Book releases in 2024: Fiction

There’s never enough time to read all the books on the to-be-read-pile. For directions through the literary jungle our editor Larissa Schäfer curates some books fresh from the press in this literary review.

Foto: Kerttu/Pixabay

Irish author Megan Nolan recently said in an interview with The Guardian:If you truly understood the interiority of every person you encountered, you wouldn’t be able to function – you have to harden yourself to exist in the world. Novels feel like a place you can get some relief from the sadness of that”. For me, books are a place of contemplation and relief of the sadness Nolan described by feeling all the feels. I’m definitely a mood reader and need a list to pick from. Of course, there are a lot of classics to choose from – maybe this year is the year you finally read the big chunk of Dostoevsky you always wanted to read. Or it’s the year you start with Jean Rhys. But between all those amazing writers of the past, it’s sometimes necessary to dive into contemporary literature. So what novels are in the pipeline for the first half of 2024? As your local bookseller, these are my picks for the first half of this year:

23.01.24 Kaveh Akbar: Martyr!, Penguin Random House
Like the author, the protagonist an narrator of this novel, Cyrus Shams, was born in Iran and lives in the US. Also, like Akbar himself did, he struggles with addiction.As he deals with the death of his parents,he sets out to uncover unspoken mysteries of his family. Akbar thoughtfully writes about grief and existence, at times philosophically, at times humorously.
CN: addiction, death, reflection about suicide, cancer

21.03.24 Tommy Orange: Wandering Stars, Penguin Random House
I hope most of you have read There, there from Tommy Orange. And if not, it’s a must-read if you want to take up on his newest novel coming in March. It’s a prequel and a sequel to There, there, so we’ll get closure after the huge cliffhanger that it ended with. In the beginning of the story we follow Star, a native American in the 1860s, as he is brought to a prison where indigenous people were forced to change their identity. The novel leads to Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield and her nephews in our time and the aftermath of the devastating ending of There, there. Side fact: Tommy Orange is a good literary friend of Kaveh Akbar, which is how Orange led me to Martyr!.
CN: addiction, violence, racism, death

19./23.03.24 Percival Everett: James, Macmillan Publishers and Penguin Random House
Percival Everett has already written more than 20 books (you may know him from The Trees) and has been nominated for the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and many more. His newest novel is a fast-paced retelling of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of Huck’s companion Jim. It’s intelligent, witty, funny and with its own twists – so worth reading, regardless of having read Huckleberry Finn.
CN: violence, slavery, racism

06.06.24 Rachel Cusk: Parade, Faber and FARRAR STRAUSS & GIROUX
Like in her previous novel Second place, Cusk writes about art and painting. But unlike Second place her new novel describes different perspectives. You should read Rachel Cusk if you’re into unconventional storytelling, art, philosophical analyses of privilege and are looking for an original voice.
CN: death

18.06.24 Akwaeke Emezi: Little Rot, Faber and Penguin Random House
Emezi writes about five friends who meet up at a sex party and end up in chaos. They cope with corruption, power, violence and the underbelly of a Nigerian city. This is a dark, raw, crime-y novel with Emezi’s unique writing style. It’s no surprise they won a lot of awards for previous books and that their new one is highly anticipated.
CN: murder, violence, sexualized violence

Stay tuned for the German edition next week.


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