2018 in books: a literary calendar

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

January

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Peter Carey. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


Non-fiction

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

Writers Luck: A Memoir 1976-1991 by David Lodge (Harvill Secker). This second volume of autobiography covers the years of the British author and academics greatest success, with the publication of novels such as Nice Work.

Where the Past Begins: A Writers Memoir by Amy Tan (4th Estate). The author 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 measuring societies.


Fiction

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

The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor (4th Estate). Spinoff tales about the characters 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 playwrights debut novel, the quietly brilliant Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, focuses on a family gathering.

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 Rare stories and unpublished fragments from the radical 1960s writer.

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


Poetry

Dont Call Us Dead by Danez Smith (Chatto). An interrogation of race, sexuality and social justice featuring a sequence imagining the afterlife of black men shot by the police.


Events and anniversaries

15 TS Eliot prize awarded.

30 Costa book of the year chosen from the winners of the five categories: novel, first novel, biography, poetry and childrens.

February

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Zadie Smith. Photograph: Brian Dowling/Getty Images


Non-fiction

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton). Smith is as accomplished an essayist as she is a novelist; her subjects 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 Wifes Tale: A Personal History by Aida Edemariam (4th Estate). A narrative of Ethiopia over the past century that centres on Edemariams 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 argues that our turbulent times require not despair but reason and Enlightenment values.


Fiction

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

The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Cape). A man looks back on how, as a disaffected youth, he fell gloriously in love with a married older woman 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 grief, myth, music and persecution, in which a widowed musician indavertently sparks a campaign of violence against the paupers scratching a living on the fringes of town.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Little, Brown). The Dry was one of the stand-out crime 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.


Childrens

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


Events and anniversaries

1 Centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark.

2 Film adaptation of RC Sherriffs first world war play Journeys End.

March

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Neil MacGregor. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian


Non-fiction

Living With the Gods by Neil MacGregor (Allen Lane). The book 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 journalist takes a trip 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 works of Doris Lessing.


Fiction

Dead Mens 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, whos wearing dead mens trousers?

Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell (Cape). Riffs on life and love in prose and comic strip form, from the author of The Time Travelers Wife and her graphic artist husband.

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

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

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


Poetry

Anecdotal Evidence by Wendy Cope (Faber). In Copes first new collection since 2011, she engages with figures from Shakespeare to Eric Morecambe.


Childrens

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


Events and anniversaries

Centenary of publication of Marie Stopes Married Love.

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

18 250th anniversary of the death of Laurence Sterne.

28 150th anniversary of the birth of Maxim Gorky.

April

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

Non-fiction

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 also wrote Things I Dont Want to Know, a living autobiography on writing and womanhood. This short memoir is the second 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). Its always the mothers fault the renowned feminist critic on the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings.

Rosie by Rose Tremain (Chatto). The novelists first non-fiction book is a childhood memoir that casts a revealing light on the vanished world of 1940s and 1950s England.

Fiction

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 prize in 2012; Millers follow-up stays in the world of Homers Odyssey to explore the story of the witch-goddess who turns Odysseuss men into pigs.

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

Never Greener by Ruth Jones (Bantam). A debut novel about second chances 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 Name Is Leon, a young Irish woman in 70s Birmingham is caught up in whirlwind romance and tragedy.

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

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

Poetry

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


Events and anniversaries

10-12 London book fair, with the Baltic countries as this years market focus.

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

23 Womens prize for fiction shortlist.

May

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Zora Neale Hurston Barracoon. Photograph: Little & Brown Publishing


Non-fiction

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

How to Change Your Mind: Exploring the New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan (Allen Lane). The author celebrated for eat food, not too much, mostly plants takes a voyage to the frontiers of human consciousness.

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

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

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

Fiction

Last Stories by William Trevor (Viking). One of the publishing events of the year: a posthumous collection of 10 final stories 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 comes back unharmed but changed.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk (Faber). A female writer travels round a turbulent Europe in the final volume of Cusks 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 couples in 1990s Lima embroiled in political corruption and erotic intrigues.

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

Childrens

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

Events and anniversaries

75th anniversary of first publication (in the US) of TS Eliots Four Quartets.

8 Rathbones Folio prize awarded.

22 Man Booker international prize ceremony.

24 Hay festival opens (continues until 3 June).

June

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


Non-fiction

Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik (Viking). The scientist and broadcaster discusses 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 communism is possible: the third disruption after agriculture and the industrial revolution.

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

Fallout: Disasters, 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.

Fiction

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

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Cape). His first novel since 2012s Cats Table is set 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 Stories by Helen Dunmore (Hutchinson). Dunmore became the posthumous winner 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 summer of 2017, an autobiographical fiction debut from the author of The Lonely City, about hitting 40 and finding intimacy 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 2017s most discussed short story, Cat Person, is expected to be published some time in the summer.

Poetry

Blackbird, Bye Bye by Moniza Alvi (Bloodaxe). A collection unified by an engagement with birds that examines immigration, grief and art.

Events and anniversaries

6 Womens prize for fiction winner announced.

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

July

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Sjon. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian


Non-fiction

Out of My Head by Tim Parks (Harvill Secker). The bestselling novelist embarks on a quest to discover more about consciousness.


Fiction

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Cape). The pitch-black Eileen made the 2016 Man Booker shortlist; this dark new novel features a privileged woman whose alienation is exacerbated by medication and an awful shrink.

CoDex 1962 by Sjn (Sceptre). A genre-blending novel about a child made of clay and brought from second world war Germany by his Jewish father to Iceland, from the Icelandic author of Moonstone.

Days of Awe by AM Homes (Granta). Blackly comic short stories about contemporary America, from the winner of the Womens prize for fiction.

So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernires (Harvill Secker). A bittersweet sequel to 2015s The Dust that Falls from Dreams, delving into the lives and loves of a family in Britain between the wars.

Events and anniversaries

6 Release of Mary Shelley, biopic marking Frankensteins bicentenary starring Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth.

28 50th anniversary of John Mortimer winning his landmark appeal against the banning of Hubert Selbys Last Exit to Brooklyn for obscenity.

30 Bicentenary of Emily Bronts birth.

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