From Zadie Smith to Kevin Kwan, 2020 has exciting new titles by bestselling international authors lined up
With a slew of bestselling international authors announcing new titles for late 2020 or the first half of 2021, there will at least be a few good books to keep us company in our socially distanced lives.
With the coronavirus pandemic sending the world indoors and extended lockdowns only just beginning to ease, 2020 has offered little reason to cheer. Amid the gloom, however, there's a sliver of good news for bibliophiles to look forward to. With a slew of bestselling international authors announcing new titles for late 2020 or the first half of 2021, there will at least be a few good books to keep us company in our socially distanced lives. Here's a ready reckoner of upcoming releases:
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan’s new book is a romance which follows Lucie Churchill, who can’t stand George Zao, and vehemently denies having any feelings for him. But several years later, when he suddenly shows up in the East Hamptons where she’s weekending with her fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to him again. Soon, she’s spinning a web of deceit with her family, fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and even herself.
Releasing on 30 June | Doubleday
Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
A companion to the Twilight series, the book is a retelling of the first book in the saga through the perspective of Edward Cullen, instead of the series’ usual narrator, Bella Swan.
Releasing on 4 August | Little, Brown and Company
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel since winning the Nobel Prize tells the story of Klara, an "artificial friend" at a store that sells them, who carefully observes the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and those who pass by the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. But soon the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, and she’s warned to not get too invested in the promises of humans.
Releasing in March 2021 | Knopf
Intimations by Zadie Smith
A volume of six essays written by Zadie Smith during the early months of the lockdown, the book explores ideas and questions prompted by this unprecedented situation. The questions she tackles range from “What does it mean to submit to a new reality — or to resist it?” and “How do we compare relative sufferings?” to “What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis?” and “When an unfamiliar world arrives, what it does it reveal about the world that came before it?”
Ebook and audiobook releasing on 28 July; paperback on 6 August | Penguin Random House
Mantel Pieces by Hilary Mantel
The book is a collection of reviews, essays, memoirs, and other writings by Hilary Mantel from over three decades of contribution to the London Review of Books. There are essays about Jane Boleyn and Christopher Marlowe, among others, which examine the Tudor mind. Her lecture ‘Royal Bodies’ examines the place of royal women in society and our imaginations. Other writings range from subjects like Saudi Arabia, where she lived for four years; John Osborne; and an examination of Helen Duncan, Britain’s last witch, among many others.
Releasing in October 2020 | HarperCollins
How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division by Elif Shafak
In this polemic, Shafak reflects on the age of pessimism we live in, discussing how emotions guide and misguide our politics, and how misinformation and fear are the norm. In a world that seems to be falling apart, Shafak draws on her personal memories and delves into the power of stories, revealing how writing can nurture tolerance and democracy. The book answers questions like “How do we keep hold of our optimism? How do we nurture the parts of ourselves that hope, trust and believe in something better? And how can we stay sane in this world of division?”
Releasing in August 2020 | Wellcome Collection
Untitled memoir by Chelsea Manning
In 2010, Chelsea Manning disclosed classified military documents while working as an analyst in the US Army in Iraq. A day after being sentenced to 35 years in military prison, she declared her gender identity and began the process of transitioning. In 2017, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released. In this memoir, she recounts how her pleas for institutional transparency and accountability took place along with the fight to defend her rights as a trans woman.
What happens to Philip Roth’s legacy now? Controversy around authorised biography raises questions for author's estate
Accusations of sexual misconduct and assault against Blake Bailey, the author of Roth’s single authorised biography, have intensified a parallel conversation about Roth’s treatment of women, adding fuel to the questions of whether Bailey’s account of the prolific author’s sexual and romantic relationships was overly sympathetic and oversimplified.
Where You Are Is Not Who You Are: In her new memoir, Ursula M Burns recounts blazing a trail to the top of Xerox
Burns was the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Eleanor Henderson's Everything I Have Is Yours is a love story and a medical mystery all in one book
Everything I Have Is Yours is above all else, the story of a marriage that, like any, is filled with both an abundance of love and an abundance of obstacles.