprising connections.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh is out in July and I hope the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author’s second full-length novel about a young woman in hibernation is as darkly funny as Eileen. Another book which will hopefully avoid the Difficult Second Novel label is Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey due in April which sees a teenage girl return home safely after going missing for four days but refuses to tell anyone what happened to her. 2018 also looks like it could be a strong year for short story collections with Property by Lionel Shriver and You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld both due in April.
New books by established authors tend to be published later in the year in the run up to Christmas so I expect details of other titles will be released over the next few months. Of the books which have already been announced, I expect Melmoth by Sarah Perry will be one of the most highly anticipated. Her third novel due in October is inspired by the 1820 Charles Maturin gothic work ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’. Transcription by Kate Atkinson is due in September and is about a young woman who is recruited by an obscure department of the Secret Service during the Second World War and later works at the BBC when her life begins to unravel. However, there isn’t so long to wait for The Only Story by Julian Barnes which will be published in February. It tells the story of a nineteen-year-old student who falls in love with a much older woman and sounds like it is in a similar vein to the Man Booker Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending.
The second part of the Book of Dust trilogy, The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman, has already been completed and will be published in the autumn. Finally, I mentioned in my New Books Coming Soon in 2017 post that the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, should be on its way soon. It didn’t arrive last year, and there is still no confirmation of a publication date, but I would love to see it make an appearance later this year (hopefully I haven’t just jinxed this again for another 12 months).
Which new books are you looking forward to reading this year?