Welcome book lovers! It’s that time of year to cosy up and feast your eyes on the luscious literary offerings for the year ahead.
We’ve rounded up a select few of 2023‘s major titles (apologies to those who missed the cut but this article may otherwise have ended up longer than War and Peace).
First up, it’s memoirs and we kick off the year with a certain Prince Harry’s autobiography, Spare, a reference to the phrase “the heir and the spare”, one assumes.
It’s expected to include the Prince’s full account behind his decision to give up royal duties and move to the US (although after Oprah and a six-hour Netflix documentary, how much more can be left to reveal?)
While it promises “raw, unflinching honesty”, we’ll have to wait and see just how many bridges it will burn back in the UK when it’s published. Released 10 January, Penguin.
Other biographies of note include that of renowned children’s author and poet Michael Rosen, who shares his story and life lessons in Getting Better. If anyone knows how to build resilience, it’s Rosen, who here explores both his grief at losing a child and his long battle against Covid-19. 2 February, Penguin.
Blake Morrison’s groundbreaking confessional memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? was published nearly 30 years ago and his latest book comes out on its anniversary.
Two Sisters tackles the guilt and shame familiar to many who have a family member with an addiction – Blake’s sister Gill struggled with alcoholism – while he also unearths the story behind his half-sister Josie. 16 February, HarperCollins.
On a lighter note, from Studio 54 to Sex and the City, fashion stylist Patricia Field tells all in her memoir Pat in the City – get it? HarperCollins, 14 February.
Actor and trans advocate Elliot Page will also release a coming-of-age memoir. 6 June, Penguin.
One of the most talked about forthcoming books in literary circles is Kevin Jared Hosain’s Hungry Ghosts, an epic saga about two contrasting families living in 1940s Trinidad who become embroiled in a number of mysterious and disturbing events.
The late, great Hilary Mantel described it as “deeply impressive” while fellow Booker winner Bernadine Evaristo said it is an “astonishing novel”. Bloomsbury, 16 February.
There’s more historical fiction from Kate Morton in Homecoming, which is set in her native Australia. An unsolved murder case dating back to the 1950s is thrust back into the spotlight when journalist Jess starts digging around in her nan’s Sydney home 60 years later. PanMacmillan, 13 April.
If contemporary fiction is more your thing, you could do worse than pick up a copy of RF Kuang’s Yellow Face, a shocking satirical thriller set in the cut-throat world of publishing. It tackles identity politics, toxic friendships and cultural appropriation with razor-sharp humour and pace. HarperCollins, 25 May.
For fantasy fans, Hell Bent is the highly anticipated sequel to Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. It sees the return of high school dropout Alex Stern in another fantastical tale of magic, monsters and violence with plenty of twists to keep you guessing. 10 January, Gollancz Publishing.
Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Now You See Us is also enjoying a lot of chatter – it’s about the lives of three migrant women who are domestic workers for rich families in Singapore and has been described as The Help meets Crazy Rich Asians. 25 May, HarperCollins.
Max Porter, the bestselling author of Grief is the Thing With Feathers and Lanny, returns with Shy, which documents a few strange hours in the life of a troubled teenage boy. 6 April, Faber & Faber.
The heavy hitters
Several of the literary scene’s most revered authors have books out this year, including one of our greatest living writers, Salman Rushdie.
Many will celebrate the publication of his fantastical epic tale Victory City with perhaps more fervour than usual as he continues his rehabilitation after being attacked earlier this year.
Set in 14th Century southern India, it features a nine-year-old girl who has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. 7 February, Random House.
The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis is the latest novel from the author who brought you Less Than Zero and American Psycho. It tracks a group of privileged Los Angeles high school friends as a serial killer strikes across the city. 17 January, Penguin Random House.
If you want to feel well-read in double-quick time, try Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering, which is set in a New York city tenement in the early days of the pandemic. It has a novel twist (pardon the pun) – each character has been secretly written by a different