I’ve been scouring the catalogues and thought I’d share with you my most anticipated releases over the next few months…
Lanny – Max Porter (Faber & Faber):
7th March 2019
Not far from London, there is a village.
This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present.
It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here.
But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all.
Chimerical, audacious, strange and wonderful – a song to difference and imagination, to friendship, youth and love, Lanny is the globally anticipated new novel from Max Porter.
This Searing Light, The Sun, and Everything Else – Jon Savage (Faber Social):
4th April 2019
In This searing light, the sun and everything else, Jon Savage has assembled three decades worth of interviews with the principle players in the Joy Division story: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Deborah Curtis, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson, Paul Morley, Alan Hempsall, Lesley Gilbert, Terry Mason, Annik Honoré, and many more. It is the story of how a band resurrected a city, how they came together in circumstances that are both accidental and extraordinary, and how their music galvanised a generation of fans, artists and musicians. It is a classic story of how young men armed with electric guitars and good taste in literature can change the world with four chords and three-and-a-half minutes of music. And it is the story of how illness and demons can rob the world of a shamanic lead singer and visionary lyricist.
This searing light, the sun and everything else presents the history of Joy Division in an intimate and candid way, as orchestrated by the lodestar of British music writing, Jon Savage.
The Fire Starters – Jan Carson (Doubleday):
4th April 2019
Dr Jonathan Murray fears his new-born daughter is not as harmless as she seems.
Sammy Agnew is wrestling with his dark past, and fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, too.
The city is in flames and the authorities are losing control. As matters fall into frenzy, and as the lines between fantasy and truth, right and wrong, begin to blur, who will these two fathers choose to protect?
Dark, propulsive and thrillingly original, this tale of fierce familial love and sacrifice fizzes with magic and wonder.
If, Then – Kate Hope Day (Doubleday):
18th April 2019
In the shadow of a dormant volcano in Oregon lies a small town much like any other – though mistier perhaps, and greener. Look closely and you’ll see four neighbours plagued by strange visions.
Ginny, a devoted surgeon, is troubled by thoughts of a beautiful colleague in her bed.
Mark, a wildlife scientist, foresees imminent and devastating natural disaster.
Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of a small baby, envisages herself pregnant once more – just as she is returning to her game-changing research.
And then there’s Samara, a young estate agent, who glimpses images of her dead mother alive again, healthy and vibrant.
As the volcano begins to rumble, it becomes clear that these visions mean more than at first it seemed, and that the fate of this close-knit community hangs in the balance.
Faber & Faber: The Untold Story – Toby Faber (Faber & Faber):
2nd May 2019
This is the story of one of the world’s great publishers told in its own words. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished letters, minutes, memoirs and diaries, Toby Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company and the excitement, hopes and fears of the people who published and wrote the books that line our shelves today.
Highlights include Eliot’s magnificent reader reports, Beckett on swearing and censorship, the publication of Finnegan’s Wake, the rejection of Orwell’s Animal Farm, P.D. James tasting her first avocado, the first reader’s response to Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, Larkin’s reluctance to attend poetry readings (‘people’s imaginary picture of you is always so much more flattering than the reality’), the discovery of Kazuo Ishiguro, and some sticky negotiations over book titles.
In the background, the publisher battles the Great Depression, wartime paper shortages and dramatic financial crises to retain its independence. The result is both a vibrant history and a hymn to the role of literature in all our lives.
Mac & His Problem – Enrique Vila-Matas (Harvill Secker):
6th June 2019
Mac is not writing a novel. He is writing a diary, which no one will ever read. At over sixty, and recently unemployed, Mac is a beginner, a novice, an apprentice – delighted by the themes of repetition and falsification, and humbly armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of literature. Mac’s wife, Carmen, thinks he is simply wasting his time and in danger of sliding further into depression and idleness. But Mac persists, diligently recording his daily walks through the neighbourhood. It is the hottest summer Barcelona has seen in over one hundred years.
Soon, despite his best intentions (not to write a novel), Mac begins to notice that life is exhibiting strange literary overtones and imitating fragments of plot. As he sizzles in the heatwave, he becomes ever more immersed in literature – a literature haunted by death but alive with the sheer pleasure of writing.
The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective – Susannah Stapleton (Picador):
13th June 2019
Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having started sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life.
Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime?
Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.
With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen and Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters and Continental blackmailers, The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is both a portrait of a woman ahead of her time and a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of ‘good society’ during the first half of the twentieth century.
Looks like a good few months for exciting releases! Are you particularly excited for any of these? Or are there any you think I’ve missed out?
Over and out,