The year so far has been great for book releases. Reviews on these pages have covered many exciting new books, several of which went into the Irish bestseller lists. Other releases from UK publishers that have been of interest are already plentiful but several caught my eye.
January saw the launch of Wool by Hugh Howey, Pow! by Mo Yan and Tenth of December by George Saunders in fiction.
Wool is part of a trilogy with Shift due out this month and Dust in October. A dystopian fiction described as the next Hunger Games the release of all three parts in the same year is a good marketing plan. Mo Yan's Pow! is dark humour as an elderly monk listens to his novices tales of low life, sin and excess. George Saunder's new collection of short stories comes from a master.
How Should a Person Be by Sheila Heti has been longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. A mix of real emails, transcribed conversations and fiction make this an innovative post-modern novel.
February releases of interest included Gone to the Forest by Katie Kitamura, described as one of literature's rising stars is set in a country in political turmoil.
Following his success with Maps for Lost Lovers, Nadeem Aslam's The Blind Man's Garden is set soon after 9/11. Exodus by Lars Iyer is the final part of a trilogy, a black comedy about academic institutions.
March saw Mohsin Hamid came to Dublin to promote the release of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia a story of the rise from poverty to tycoon in modern Asia.
The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee is a story of relocation, new identity and learning new language told by a very great writer. Rupert Thomson's Secrecy is a love story set in Florence in 1691 where repression is everywhere.
The Spanish author Javier Marías's new book The Infatuations is ultimately a murder novel but one reimagined in its structure.
April releases and comments on future releases to come soon.