Last week I showed you books to look out for in 2011 written by authors you’ve might have heard of. This week it is the turn of ones you probably haven’t.
Here are the books I’m getting excited about!
Note: UK release month shown in brackets.
The Facility by Simon Lelic (January)
Rupture was one of my favourite books of 2010. I’m quite sad that it didn’t receive the recognition it deserved, but I am very excited that his new book comes out in January. I really hope that I’ll be able to persuade lots of people to try Simon Lelic in 2011.
.The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (March)
Tea Obreht was the youngest author on The New Yorker’s Top 20 Writers under 40 List. This story about a tiger escaping from a Balkan zoo during WWII looks like a cross between The Jungle Book and the most harrowing of war novels. I love the sound of it!
An American women finds herself in a forest just outside Berlin, clothes torn, with no recollection of what has happened to her. This harrowing story combines the history of Berlin with a bizarre world in which Nazi ghosts manifest themselves as falcons and buildings turn into flesh. If it is as interesting as it sounds then it could well become my book of the year!
This book came from nowhere to become the surprise winner of the 2010 Giller prize. I think it might be too quiet for me, but I know a lot of other people will be excited about its appearance in the UK.
This book manages to combine India’s great epic, the Mahabharata, with a modern love story. I love books that defy genre and this sounds different enough to be worth trying.
How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu (30th December, 2010– it is near enougth to 2011 to count, isn’t it?!)
Dinaw Mengestu’s 2007 debut novel, Children of the Revolution, won the Guardian First Book Award. His new novel is a family history that takes place in war-torn Ethiopia and contemporary America. It is a story of identity and belonging that promises to be heart-breaking. I love a story that requires a box of tissues to be on hand!
Annabel by Kathleen Winter (March)
Annabel was shortlisted for the 2010 Giller prize and Canadian readers with a similar taste in books to me are raving about it. I loved Middlesex, the only other book about a hermaphrodite that I’ve read, so I’m intrigued by how this one compares.
Waterline by Ross Raisin (July)
Ross Raisin’s last book, God’s Own Country,was nominated for eleven awards including the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize and the Impac. Rumors are saying that this one is even better. This sounds like a book worth getting hold of.
Narrated by a woman called Evie with uncannily keen hearing (she could even hear in the womb) it is the story of a childhood in colonial Nigeria, of travels with a lover across America and of Evie’s present-day efforts to record her life and adventures before her powers of listening fade completely …
David Bezmozgis was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award in 2004 for his short story collection Natasha and other Stories. Free World, his debut novel, was snapped up in a “substantial five-figure deal”. It centres on Russian émigrés living in Italy in the 1970s and promises to be a comic, but tragic tale about the intensity of family relationships.
From the US and UK publishing teams of The Lovely Bones and Room comes a new novel that promises to be just as moving. It is about a thirteen-year-old girl who goes missing and her best friend who uncovers some dark secrets in a quest to uncover the truth.
Other books to keep an eye out for:
Ours are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota (January)
Caribou Island by David Vann (January)
Which debut authors are you getting excited about?