Will 2017 be a long Christmas for book lovers? We certainly hope so – and as book worms ourselves, we can barely contain our excitement at the loooong list of titles that are anticipated this year – some of which have already been released.
Here’s what we can expect this year:
1. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (June, 2017)
After a two-decade long hiatus, Man Booker prize winning Arundhati Roy is back with her second novel. Just the name of the book – with a sneaky Harry Potter-ish ring to it – is enough to raise our blood pressure!
Fun Fact: Did you know that this accomplished lady doesn’t simply have a way with her pen, but is also an actress? Roy appeared in Massey Sahib (1985), and, In Which Annie Gives it to Those (1989).
2. Killing Commendatore (Feb, 2017)
Acclaimed Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami, a frequent candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature, releases his new novel this year. The book has been described enigmatically by the author as – “a very strange story”! We cannot wait for this enigma to uncover itself!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Murakami is a marathon enthusiast? He has participated in several marathons and ultra-marathons, since the 1980s. He mentions his love for running in his memoirs What I Talk When I Talk About Running (2008).
3. The Golden House (September, 2017)
The master himself, Salman Rushdie, is set to release his new novel this year. Penguin Random House has announced the upcoming book that is expected to be a thriller, set in the backdrop of a muddled world – taking us through a pre-26/11 society, and into the intense cultural and political mishmash of present times.
Fact: Did you know that Rushdie’s acclaimed novel Satanic Verses (1988) erupted in a monumental controversy, leading to a fatwa being issued against the author? The author received death threats and went into hiding for almost 10 years.
4. Exit West (March, 2017)
From Mohsin Hamid – the author of the widely acclaimed The Reluctant Fundamentalist – comes one of this year’s most anticipated books. It is expected to be a powerful narrative of love in the midst of a collapsing social fabric.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Hamid’s book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was adapted for the screen by celebrated filmmaker Mira Nair?
5. Origin (October, 2017)
Fans of Dan Brown are in a tizzy! The best-selling author, known for interweaving religion, history, mythology and science into highly informative, fascinating thrillers, is set to release his fifth novel involving the engaging Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. Apparently, readers can expect some of humankind’s most enduring questions to find fictional resolution in this book!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Brown intended to pursue a career in singing-song writing, and even had his own record company, before he began writing?
6. The Scion of Ikshvaku 2 (2017, Time Unannounced)
For Indian readers of popular mythological fiction, there is the much awaited second part of the Ram Chandra series, promised by the country’s latest literary icon, Amish. The author, who makes no bones about the commercial fiction that he writes, has a knack for naturalising Hindu mythology, and bringing it to young readers.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the banker-turned-author’s debut work, The Shiva Trilogy – famously rejected by 20-odd publishers – became the fastest selling books in the history of Indian publishing?
7. Jane Austen at Home (July, 2017)
Marking Jane Austen’s bicentenary is Lucy Worsley’s biography of the author. Austen lovers can expect to be enthralled as Worsley takes them on a ride through Jane’s world, her home, schools, the various places she lived in, etc. We are never too tired of reading about one of the world’s most cherished authors!
Fun Fact: Did you know that author, historian, BBC presenter, and curator Lucy Worsley has a minor speech impediment that affects her pronunciation of ‘r’?
8. The Secrets of My Life (April, 2017)
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, tells her story in this autobiographical work. Jenner had been an Olympic gold medallist before he became Caitlyn Jenner. The book is expected to sketch the journey of this transgender woman who transformed into a glamorous brunette.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Jenner has appeared in a number of television shows including Murder, She Wrote, Family Guy and Keeping Up with the Kardashians?
9. Mrs Sherlock Holmes (Released Jan, 2017)
Finally, we sign off in sensation! Brad Ricca tells the true story of Grace Humiston, the woman extraordinaire, detective and lawyer in New York city, in the late 19th-early 20th century. At a time when women were not even granted the right to vote, Humiston ruffled feathers by investigating crimes and finding missing girls – earning herself the apt title of Mrs Holmes!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Batman existed? According to Brad Ricca, Humiston was wealthy, and both her parents died. She always wore black, fought crimes, and sometimes walked on the edges of the law. Reminds you of something? Who else is thinking of a female Batman, or BatWoman? Talk about girl power! I wonder what Mr Holmes would have thought of her.
(Surangama Guha Roy is a film enthusiast. She also writes on social trends, loves to read, and takes an interest in teaching as a profession.)