Amongst the many things a new year brings is a host of anticipated book launches. Whether you’re taking on a book challenge in 2019 or just want to cosy up with a good read, we pick the top five you must pre-order right away. Fiction, essays, chronicles — current social and political developments seem to be the flavour of the year. Here are the five launches from some of the most-loved authors that need to grace your book shelf in 2019.
‘We Are Displaced’ by Malala Yousafzai, January
The Nobel laureate’s latest book traces her own story of being displaced from her home country, along with that of other refugee girls from around the world who were forced to shift homes. Part memoir, part storytelling, the book details the journey of those who were uprooted from their families, community, and everyday life. Exploring the yearning for home and how people get accustomed to a new life, ‘We Are Displaced’ tells a pertinent story of our world where 68.5 million persons stand displaced today.
‘On Leaders and Icons from Jinnah to Modi’ by Kuldip Nayar, January
Published posthumously (Nayar passed away last year), the book is timely, with the general elections just a few months away. The veteran journalist covered India’s political and cultural milieu for over 60 years, and in this book follows the tradition of telling it like it is. From the pre-independence era to discussions with Jinnah, Nehru, Bhutto, and other eminent politicians whose policies shaped India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, to advice for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, no words are minced in this charged account of the nation’s political landscape.
‘Gun Island’ by Amitav Ghosh, June
Ghosh is back after four years with a fiction that spans time and space effortlessly. Focusing on his favoured brand of writing – climate fiction – the story is set in a world threatened by its own extinction. A dealer of rare books, Deen Datta is extracted from his quiet life and thrown into a series of events that take him across India, Venice, and Los Angeles. As people he meets along the way help him through the constant transition, it culminates as a story of hope and faith.
‘My Seditious Heart’ by Arundhati Roy, June
In her first non-fiction work this year, Roy has compiled her experiences over 20 years in this 1,000-page essay collection. The Booker Prize winner shares her thoughts and opinions on people’s rights, freedom, and overall justice. She takes on those in power in politics, defense, and religion with her commentary.
‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood, September
Three decades after publishing ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Atwood is releasing its sequel this September. ’The Testaments’ starts off 15 years after the first book concluded, putting an end to the speculation of what fate awaits its main character, Offred. Whether it’s prison, death, or freedom, the turn of events is narrated by three females in this highly anticipated book.
All images: Courtesy publishing houses