50 Books We’re Looking Forward To in 2013 (Pt 1)

ahftkdeA Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

Eggers’ latest – called ‘a DeLillo novel for the iPhone generation’ by the NY Times – concerns a fella called Alan Clay and his attempts to rescue himself and his family from the onslaught of the global economic downturn. Set largely in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and written in a kind of displaced prose that is already drawing comparisons with the likes of Hemingway, early Mailer and Arthur Miller (the NY Times also called the novel ‘Death of a Globalised Salesman’), we’re eager to get our paws on this one…

Tenth of December by George Saunderstodgs

From one we want to one we’ve just finished! Saunders’ latest contains 10 new short stories, ranging from the Flannery O’Connor-esque ‘Victory Lap’ through to ‘Escape from Spiderhead’ which feels like an extended David Foster Wallace riff. If you’re a fan, and really why wouldn’t you be, you’ll lap it up. And if you’re not, well, Tenth of December might just change your mind…

toateotlngThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

‘It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.  Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it…’ While we’re waiting for the sequel to American Gods, a new novel from Gaiman (described as the scariest thing he has ever written) is good news…

Life after Life by Kate Atkinsonlalka

There are readers who think Kate Atkinson has not lived up to the promise of her debut, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, pointing to Human Crocquet as something of a misfire and the Jackson Brodie series as a surprising sidestep. Those readers might want to make a mental note to check out Life After Life in March which concerns Ursula Todd who is forced to relive events of the last century over and over again. Will this herald a return to serious critical acclaim for Atkinson? We hope so…

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sittenfeld has chosen to follow up her acclaimed American Wife with Sisterland, the tale of a pair of psychic sisters whose lives take them on different paths. Which might sound like Sittenfeld’s take on what Audrey Niffenegger did with Her Fearful Symmetry but – who knows?

mmdrMarry Me by Dan Rhodes

If you think Dan Rhodes’ Anthropology was his finest hour, then you’ll no doubt be charmed to learn he as turned his hand to another collection of flash fiction, this one centring on the business of marriage. We’ve had a sneaky peak of this one already and – if your idea of fun is a great many stories of no more than a half a page each, all of whom retain that barbed sense of injury and humour you get from the best Rhodes – this one is a cracker…

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeckiatfttbro

Canongate owner Jamie Byng has been tweeting his excitement about publishing Ozecki’s new un for months now. And he isn’t alone. If you check out the Amazon page, you’ll see the likes of Philip Pullman, Alice Sebold and Junot Diaz waxing themselves into a froth too. The description the book is short and to the point: ‘Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too.’ Maybe Canongate have finally found a worthy successor to Life of Pi eh?

brjwBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

We love love loved Jess Walter’s last novel, The Financial Lives of the Poets, and so are eagerly awaiting his newbie which sounds like a sea change for your man Walters: ‘The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an American starlet, he soon learns, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away in Hollywood, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before.’

The Infatuations by Javier Marasjmti

Described as a metaphysical murder mystery, Javier Maras’ latest concerns a woman, Maria Dolz, whose idyllic life is shaken up by the murder of a man who she sees every day in the café where she stops for breakfast. Already garnering some great advance word, The Infatuations might be the novel that propels Maras into the Bolano-sphere…

mhhtgfriraHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

Hamid’s first novel since his big hit, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (and the re-release of Moth Smoke) is a rags to riches story of a young man who hauls himself up by his boot straps to be a corporate tycoon, apparently modelled on self help books ‘devoured by youths all over ‘rising Asia’. Set to hit bookstores in March, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia could well be the kind of book that finds its way onto more than a few prize shortlists before 2013 is out…

Look out for Part 2 of our 50 Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2013 tomorrow – featuring Bernardine Evaristo, Rebecca Hunt, Alison Macleod, Paul Auster & JM Coetzee and Rawi Hage among others…

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