THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL PRESS

India Today - - LEISURE BOOKS -

On the back of the suc­cess of his de­but novel, The Sym­pa­thiser, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fic­tion among a host of other prizes, Viet Thanh Nguyen will pub­lish a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries in Fe­bru­ary. Born in Viet­nam in 1971, Nguyen came to the US with his fam­ily when they fled their home­land af­ter the North Viet­namese took Saigon in 1975. Draw­ing on that ex­pe­ri­ence, the sto­ries in The

Refugees move back and forth from San Fran­cisco to Ho Chi Minh City, telling the sto­ries of peo­ple dis­placed by the war and mak­ing their lives anew. Sev­eral big-name Amer­i­can nov­el­ists have new books out in the early months of the year, in­clud­ing Paul Auster, who turns 70 this year. A once icon­o­clas­tic writer turned grand old man of lit­er­a­ture, Auster hasn’t pub­lished a novel in seven years. But 4321, due at the end of Jan­uary, is al­ready be­ing de­scribed as a “tour de force”. Ge­orge Saun­ders, a writer’s writer known for his bril­liant short sto­ries, has fi­nally writ­ten a novel. Com­ing in Fe­bru­ary, Lincoln in the Bardo is an un­con­ven­tional his­tor­i­cal novel about the death of Abra­ham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son. A num­ber of writ­ers have turned to Greek tragedy as in­spi­ra­tions for new nov­els, in­clud­ing Kamila Sham­sie, whose Home Fire, out in Au­gust, retells Antigone as a story of two Bri­tish Mus­lim fam­i­lies in con­tem­po­rary Lon­don. Hit­ting the shelves later this month, award-win­ning jour­nal­ist Adrian Levy and Cather­ine Scott-Clark un­veil “the ex­tra­or­di­nary in­side story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the years af­ter 9/11” in The

Ex­ile—which draws on first-per­son tes­ti­mony from bin Laden’s fam­ily and clos­est aides to un­pack mys­ter­ies from Ab­bot­tabad to the rise of the Is­lamic State. A num­ber of books mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the Rus­sian revo­lu­tion, but one of the most in­trigu­ing is Oc­to­ber by China Miéville—a writer much ad­mired for his science fic­tion. Miéville’s book is out in May. And though the new year has only just started, ap­petites are al­ready be­ing whet­ted for Hit Re­fresh, the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Satya Nadella, the In­dian-born CEO of Mi­crosoft, out in Novem­ber.

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