Friday, January 25, 2008

2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist

SEVENTEEN BOOKS have been longlisted for the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. By the end of February 2008, six books will be shortlisted from this treasure trove of literary fiction from all over the world. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on May 8, 2008.

The Longlist
1. The Yacoubian Building / Alaa al Aswany (trans. from the Arabic by Humphrey Davies) (Fourth Estate)
2. The Book of Words / Jenny Erpenbeck (trans. from the German by Susan Bernofsky) (Portobello Books)
3. The Moon Opera / Bi Feiyu (trans. from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt) (Telegram Books)
4. Castorp / Pawel Huelle (trans. from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd Jones) (Serpent’s Tail)
5. Agamemnon’s Daughter / Ismail Kadare (trans. from the French by David Bellos) (Canongate)
6. Let It Be Morning / Sayed Kashua (trans. from the Hebrew by Miriam Shlesinger) (Atlantic Books)
7. Measuring the World / Daniel Kehlmann (trans. from the German by Carol Brown Janeway) (Quercus)
8. Gregorius / Bengt Ohlsson (trans. from the Swedish by Silvester Mazzarella) (Portobello Books)
9. Shutterspeed / Erwin Mortier (trans. from the Dutch by Ina Rilke) (Harvill Secker)
10. The Past / Alan Pauls (trans. from the Spanish by Nick Caistor) (Harvill Secker)
11. Rivers of Babylon / Peter Pist’anek (trans. from the Slovak by Peter Petro) (Garnett Press)
12. Delirium / Laura Restrepo (trans. from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer) (Harvill Secker)
13. The Model / Lars Saabye Christensen (trans. from the Norwegian by Don Barlett) (Arcadia Books)
14. Bahia Blues / Yasmina Traboulsi (trans. from the French by Polly McLean) (Arcadia Books)
15. The Way of the Women / Marlene van Niekerk (trans. from the Afrikaans by Michiel do Heyns) (Little, Brown)
16. Omega Minor / Paul Verhaeghen (trans. from the Dutch by Paul Verhaeghen) (Dalkey Archive Press)
17. Montano / Enrique Vilas-Matas (trans. from the Spanish by Jonathan Dunne) (Harvill Secker)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tahmima ANAM

Tahmima ANAM
the author of A Golden Age (2007)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2007 Costa Book Award Winner

DUNDEE-born novelist and short-story writer A.L. Kennedy has been adjudged the overall winner of the 2007 Costa Book Award with her fifth novel, Day (Jonathan Cape, 2007). The same novel has also been shortlisted for the Clare Maclean Prize, a brand-new award given to the Scottish writer who has written the best novel in the previous year. However, she is up against some stiff competition from former Whitbread winners Ali Smith for Girl Meets Boy (Canongate, 2007) and Alasdair Gray for Old Men in Love (Bloomsbury, 2007). Other writers in the running for the same prize include Iain Banks for The Steep Approach to Garbadale (Little, Brown, 2007), John Burnside for The Devil’s Footprint (Jonathan Cape, 2007) and Dan Rhodes for Gold (Canongate, 2007).

The winner of the Clare Maclean Prize will be announced on March 15, 2008, in Glasgow

Monday, January 21, 2008

MPH Breakfast Club with ... Tunku Halim & Xeus & Co.

The 11th MPH Breakfast Club on Saturday, January 26, 2008, will be featuring the Malaysian Prince of Darkness, Tunku Halim, whose collection of ghostly tales, 44 Cemetery Road: The Best of Tunku Halim (MPH Group Publishing, 2007), was published in May 2007. Touted as Malaysia’s very own Stephen King, Halim, who is equally adept at both fiction and nonfiction, had another collection of new and selected stories out, Gravedigger’s Kiss: More of Tunku Halim (MPH Group Publishing, 2007) in October 2007, while a novella, Juriah’s Song (MPH Group Publishing, 2008), was released in January 2008.

Dark City (Midnight Press, 2006) author Xeus is back with Dark City 2 (Midnight Press, 2008), this time as the editor of a brand-new collection of more stories that exposes the murkiness that lurks beneath life’s apparent ordinariness. Besides doing editorial duties for this collection, I believe she has two stories tucked into it as well. There are stories by Lydia Teh, Tunku Halim, John Ling, Bissme S., Jennifer Wan, Chuah Kok Yee and a host of others as well.

Eric Forbes will be introducing Tunku Halim and Xeus while Janet Tay will be moderating the session.

Date January 26, 2008 (Saturday)
Time 11.00a.m.-12.30p.m.
Venue MPH Bangsar Village II, Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone (603) 2287 3600

Food and refreshments will be served
All lovers of literature are most welcome

MPH Bangsar Village II is at Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone (603) 2287 3600

Next On the Menu
February 2008: No Breakfast Club
March 22, 2008: Wena Poon & Chuah Guat Eng

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Kinokuniya Books KLCC
1. The Yacoubian Building (Harper Perennial, 2007) / Alaa al Aswany [trans. from the Arabic, ‘Imarat Ya’qubyan (2002), by Humphrey Davies]
2. The Blood of Flowers (Little, Brown, 2007) / Anita Amirrezvani
3. A Free Life (Pantheon, 2007) / Ha Jin
4. Out Stealing Horses [trans. from the Norwegian, Ut og stjoele hester (2003), by Anne Born] (Harvill Secker, 2005/Vintage, 2006) / Per Petterson

1. Portraits and Observations: The Essays of Truman Capote (Random House, 2007) / Truman Capote
2. Europe: An Intimate Journey [first published as Fifty Years of Europe: An Album (Viking, 1997/Penguin, 1998)] (Faber & Faber, 2006) / Jan Morris
3. Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin Ireland, 2006/Penguin, 2007) / Tim Robinson
4. The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (Picador USA, 2004) / James Wood

Times the Bookshop KLCC
1. Racists (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006/Phoenix, 2007) / Kunal Basu
2. The Miniaturist (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003/Phoenix, 2004) / Kunal Basu
3. The Opium Clerk (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001/Phoenix, 2002) / Kunal Basu
4. The Last Song of Dusk (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004/Phoenix, 2005) / Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi
5. Saville (Jonathan Cape, 1976/Vintage, 1999) / David Storey
6. The Splendor of Silence (Washington Square Press, 2006) / Indu Sundaresan

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Monday, January 14, 2008

Sean O'BRIEN wins the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry

THE YEAR 2007 belongs to poet Sean O’Brien. In October 2007, he won the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection, his third win. O’Brien has also won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry with his latest collection, The Drowned Book (Picador, 2007), it was announced on January 14, 2008, beating off stiff competition from Edwin Morgan’s A Book of Lives (Carcanet, 2007) and Fiona Sampson’s Common Prayer (Carcanet, 2007). O’Brien now holds the distinction of being the first poet to have won the U.K.’s two premier poetry prizes in a single year.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2007 National Book Critics Circle Awards

THE FINALISTS for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award were announced in San Francisco on Saturday, January 12, 2008.

1. Sacred Games (HarperCollins, 2007) / Vikram Chandra
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead, 2007) / Junot Díaz
3. In the Country of Men (The Dial Press, 2007) / Hisham Matar
4. The Gravedigger’s Daughter (Ecco, 2007) / Joyce Carol Oates
5. The Shadow Catcher (Simon & Schuster, 2007) / Marianne Wiggins

1. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday, 2007) / Tim Weiner
2. American Transcendentalism: A History (Hill and Wang, 2007) / Philip F. Gura
3. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford University Press, 2007) / Daniel Walker Howe
4. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday, 2007) / Harriet Washington
5. The World Without Us (Thomas Dunne, 2007) / Alan Weisman

1. Elegy (Graywolf, 2007) / Mary Jo Bang
2. Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007) / Matthea Harvey
3. Sleeping and Walking (Flood Editions, 2007) / Michael O’Brien
4. Ballad of Jamie Allan (Flood Editions, 2007) / Tom Pickard
5. New Poems (trans. from the Polish by Bill Johnston) (Archipelago, 2007) / Tadeusz Rozewicz

1. Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press, 2007) / Tim Jeal
2. Edith Wharton (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007) / Hermione Lee
3. Ralph Ellison (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007) / Arnold Rampersad
4. The Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007) / John Richardson
5. Thomas Hardy (Penguin, 2007) / Claire Tomalin

1. The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates 1973-1982 (Ecco, 2007) / Joyce Carol Oates
2. Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone (The Free Press, 2007) / Joshua Clark
3. Brother, I’m Dying (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007) / Edwidge Danticat
4. Writing in an Age of Silence (Verso, 2007) / Sara Paretsky
5. Russian Diary: A Journalist’s Final Account of Life, Corruption and Death in Putin’s Russia (trans. from the Russian by Arch Tait) (Random House, 2007) / Anna Politkovskaya

1. Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays (Pantheon, 2007) / Joan Acocella
2. Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA (Viking, 2007) / Julia Alvarez
3. The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America (Metropolitan, 2007) / Susan Faludi
4. Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007) / Ben Ratliff
5. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007) / Alex Ross

Winners of the 34th annual National Book Critics Circle Award will be announced in New York on March 6, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Janet TAY looks at the works of J.M. Coetzee

Real life on a page

The latest book by Nobel and Booker Prize winner J.M. Coetzee fascinates and confounds with an experimental style that is difficult to access but that rewards a little effort.

Review by JANET TAY

I DISCOVERED J.M. Coetzee at a book warehouse sale a few years ago. Vaguely remembering him as “that South African Nobel Prize winner” (for literature in 2003), I picked up In the Heart of the Country (1977) mainly because of the RM9 price tag. Then the book sat forgotten in my unread pile until I grabbed it before I left for the airport one day—and ended up being totally mesmerised.

I’d discovered Coetzee rather late, considering his first book, Dusklands, had been published in 1974. But after that day at the airport, I went on a determined search and have since read most of his novels. My favourites, in order of preference, are the Booker Prize-winning Disgrace (1999), Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), The Master of Petersburg (1994) and Life and Times of Michael K (which also won the Booker Prize in 1983).

I have a particular fondness for Disgrace, which is about a university lecturer who, disgraced after his seduction of a student is discovered, goes to live down the furore on his daughter’s farm and experiences life-changing events.

I would also highly recommend Waiting for the Barbarians; by setting this story in an imaginary, nameless Empire, Coetzee approaches South Africa’s racial issues from a fresh perspective and offers a vivid allegory of what it is to live with oppression. I have often thought that Waiting for the Barbarians should have won the Booker Prize instead of Life and Times of Michael K, but then, these things are often a matter of timing.

I found his last book, Slow Man (2005), a little disappointing. It starts promisingly enough with the familiar, concise Coetzee narrative, this time about a solitary man who is incapacitated after a biking accident and falls in love with his carer. Unfortunately, into the middle of this narrative saunters the character Elizabeth Costello, who is the protagonist of Coetzee’s previous book, Elizabeth Costello (2003) and who is often said to be Coetzee’s alter ego. She traipses incongruously through Slow Man and muddles what I thought could have otherwise been an effective story.

Coetzee, a professor of English literature, has always been bold in experimenting with style; while this might not always make for fun reading, it proffers a wealth of material for literary study and research! And, if you make the effort, food for thought for the lay lover of fiction, too.

Imagine, for instance, a novel in which each page is divided into three parts:

The top third of each page contains the intellectual pondering of a 72-year-old protagonist who remains mostly nameless and undefined—we know only that he is Australian, his initials are J.C. and that his first name might be Juan. J.C. writes about current affairs, philosophy, music, politics, a wide range of subjects, that form the manuscript of his forthcoming book entitled Strong Opinions.

In the middle of each page are J.C.’s emotive outpourings, mainly private thoughts about Anya, a young woman with whom he is infatuated.

And at the bottom are Anya’s thoughts and her view of conversations with J.C. and her boyfriend, Alan.

As J.C. trudges through what he feels are his last years, he finds solace in Anya and convinces her to help him type his manuscript in a bid to become closer to her. Meanwhile, Anya develops some feelings for J.C. while Alan, an investment consultant, walks a tightrope between cold logic and morality.

This is Coetzee’s latest novel, Diary of a Bad Year (2007).

Sir Howard Davies, chair of the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, called Diary of a Bad Year a “strange construct” that does not “come off as a novel” and claimed that it was “treated with exaggerated deference by many reviewers, perhaps most notably in The Times Literary Supplement.”

I cannot deny that it’s tempting to laud every book Coetzee writes because of the esteem in which I hold his previous novels. When you find an author that you like, who truly touches you with universal truths, you cannot help but be biased. Is Davies’s comment fair, then? I think it’s too much of a sweeping statement to be a well-informed judgment on Diary of a Bad Year (and just as unsubstantial as the debate on whether Ian McEwan’s shortlisted 2007 book, On Chesil Beach, is too short to be a novel).

But it’s not a surprising statement. Coetzee himself may have anticipated such negative reactions and attempted a response when he has Anya ask J.C., “Why do you write this stuff? Why don’t you write another novel instead? Isn’t that what you are good at, novels?” J.C. replies tellingly, “A novel? No. I don’t have the endurance any more. To write a novel you have to be like Atlas, holding up a whole world on your shoulders and supporting it there for months and years while its affairs work themselves out. It is too much for me as I am today.”

Derek Attridge (who teaches at York University’s Department of English and Related Literature in Britain) says in his book, J.M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading, that Coeztee is fascinated with the idea of confession but his confessions are never simple or direct; they are what French philosopher Jacques Derrida calls a “circumfession, an avoidance as well as an admission, a staging of confession as well as a confessing.”

Coeztee’s tendency not to impose an authorial presence often arouses interest the moment there is any hint of confession in his novels that implies he is sharing his own thoughts. Perhaps this is why Coetzee famously dislikes interviews or questions about his novels—he probably figures that his answers are there to be found if you look hard enough at his work and require no further elaboration.

This is precisely what draws me to Coetzee’s latest novel, which I feel is a “confessional” one of sorts. To love his work, you must know the man, or what little you can know of him through his earlier novels and his “autrebiographies.”

It may seem a little distracting at first to read three seemingly separate narratives on each page, but these narratives do converge, albeit in a very subtle manner. One could argue that in real life, facts, fiction, figures and images are thrown at us in no particular order or form, yet we accept these interactions naturally and make sense of them. Why then should a novel be criticised for imitating life this closely or for not sticking to a safe, conventional and easily accessible form?

I’ll admit that Diary of a Bad Year is no Disgrace or Barbarians, or even a Michael K. But it is another fascinating novel that contains the philosophical and emotional insights of a sensitive intellect. And, poignantly, it has a melancholic tone of finality, as if the novel were a farewell performance.

However, I’d be disappointed if Diary of a Bad Year turns out to be Coeztee’s last novel for it does not possess the balance and the significance that should sum up such an illustrious literary career. The perfect coda, I think, still remains within him.

Review first published in The Sunday Star, January 6, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Literary débuts of 2008

THERE IS TRULY no greater pleasure than in discovering a new author whose finely crafted prose and storytelling skills grab you by the lapel. Here are just some of the most eagerly anticipated literary débuts of 2008:

1. Say You’re One of Them (Little, Brown, 2008) / Uwem Akpan
2. White Tiger (Atlantic, April 2008) / Aravind Adiga
3. The Painter of Shanghai (Penguin, April 2008) / Jennifer Cody Epstein
4. Submarine (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, February 2008) / Joe Dunthorne
5. The Night of the Mi’raj (Little, Brown, 2008) / Zoë Ferraris
6. The Gone Away World (William Heinemann, June 2008) / Nick Harkaway
7. A Case of Exploding Mangoes (Jonathan Cape, June 2008) / Mohammed Hanif
8. Dervishes (Picador USA, 2008) / Beth Helms
9. Wolf Totem (trans. from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt) (Hamish Hamilton, March 2008) / Jiang Rong
10. Crusaders (Faber & Faber, January 2008) / Richard T. Kelly
11. God’s Own Country (Viking, March 2008) / Ross Raisin
12. Evening Is the Whole Day (Houghton Mifflin/Fourth Estate, May 2008) / Preeta Samarasan
13. Little Hut of Leaping Fishes (Picador, July 2008) / Chiew-Siah Tei
14. The House of Midnight (Bloomsbury, January 2008) / Lucie Whitehouse
15. Road from Damascus (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, June 2008) / Robin Yassin-Kassab

Friday, January 04, 2008

January 2008 Highlights

1. Chicago: A Modern Arabic Novel (trans. from the Arabic by Farouk Abdel Wahab) (The American University in Cairo Press, 2008) / Alaa Al Aswany
2. The Accordionist’s Son (trans. from the Basque by Margaret Jull Costa) (Harvill Secker, 2008) / Bernardo Atxaga
3. The Reserve (HarperCollins, 2008) / Russell Banks
4. Life Class (Doubleday, 2008) / Pat Barker
5. People of the Book (Viking/Fourth Estate, 2008) / Geraldine Brooks
6. Crusaders (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Richard T. Kelly
7. Ellington Boulevard (Spiegel & Grau, 2008) / Adam Langer
8. A Quiet Adjustment (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Benjamin Markovits
9. The Senator’s Wife (Random House, 2008) / Sue Miller
10. How the Dead Dream (Counterpoint, 2008) / Lydia Millet
11. Past Continuous (Picadoer India, 2008) / Neel Mukherjee
12. Serious Things (Sceptre, 2008) / Gregory Norminton
13. The Well and the Mine (Hawthorne Books, 2008) / Gin Phillips
14. Homecoming (trans. from the German by Michael Henry Heim) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008) / Bernhard Schlink
15. The Commoner (Nan A. Talese, 2008) / John Burnham Schwartz
16. The Boys in the Trees (Holt, 2008) / Mary Swan
17. A Perfect Waiter (trans. from the German by John Brownjohn) (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Alain Claude Sulzer
18. The Age of Shiva (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Manil Suri
19. The House of Midnight (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Lucie Whitehouse
20. A Father’s Law (Harper Perennial, 2008) / Richard Wright
21. Pavel & I (Bloomsbury USA, 2008) / Dan Vyleta

1. Detective Story (trans. from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson) (Harvill Secker/Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Imre Kertesz

1. The Japanese Wife and Other Stories (HarperCollins India, 2008) / Kunal Basu
2. My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro (Harper Press, 2008) / Jeffrey Eugenides (ed.)
3. Lions In Winter (MPH Publishing, 2008) / Wena Poon

1. Singing in the Dark (Carcanet, 2008) / Alison Brackenbury
2. Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004 (Wake Forest University Press, 2008) / Harry Clifton
3. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 (ed. Benjamin Friedlander) (University of California Press, 2008) / Robert Creeley
4. High-No-Place (Bloodaxe, 2008) / Jen Hadfield
5. The One-Strand River: Poems, 1994-2007 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Richard Kenney
6. Behind My Eyes (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Li-Young Lee
7. Sixty Poems (Harvest Books, 2008) / Charles Simic

Diana Athill: One of the most acclaimed editors of the 20th century

1. The Second Plane (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Martin Amis
2. Experiments in Ethics (Harvard University Press, 2008) / Kwame Anthony Appiah
3. Somewhere Towards the End (Granta, 2008) / Diana Athill
4. Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Anna Beer
5. Memory: An Anthology (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Harriet Harvey Wood and A.S. Byatt (eds.)
6. Alfred Kazin: A Biography (Yale University Press, 2008) / Richard M. Cook
7. On Eloquence (Yale University Press, 2008) / Denis Donoghue
8. Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir (Counterpoint, 2008) / Laura Flynn
9. The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World (Random House, 2008) / Tim Hardford
10. The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza (Vermilion, 2008) / Oliver James
11. The Modern Element: Essays on Contemporary Poetry (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Adam Kirsch
12. God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (W.W. Norton, 2008) / David Levering Lewis
13. Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature (Faber & Faber, 2008) / John Mullan
14. The Secret Life of Poems (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Tom Paulin
15. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (Penguin, 2008) / Michael Pollan
16. Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir (Simon & Schuster, 2008) / David Reiff
17. My Unwritten Books (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/New Directions, 2008) / George Steiner

Susan Sontag

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007 Costa Book Awards

FORMER POSTWOMAN Catherine O’Flynn has won the 2007 Costa First Novel Award for her novel, What Was Lost (2007). She was longlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. The judges believe it to be a formidable novel blending humour and pathos in a cleverly constructed and absorbing mystery.

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore won for his exhaustively researched biography of Joseph Stalin, Young Stalin (2008), evoking the early life of the Russian dictator. A.L. Kennedy won for best novel with her book, Day (2008), and is hotly tipped to win the 2007 Costa Book of the Year Award later this month.

Ann Kelley won for the Children’s Book Award for her moving account of a 12-year-old living in St. Ives awaiting news of a heart-transplant surgery, The Bower Bird (2008) while Jean Sprackland won for the poetry category for her third collection of poetry, Tilt (2008).

The 2007 Costa Book of the Year will announced on January 22, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Literary Highlights of 2008

A VERITABLE SMORGASBORD of literary delights to usher in the new year. Literary heavyweights Martin Amis, Sebastian Barry, Peter Carey, Amitav Ghosh, Hanif Kureishi, James Meek, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie and Tim Winton are all back with new novels. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri has a new collection of stories called Unaccustomed Earth (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008). Lahiri, of course, is the author of Interpreter of Maladies (1999) and The Namesake (2003). Annie Proulx has one, too: Fine Just the Way It Is (Simon & Schuster, 2008). The most recent Man Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright has a new collection stories out: Taking Pictures (Jonathan Cape, 2008). I am really looking forward to reading Manil Suri’s The Age of Shiva (W.W. Norton, 2008) after enjoying his first novel, The Death of Vishnu (W.W. Norton, 2001). There are two Malaysian writers making their débuts: Preeta Samarasan’s Evening Is the Whole Day (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins, 2008) and Chiew-Siah Tei’s Little Hut of Leaping Fishes (Picador, 2008). John Banville is back in his other incarnation as crime novelist Benjamin Black. Louise Dean, the author of Becoming Strangers and This Human Reason, is also back with The Idea of Love (Fig Tree, 2008) sometime in the middle of 2008. It is interesting to imagine that we have found our 2008 Booker Prize for Fiction winner among these new books?

From Martin Amis and Paul Auster to Gerard Woodward and Adam Zagajewski, from novels and short-story collections to poetry and nonfiction, these are just some of the good stuff coming our way in 2008.

1. The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Peter Ackroyd
2. Pregnant Widow (Random House, 2008) / Martin Amis
3. Man in the Dark (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Paul Auster
4. The Pages (Text, 2008) / Murray Bail
5. The Secret Scripture (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Sebastian Barry
6. A Partisan’s Daughter (Harvill Secker, 2008) / Louis de Bernières
7. The Retreat (McClelland & Stewart, 2008) / David Bergen
8. The Silver Swan (Henry Holt, 2008) / Benjamin Black
9. Skeletons at the Feast (Shaye Areheart, 2008) / Chris Bohjalian
10. People of the Book (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Geraldine Brooks
11. Morality Tale (Counterpoint/Picador, 2008) / Sylvia Brownrigg
12. His Illegal Self (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Peter Carey
13. Amenable Women (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Mavis Cheek
14. A Person of Interest (Viking, 2008) / Susan Choi
15. The Idea of Love (Penguin/Fig Tree, 2008) / Louise Dean
16. Being Emily (Canongate, 2008) / Anne Donovan
17. The Room of Lost Things (Virago, 2008) / Stella Duffy
18. Counting the Stars (Fig Tree, 2008) / Helen Dunmore
19. So Brave, Young, and Handsome (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008) / Leif Enger
20. The Plague of Doves (Harper, 2008) / Louise Erdrich
21. Cathedral of the Sea (trans. from the Spanish, La Catedral del Mar, by Nick Caistor) (Doubleday, 2008) / Ildefonso Falcones
22. Imposters (Atlantic, 2008) / Damon Galgut
23. Sea of Poppies (John Murray, 2008) / Amitav Ghosh
24. Everything I Knew (Penguin, 2008) / Peter Goldsworthy
25. The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago/Little, Brown, 2008) / Linda Grant
26. The Story of a Marriage (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / Andrew Sean Greer
27. The Believers (Henry Holt, 2008) / Zoë Heller
28. The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Philip Hensher
29. The Third Angel (Shaye Areheart, 2008) / Alice Hoffman
30. The Sorrows of an American (Henry Holt/Sceptre, 2008) / Siri Hustvedt
31. Wolf Totem (trans. from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt) (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / Jiang Rong
32. Wakening (Portobello, 2008) / Derek Johns
33. Kieron Smith, Boy (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / James Kelman
34. Something to Tell You (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Hanif Kureishi
35. Alfred and Emily (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Doris Lessing
36. I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / Toby Litt
37. The House on Fortune Street (HarperCollins, 2008) / Margot Livesey
38. Deaf Sentence (Harvill Secker, 2008) / David Lodge
39. Beijing Coma (trans. from the Chinese by Flora Drew) (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Ma Jian
40 . A Quiet Adjustment (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Benjamin Markovits
41. Trauma (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Patrick McGrath
42. We Are Now Beginning Our Descent (Canongate, 2008) / James Meek
43. Her Three Wise Men (Hutchinson, 2008) / Stanley Middleton
44. The Senator’s Wife (Random House, 2008) / Sue Miller
45. The Language of Others (Sceptre, 2008) / Clare Morrall
46. Out of Breath (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Julie Myerson
47. Serious Things (Sceptre, 2008) / Gregory Norminton
48. The Truth Commissioner (Bloomsbury, 2008) / David Park
49. Daphne (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Justine Picardie
50. Lush Life (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / Richard Price
51. Goldengrove (Harper/HarperCollins, 2008) / Francine Prose
52. The Enchantress of Florence (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Salman Rushdie
53. Homecoming (trans. from the German by Michael Henry Heim) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008) / Bernhard Schlink
54. The Butt (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Will Self
55. If Wishes Were Horses (Little, Brown, 2008) / Gillian Slovo
56. Willing (Ecco, 2008) / Scott Spencer
57. More Than It Hurts You (Dutton, 2008) / Darin Strauss
58. The Age of Shiva (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Manil Suri
59. A Mercy (2008) / Toni Morrison
60. Breath (Picador, 2008) / Tim Winton
61. The Ten-Year Nap (Riverhead, 2008) / Meg Wolitzer

First Novels
1. The White Tiger (Atlantic, 2008) / Aravind Adiga
2. Attachment (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Isabel Fonseca
3. A Case of Exploding Mangoes (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Mohammed Hanif
4. Crusaders (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Richard T. Kelly
5. God’s Own Country (Viking, 2008) / Ross Raisin
6. Evening Is the Whole Day (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins, 2008) / Preeta Samarasan
7. Little Hut of Leaping Fishes (Picador, 2008) / Chiew-Siah Tei
8. Road from Damascus (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / Robin Yassin-Kassab

1. The Japanese Wife (HarperCollins India, 2008) / Kunal Basu
2. Taking Pictures (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Anne Enright
3. My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro (Harper, 2008) / Jeffrey Eugenides (ed.)
4. Unaccustomed Earth (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Jhumpa Lahiri
5. Dangerous Laughter: 13 Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Steven Millhauser
6. The Collected Stories (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Lorrie Moore
7. Fine Just the Way It Is (Simon & Schuster, 2008) / Annie Proulx
8. Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Tobias Wolff
9. Caravan Thieves (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Gerard Woodward

1. Watching the Spring Festival (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / Frank Bidart
2. New Collected Poems (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Eavan Boland
3. Singing in the Dark (Carcanet, 2008) / Alison Brackenbury
4. Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems 1979-2006 (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Wendy Cope
5. Everything Else in the World (W.W. Norton, 2008) / Stephen Dunn
6. Song & Dance (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / John Fuller
7. Sea Change (Ecco, 2008) / Jorie Graham
8. Sleeping It Off in Rapid City: Poems New and Selected (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / August Kleinzahler
9. Fidelity (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / Grace Paley
10. That Little Something (Harcourt, 2008) / Charles Simic
11. Eternal Enemies (trans. from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) / Adam Zagajewski

1. Poe: A Life Cut Short (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Peter Ackroyd
2. The Second Plane (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Martin Amis
3. The Sum of Our Days (Harper, 2008) / Isabel Allende
4. Somewhere Towards the End (Granta, 2008) / Diana Athill
5. Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton: An Autobiography (Fourth Estate, 2008) / J.G. Ballard
6. Nothing to be Frightened of (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Julian Barnes
7. A Wolf at the Table (St. Martin’s Press, 2008) / Augusten Burroughs
8. Clearing a Space: India, Literature, and Culture (Peter Lang, 2008) / Amit Chaudhuri
9. The Collected Prose of Robert Frost (ed. Mark Richardson) (Harvard University Press, 2008) / Robert Frost
10. While They Slept: An Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family (Random House, 2008) / Kathryn Harrison
11. The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) / Pico Iyer
12. The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza (Vermilion, 2008) / Oliver James
13. The Library at Night (Yale University Press, 2008) / Alberto Manguel
14. Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature (Faber & Faber, 2008) / John Mullan
15. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (trans. from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel) (Harvill Secker, 2008) / Haruki Murakami
16. The Atlantic Ocean (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Andrew O’Hagan
17. The Secret Life of Poems (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Tom Paulin
18. Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir (Simon & Schuster, 2008) / David Reiff
19. What Rhymes with Bastard? (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Linda Robertson
20. Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: 28,000 Miles in Search of the Railway Bazaar (Houghton Mifflin, 2008) / Paul Theroux