Including a collection of short stories by the ‘Cat Person’ author and the long-awaited sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
In 2019 there’s plenty of gems to look forward to, from Ian McEwan’s tale of an AI love triangle to a fantasy-tinged adventure from Booker Prize winner Marlon James.
1 YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS BY KRISTEN ROUPENIAN (7 FEBRUARY)
In December 2017 a New Yorker short story was the unlikely topic of debate at Christmas parties as Cat Person, a tale of bad sex and crossed wires, went viral. Author Kristen Roupenian follows it with a collection of short stories which cover the same murky waters of attraction, which promises to make you feel “fascinated but repelled, scared but delighted, revolted but aroused.”
2BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF BY MARLON JAMES (28 FEBRUARY)
Jamaican author Marlon James’ last novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. For his next book he jumps genre to fantasy with the story of a hunter who searches through a mythological Africa to find a lost child. On the way he finds a others in search of the same boy, including a giant, a witch and a shape-shifting leopard.
3 STAY UP WITH HUGO BEST BY ERIN SOMERS (2 APRIL)
New Yorker writer Erin Somers’ debut novel is about a broke writer’s assistant on a TV show who spends a weekend with the programme’s host in his Connecticut mansion. One that will resonate particularly with millennials fumbling through the demoralising maze of modern day adulthood, Stay Up With Hugo Best is filled with power struggles and social politics.
4 MACHINES LIKE ME BY IAN MCEWAN (18 APRIL)
Set in an alternative 1980’s London in which Britain has lost the Falklands war, the author of iconic British novels such as Saturday and Atonement traverses the muddled morality of Artificial Intelligence in his new book. Two friends enter a love triangle with a synthetic human which they have co-designed the perfect personality for. This is new and exciting ground McEwan, one of Britain’s most consistently brilliant writers.
5 FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE: A NOVEL BY TAFFY BRODESSER-AKNER (9 JULY)
Known for her often-viral profiles of figures ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow to Tom Hiddleston, New York Timeswriter Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel is eagerly awaited by her hordes of internet fans. In it we find Dr. Toby Fleishman, attempting to detangle himself from a failed marriage and take up the advances of eager women, when his ex-wife dumps his children on him and disappears. Trying to juggle his filling inbox on a Tinder-style app, and figure out what might have caused his partner to vanish, Fleishman ends up, as you probably guessed, in trouble.
6 TRICK MIRROR BY JIA TOLENTINO (6 AUGUST)
In her widely shared articles for the New Yorker Jia Tolentino grapples with issues such as sexual assault, the media’s attacks on millennials and, naturally, what Toto’s Africa sounds like played in an empty mall. Her thought-provoking first collection of work she examines how the American scammer has become an internet hero and the idea that everything, including our bodies, should be increasingly beautiful and efficient.
7 THE TESTAMENTS – MARGARET ATWOOD (SEPTEMBER)
Atwood’s classic 1985 dystopian novel has proved unsettlingly relevant thanks to recent attacks on women’s reproductive rights the world over. After a popular and award-winning TV adaptation, Atwood is returning to Offred’s story to write a long-awaited sequel. The book she says is inspired by all the questions readers have asked about the inner workings of Gilead and, depressingly, “the world we’ve been living in”.