Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

What 2019 has in store for the literary world

2018 has undoubtedly been a great year for literature, with the release of countless award-winning works, from Anna Burns’ Man Booker winner Milkman, to Warwick’s very own Sophie Mackintosh’s The Water Cure.

As we draw nearer and nearer to the end of this year, it’s time to look at what 2019 has in store for the literary world, as there are certainly more than a few that we have to look forward to.

Set in an alternate 1980s London, Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan focuses on the character of Charlie, hopelessly in love with student Miranda, and the brand-new owner of a synthetic human called Adam. However, in a twist that one could find only in a Black Mirror episode, a love triangle forms between the three of them, forcing both the characters and the reader to truly question what it is that makes us human.

Dan Franklin of The Guardian describes it as a “crucial novel for our times”, making this upcoming novel from the Booker prize-winner even more exciting.

If his poetry is anything to go by, this is set to be tender, beautiful and bound to make you cry

Ocean Vuong is set to release a novel, titled On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Whilst Vuong is no stranger to poetry, having already been the recipient of prestigious accolades such as winner of the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize and the 2016 Whiting Award, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is his debut novel. If his poetry is anything to go by, this is set to be tender, beautiful, and bound to make you cry.

His work is written as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother, revealing numerous well-hidden secrets of the family, illuminating both the importance of voice, and the detriments of being silenced.

After the huge success that Thomas’ first book, The Hate U Give, received this year, it comes as no surprise that her follow-up, On the Come Up, is highly anticipated. On the Come Up revolves around Bri, daughter of a hip-hop legend and desperate to become one of the greatest rappers of all time. However, she must overcome backlash from the media, as well as dealing with family dilemmas at the same time. A story that is incredibly pertinent to today’s society, tackling issues such as freedom of speech, race and striving for your dreams, this is sure to be just as well-loved as Thomas’ debut.

Even from just the synopsis, it’s clear to see that this book will be both haunting and unsettling

This is perhaps the book everybody is most excited for after Atwood confirmed the release of a sequel, The Testaments, to her bestselling novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The Testaments is to be set fifteen years after the original story concluded, and will be published in September 2019. At the moment, this is all we know about the sequel. Of course, despite the fact that the first book was released in 1985, I’m sure both The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments will be relevant to then and now, given the societal contexts underpinning them both.

Last but certainly not least, in 2019 we will see the release of the second novel from Warwick Writing Programme’s Caroline Lea, titled The Glass Woman. Characterised by editorial director Jillian Taylor as “brilliantly gothic, full of shocking and heart-wrenching twists”, her work centres on Rósa, recently and suddenly engaged to Jón Eiríksson. From there, she is thrown into an unfamiliar world and immediately shunned by the villagers she comes to live amongst, sensing evil and darkness but unable to detect its exact whereabouts. Even from just the synopsis, it’s clear to see that this book will be both haunting and unsettling.

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