- Two or three years ago, Philip Pullman took a run at the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm in Grimm Tales, and quite the success it was. It should come as no surprise, then, that some bright spark in the publishing world has encouraged Neil Gaiman to have a run at an equivalent collection in Norse Mythology.
- Just as the news comes through of a brand new Murakami novel in Japan (set for publication in April 2017, expect it here in 2018 or 2019n depending on how close to IQ84 sized it is), we learn of a new collection of short stories, taking its title (as Richard Ford did a few years ago) from a Hemingway original, Men Without Women.
- Don’t worry, it looks like he won’t be going into hiding with this one: Unreconciled sees Michel Houellebecq collect previously issued poetry into a single collection. “Divided into five parts, Unreconciled forms a narrative of love, hopelessness, catastrophe and, ultimately, redemption. In a world of supermarkets and public transport, Houellebecq manages to find traces of divine grace even as he exposes our inexorable decline into chaos.” We know people who will lap this up.
- Otessa Moshfegh made a name for herself with Eileen earlier in 2016, and made a place for herself on the Booker shortlist too. Homesick for Another World collects her short stories together ahead of the reissue of her debut, McGlue, later in 2017.
- Just about everyone you know read The Rosie Project (we didn’t, we’re too snobbish and/or discerning for that but everyone else you know did) and it’s sequel and so by this point anything that Graeme Simsion turns his hand to is likely to be bestseller city. The Best of Adam Sharp – with its tales of settled marriages and youthful what-might-have-been’s – sounds like a mash-up of Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle but we are pretty certain lots and lots of people are going to like it.
- The second novel from Claire Fuller, the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick, Swimming Lessons concerns a mother presumed lost at sea who maybe just maybe was not lost at sea and the effect that a sighting has on her family.
- The author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid, is back with Exit West, a love story set in a world in crisis. So far we’ve wobbled with Hamid, not liking Moth Smoke but getting on with How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. We’re certainly interested and have our fingers crossed because Hamid remains a solid potential for greatness in our book.
- Hari Kunzru is another writer whose work we have liked and disliked in fairly equal measure but his latest, White Tears, sounds right up our street: “Two twenty-something New Yorkers: Seth, awkward and shy, and Carter, the trust fund hipster. They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Rising fast on the New York producing scene, they stumble across an old blues song long forgotten by history — and everything starts to unravel. Carter is drawn far down a path that allows no return, and Seth has no choice but to follow his friend into the darkness…”
- Colm Toibin’s latest, House of Names, is a little something different from your man, in that it retells the age old story of Agamemnon, who orders the sacrifice of his daughter to help him win a battle (and as you’d expect reaps something of a whirlwind). Toibin’s take on The Oresteia intrigues the hell out of us if only for the fact that we are not sure what a writer can add to an already perfect work. But we will see eh?
- Here is the blurb on Phone by Will Self: “Meet Jonathan De’Ath, aka ‘the Butcher’. The curious thing about the Butcher is that everyone who knows him – his washed-up old university lecturer father, his jumbling-bumbling mother, his hippy-dippy brothers, his so-called friends, his spooky colleagues and his multitudinous lovers – they all apply this epithet to him quite independently, each in ignorance of the others. He knows everyone calls him ‘the Butcher’ behind his back, but he also knows that they don’t know the only real secret he maintains, encrypted in the databanks of his steely mind: Colonel Gawain Thomas, husband, father, highly-trained tank commander – is Jonathan De’Ath’s longtime lover.” What more do you need to know?
Join us for Part 3 tomorrow when we’ll be raising the curtain on new China Mieville, new Eleanor Dymmot, new Joshua Ferris and new Hannah Berry, among others.