Outdoor World

2018 in books: a literary calendar

Essays from Zadie Smith, Arnhem from Antony Beevor and fictions from Julian Barnes, Sarah Perry, Pat Barker, Rachel Cusk and Bill Clinton. Place your book orders now


Peter Carey. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers ( Hamish Hamilton ). Eggers tells the story of a fellow San Franciscan and coffee enthusiast Mokhtar Alkhanshali, raised during Yemeni immigrant parents, who travelled to Yemen to learn about the origins of coffee making and is caught up in the civil war.

Writer’s Luck: A Memoir 1976 -1 991 by David Lodge ( Harvill Secker ). This second volume of autobiography encompass the years of the British author and academic’s greatest success, with the publication of novels such as Nice Work .

Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan ( 4th Estate ). The writer of The Joy Luck Club writes about her traumatic childhood and her complex relationship with her father.

The Growth Delusion by David Pilling ( Bloomsbury ). The story of our ill-judged obsession with GDP, and how we should be asses societies.


A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey ( Faber ). The double Booker win scrutinises Australian identity, indigenous and white, through the histories of one woman’s involvement in a viciously punishing 1950 s round-Australia motorsport race.

The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor ( 4th Estate ). Spinoff tales about the specific characteristics from the Costa-winning Reservoir 13 .

Lullaby by Leila Slimani ( Faber ). This French bestseller, which won the Prix Goncourt, probes fault lines of class, race and gender through the tale of a nanny who is fatally attached to the family she serves.

Turning for Home by Barney Norris ( Doubleday ). The follow-up to the playwright’s debut fiction, the softly brilliant Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain , focuses on a family gathering.

The Unmapped Country by Ann Quin ( And Other Stories ). Rare narratives and unpublished fragments from the radical 1960 s writer.

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi ( Oneworld ). Generations of their own families suffer under a curse in a Ugandan epic spanning the last 250 years that mixes oral storytelling, myth and lore and has been described as” the most important book to come out of Uganda for half a century “.


Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith ( Chatto ). An interrogation of race, sexuality and social justice featuring a sequence imagining the afterlife of black humen shot by the police.

Events and anniversaries

15 TS Eliot prize awarded.

30 Costa book of the year selected from the recipients of the five categories: fiction, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s.


Zadie Smith. Photograph: Brian Dowling/ Getty Images


Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith ( Hamish Hamilton ). Smith is as accomplished an essayist as she is a novelist; her themes here range from Quentin Tarantino to Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Brit( ish ): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch ( Cape ). An examination of everyday racism in Britain and why liberal attempts to be “colour-blind” have caused more problems than they have solved.

The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History by Aida Edemariam ( 4th Estate ). A narration of Ethiopia over the past century that centres on Edemariam’s remarkable and long-lived grandmother.

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker ( Allen Lane ). In a follow-up to his bestselling The Better Angels of Our Nature , the Harvard psychologist highlights the fact that our turbulent hours involve not despair but reason and Enlightenment values.


The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson ( Cape ). The cult American writer, who died last year, was most celebrated for his only short story collecting, Jesus’ Son ; this posthumous collection, completed shortly before his death, discovers him contemplating remembrances and mortality.

The Only Story by Julian Barnes ( Cape ). A man appears back on how, as a disaffected youth, he fell gloriously in love with a married older girl at the local tennis club; the book gradually darkens into the tragedy of a destroyed life.

The Melody by Jim Crace ( Picador ). From the author of Harvest , a fable about sorrow, myth, music and persecution, in which a widowed musician indavertently sparks a campaign of violence against the paupers scratching a living on the periphery of town.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper ( Little, Brown ). The Dry was one of the stand-out felony debuts of 2017; Australian author Harper follows it with a story of women hiking in the bush- five go out, but only four come back.


The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson ( Bloomsbury ). YA debut about a girl caught between competitive magical factions.

Events and anniversaries

1 Centenary of the proposed establishment of Muriel Spark.

2 Film adaptation of RC Sherriff’s first world war play Journey’s End .


Neil MacGregor. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian


Living With the Gods by Neil MacGregor ( Allen Lane ). The volume of the British Museum exhibition and BBC Radio 4 series from the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects .

Debussy: A Painter in Sound by Stephen Walsh ( Faber ). The acclaimed classical music writer on the French impressionist composer.

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan ( Square Peg ). The correspondent takes a journey back to Narnia and Wonderland, and gets reacquainted with some of the favourite characters of our collective childhoods.

Free Woman by Lara Feigel ( Bloomsbury ). The prolific scholar and reviewer on the life and runs of Doris Lessing.


Dead Men’s Trousers by Irvine Welsh ( Cape ). The Trainspotting crew return; Renton is now an international jetsetter and Begbie a famous artist. But with Sick Boy and Spud trying their luck in the world of organ-harvesting, who’s wearing dead men’s trousers?

Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell ( Cape ). Riffs on life and love in prose and cartoon strip shape, from the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and her graphic artist husband.

The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey ( Cape ). A Somerset man is submerge and the village priest must investigate … a medieval mystery from one of the UK’s most exquisite stylists.

Upstate by James Wood ( Cape ). Why do some find life so much harder than others? The contributing literary critic delves into depression and the implications of life in a novel about family relationships.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill ( Riverrun ). First adult novel from the author of the scorch YA book about rape culture Asking for It charts the abusive relationship between a young woman and an older man.


Anecdotal Evidence by Wendy Cope ( Faber ). In Cope’s first new collecting since 2011, she involves with figures from Shakespeare to Eric Morecambe.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi ( Macmillan ). Epic fiction YA debut of magic and war, inspired by the history and myth of west Africa.

Events and anniversaries

Centenary of publishing of Marie Stopes’ Married Love .

13 Macbeth begins an RSC season in which the new productions are all directed against girls, including a musical about Joan Littlewood.

18 250 th anniversary of the death of Laurence Sterne.

28 150 th anniversary of the proposed establishment of Maxim Gorky.


Viv Albertine … To Hurl Away Unopened . Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli ( Allen Lane ). The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is back with an exploration of the meaning of time.

The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy ( Hamish Hamilton ). The author of novels Hot Milk and Swimming Home likewise wrote Things I Don’t Crave to Know , a” living autobiography” on writing and womanhood. This short memoir is another instalment.

To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine ( Faber Social ). In her followup to the much-praised Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys ., the former Slits guitarist uncovers truths about her family.

Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose ( Faber ). It’s always the mother’s fault … the renowned feminist critic on the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings.

Rosie by Rose Tremain ( Chatto ). The novelist’s first non-fiction volume is a childhood memoir that casts a reveal light on the “vanished” world of 1940 s and 1950 s England.


Agency by William Gibson ( Viking ). The new novel from the colossus of SF switches between a world in which Hillary Clinton won the US election and London two centuries in the future, after most of the global population has perished.

Circe by Madeline Miller ( Bloomsbury ). The Song of Achilles won the Orange award in 2012; Miller’s follow-up stays in the world of Homer’s Odyssey to explore the story of the witch-goddess who becomes Odysseus’s men into pigs.

I Still Dream by James Smythe ( Borough ). A 17 -year-old girl constructs herself an AI system in her bedroom: as the activities of the decade pass, it develops with her. An investigation into artificial and human intelligence, which extends into the past and future.

Never Greener by Ruth Jones ( Bantam ). A debut fiction about second possibilities from the actor and screenwriter best known for Gavin and Stacey .

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal ( Viking ). In the follow-up to My Epithet Is Leon , a young Irish woman in 70 s Birmingham is caught up in whirlwind romance- and tragedy.

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo ( Hogarth ). The project to novelise Shakespeare continues, with the Norwegian felony writer supposing the antihero of the Scottish play as a drug addict turned cop.

Patient X by David Peace ( Faber ). The writer of GB84 and The Damned Utd is here inspired by the life and stories of the great Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa, best knows we Rashomon .


Europa by Sean O’Brien ( Picador ). The multi-prize-winning poet focuses on past and uncertain future entanglements between Britain and continental Europe.

Events and anniversaries

10 -1 2 London book fair, with the Baltic countries as this year’s” marketplace focus “.

20 Release of Mike Newell’s film Guernsey , set in the late 40 s and based on the novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society .

23 Women’s prize for fiction shortlist.


Zora Neale Hurston … Barracoon . Photograph: Little& Brown Publishing


Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston ( HarperCollins ). A previously unpublished project, in which the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God recounts the true tale of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade.

How to Change Your Intellect: Exploring the New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan ( Allen Lane ). The writer celebrated for” feed food , not too much, largely plants” takes a trip to the frontiers of human consciousness.

Arnhem: The Last German Victory by Antony Beevor ( Viking ). The bestselling historian on the great airborne duel for the bridges in 1944.

Shapeshifters: On Medicine& Human Change by Gavin Francis ( Profile ). The GP and writer of the bestselling Adventures in Human Being combines occurrence investigates with cultural observation as he examines how our intellects and bodies undergo constant change.

Behold, America by Sarah Churchwell ( Bloomsbury ). A” partial history” of US rightwing isolationism and the America First movement.


Last Stories by William Trevor ( Viking ). One of the publishing events of the year: a posthumous collecting of ten final tales from the Irish master of the short form.

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey ( Viking ). The followup to Elizabeth Is Missing is the story of a 15 -year-old-girl who goes missing, and coming through unharmed- but changed.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk ( Faber ). A female writer travelings round a turbulent Europe in the final volume of Cusk’s innovative trilogy about how we construct our own identities.

The Neighbourhood by Mario Vargas Llosa ( Faber ). The latest from the Peruvian Nobel laureate features two wealthy pairs in 1990 s Lima embroiled in political corruption and erotic intrigues.

A Holler in the Ruins by Kevin Powers ( Sceptre ). Six years after winning the Guardian first book awarding with his Iraq novel The Yellow Birds , the former soldier investigates the violence of the American civil war.


The Colour of the Sun by David Almond ( Hodder ). The real and the imaginary mixture for one Tyneside boy on one sunny period, in the new novel from the author of Skellig .

Events and anniversaries

75th anniversary of first publication( in the US) of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets .

8 Rathbones Folio prize awarded.

22 Man Booker international award ceremony.

24 Hay festival opens( continues until 3 June ).


Bill Clinton … The President Is Missing . Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/ AP


Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik ( Viking ). The scientist and broadcaster discuss liquids in a book structured around a plane journey.

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani ( Verso ). This influential voice on the British left looks at automation, machine learning, gene editing and asteroid mining to argue that socialism is possible: the third interruption after agriculture and the industrial revolution.

Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna ( Canongate ). Part memoir from the film-maker and portion biography, incorporating interviews with his friends, subtitled a” life in art “.

Fallout: Catastrophes, Lies and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age by Fred Pearce ( Granta ). The science and environment journalist in a “shocking” book that considers seven decades of nuclear technology.


The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson ( Century ). The former chairwoman brings insider detail to a political thriller written with the mega-selling Patterson.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje ( Cape ). His first fiction since 2012′ s Cat’s Table set forth in London after the blitz, as two children are apparently abandoned and left in the care of an eccentric, possibly criminal figure.

Girl, Balancing and Other Tales by Helen Dunmore ( Hutchinson ). Dunmore became the posthumous win of the Costa poetry prize for Inside the Wave ; this collection of stories will be published a year after her death.

Crudo by Olivia Laing ( Macmillan ). Set in the febrile summertime of 2017, an autobiographical fiction debut from the author of The Lonely City , about reaching 40 and find friendship in a world that seems to be spiralling out of control.

You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian ( Cape ). The debut collection from the author of 2017′ s most discussed short story,” Cat Person”, is expected to be published some time in the summer.


Blackbird, Bye Bye by Moniza Alvi ( Bloodaxe ). A collecting merged by an participation with birds that scrutinizes immigration, grief and art.

Events and anniversaries

6 Women’s prize for fiction winner announced.

15 Film version of On Chesil Beach , self-adapted by Ian McEwan, starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle.


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