With the new decade nearly upon us we are looking forward to some of the titles we will be publishing in 2020.
In the first six months of the year we have an extraordinary list of novels coming your way, from The Street by Ann Petry to a startling debut from C Pam Zhang, How Much of These Hills is Gold. Plus some thought provoking and inspiring non-fiction to sink your teeth into, including Rosalind Miles’s Rebel Women and Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb, and many many more. Here is a handful of titles to add to your 2020 reading list:
With a new introduction by TAYARI JONES, author of An American Marriage and winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019.
'Ann Petry's first novel, The Street, was a literary event in 1946, praised and translated around the world - the first book by a black woman to sell more than a million copies . . . Her work endures not merely because of the strength of its message but its artistry' NEW YORK TIMES
'My favorite type of novel, literary with an astonishing plot . . . insightful, prescient and unputdownable' TAYARI JONES
New York City, 1940s. In a crumbling tenement in Harlem, Lutie Johnson is determined to build a new life for herself and her eight-year-old boy, Bub - a life that she can be proud of. Having left her unreliable husband, Lutie believes that with hard work and resolve, she can begin again; she has faith in the American dream. But in her struggle to earn money and raise her son amid the violence, poverty and racial dissonance of her surroundings, Lutie is soon trapped: she is a woman alone, 'too good-looking to be decent', with predators at every turn.
Shortlisted for the Centre for Fiction First Novel Prize
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
In Chia-Chia Lin's piercing debut novel, The Unpassing, we meet a Taiwanese immigrant family of six struggling to make ends meet on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. The father, hardworking but beaten down, is employed as a plumber and contractor, while the loving, strong-willed, unpredictably emotional mother holds the house together. When ten-year-old Gavin contracts meningitis at school, he falls into a deep, nearly fatal coma. He wakes a week later to learn that his younger sister, Ruby, was infected too. She did not survive.
Routine takes over for the grieving family, with the siblings caring for one another as they befriend the neighbouring children and explore the surrounding woods, while distance grows between the parents as each deals with the loss alone. When the father, increasingly guilt-ridden after Ruby's death, is sued over an improperly installed water well that gravely harms a little boy, the chaos that follows unearths what really happened to Ruby.
With flowing prose that evokes the terrifying beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, Chia-Chia Lin explores the fallout from the loss of a child and a family's anguish playing out in a place that doesn't yet feel like home. Emotionally raw and subtly suspenseful, The Unpassing is a deeply felt family saga that dismisses the myth of the American dream for a harsher, but ultimately profound, reality.
'Graceful and precise' TIME
'A breathtaking novel, full of characters as strong and as wild as the Alaskan landscape they inhabit . . . Chia-Chia Lin is a remarkable writer' Yaa Gyasi
Rosalind Miles' The Women's History of the World was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and translated into almost forty languages.
Now it is time for a new women's history - for more famous, infamous and little-known rebels.
We begin with the French Revolution when women took on the fraternite of man, then it's off to America to round up the rebels fighting side by side for freedom with their men, before heading back to Britain to witness the courage of the suffragettes. From Australia to Iceland, from India to China and from many other countries, we track women who - often at a very high cost to themselves - have stood up to age-old cruelties and injustices. Recording the important milestones in the long march of women towards equality through a colourful pageant of astonishing women, we chart the birth of modern womanhood. Women in sport, women in business, women in religion, women in politics and women in power - all female life is there.
We end in the present day thrilled with what women have done - and can and will do.
Rebel Women is as brave and as brilliant as its renegades, viragos and heroines.
ANNE LISTER IS THE INSPIRATION FOR GENTLEMAN JACK, THE ACCLAIMED BBC/HBO SERIES BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, STARRING SURANNE JONES.
'The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history; they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation' EMMA DONOGHUE
'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read' SARAH WATERS
When Helena Whitbread first published excerpts from Anne Lister's diary, which was written in a complicated, esoteric code, it was hailed as a lost piece of lesbian history. Whitbread has devoted years to researching and transcribing Lister's extensive journals; the 'crypthand' had allowed Lister to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. It was the first time her story had been told.
This second volume continues the story of one of the most remarkable women of her time: landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian. Anne Lister arrives in post-revolutionary Paris in 1824, attempting to recover from a doomed love affair with a married woman. There she becomes emotionally entangled with a young widow. Anne's efforts, firstly to extricate herself from this new 'scrape' and then to make a choice between the two women in her life, provides an absorbing sexual and social drama.
We follow Anne Lister to Buxton, Derbyshire, where a husband appears in hot pursuit of his straying wife who has, in turn, followed Anne there; in Halifax, the Yorkshire town of Anne's birth; to London; and to post-revolutionary Paris, a city alive with political intrigue. Anne's descriptive powers bring each scene vividly to life, providing a brilliant, kaleidoscopic background to her story.
'A truly gifted writer' Sebastian Barry
'Pure gold' Emma Donoghue
'Remarkable. It will haunt readers' Chigozie Obioma
WHAT MAKES A HOME A HOME?
TELL ME A STORY I CAN DREAM ON . . .
Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father's body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.
How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.
'Dazzling' Daisy Johnson
'This book is a wonder' Garth Greenwell
'Ferocious, dark and gleaming' Lauren Groff
**I HAVE NOT BEEN AS PROFOUNDLY MOVED BY A BOOK IN YEARS' JODI PICOULT**
A brilliantly original memoir of a grandmother speaking to her granddaughter from beyond the grave, telling the story of her life with hilarious candor and love.
Bess Kalb has saved every voicemail message her grandmother - her best friend, her confidante - ever left her until the day she died.
In this wildly imaginative memoir, Bobby Bell's voice is still in Bess's head. Stubborn, glamorous, larger than life, she gives Bess critical advice on everything and tells the history that made them both. Beginning with her mother's escape from the pogroms of Belarus in the 1880s to the rambunctiously cramped Brooklyn apartment where Bobby was born, it swings through her loving marriage, blazes over the rebellious youth of her daughter and finally - falls madly in love with her granddaughter, Bess.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me are the truths - full of devotion, killer instincts and hard-won experience - that Bess's grandmother tells even when they hurt - and even though she's gone.
This unusual love story celebrates the bond of women across generations and the personalities that live on through grief and love. Told through documents, photographs, and verbatim dialogue, it's a memoir like none you've ever read before.
'Bright, funny, satirical and relevant . . . A new talent to watch!' MARGARET ATWOOD, from Twitter
'Creative, poignant and darkly hilarious . . . an outstanding first book' ANTHONY DOERR, author of All the Light We Cannot See
'Luminous' YANN MARTEL, author of Life of Pi
'The funniest, most politically astute book I've read in years' MIRIAM TOEWS, author of Women Talking
A bureaucratic glitch omits an entire building, along with its residents, from municipal records. So begins Maria Reva's collection of ingeniously intertwined stories that span the chaotic years leading up to and immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. As the benighted denizens of 1933 Ivansk Street weather the official neglect of the authorities, they devise cunning ways to survive.
An agoraphobic recluse makes money by mapping the vinyl grooves of illegal Western records onto stolen X-ray film; a delusional secret service agent becomes convinced he's being covertly recruited to guard Lenin's tomb, just as his parents supposedly were; and weaving the narratives together is chameleon-like Zaya, a cleft-lipped orphan who reappears as a Miss USSR beauty-contest crasher and later as a sadist for hire to the Eastern Bloc's newly minted oligarchs.
Good Citizens Need Not Fear moves from moments of intense paranoia to surprising tenderness, exploring what it is to be an individual amid the rolling forces of history.