Books Magazine

New Releases for 2016

By Bookshy @bookshybooks
With only 5 weeks to go until 2015 ends (where did the year go?) I'm looking forward to 2016, and the books to be excited about. First, congratulations to Cassava Republic who will be launching in the UK in April 2016. According to The Bookseller, Cassava's list includes: 

New Releases for 2016

Image via Cassava Republic's
Facebook page

'Elnathan John's "breathtakingly beautiful" Born on a Tuesday, which tackles unexplored aspects of  friendship, love, trauma and politics in recent northern Nigerian history, Sarah Ladipo Manyika's "mesmerising" Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, a subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss and the erotic yearnings of an older woman, along with the "pulsating" crime novels Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle and The Lazarus Effect by H.J. Golokai. The list also features Abubakar Adam Ibrahim's Season of Crimson Blossoms - a "controversial and gripping story" of an affair between a devoted Muslim grandmother and a 25-year-old drug dealer and political thug.'
I'll be sharing more details on these books (like if Born on a Tuesday and Season of Crimson Blossoms have different covers for the UK edition than the Nigerian ones) the more I find out.

Also, while at the Ake Festival (a post on my experience will be up soon - I'm still trying to recover from all the awesomeness) we heard about a lot of forthcoming releases from authors. Helon Habila read an excerpt from a yet to be finished book which will be set in Berlin and features a novelist and his painter wife; Maaza Mengiste is also currently working on a second novel, as is Vamba Sheriff, and Chris Abani - whose next novel is set in Maiduguri. Cassava Republic is also putting together a collection of queer fiction from lesbian and bisexual women (if I remember correctly). 

Finally, MaThoko's Books has sent out a call for submissions for Queer Africa II - the follow-up of its award winning anthology, Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction, and Teju Cole's collection of essays on art, literature, photography, and politics, Known and Strange Things, published by Random House and Faber & Faber will also be out in Autumn 2016. There's already so much to look forward to, but until then, here are 8 more new releases  in 2016.

Ahlem Mosteghanemi's The Dust of Promises (January 14 2016)
New Releases for 2016
The final novel in the international bestselling trilogy from 'literary phenomenon' (Elle) Ahlem Mosteghanemi, The Dust of Promises, is a haunting, elegiac story of love, memory and betrayal - and of what it means to come home. 

Still heartsick over the break-up of his relationship with the alluring, elusive novelist Hayat, the narrator of The Dust of Promises finds himself adrift in Paris, where he has come to receive a photography award. His photograph of a traumatised war-orphan has been declared profoundly affecting by the judges, but he knows that no picture can ever fully capture the desolation and destruction he has witnessed in his Algerian homeland. When he stumbles into an art exhibition on one of the capital's side streets, he is struck by the power of the paintings and feels impelled to learn more about the artist – an Algerian exile whose painful longing for the country he has lost shines out of his work. The artist is none other than Khaled, the man who haunted the pages of Hayat's first novel, just as the narrator was inextricably entangled in her second. As the two men embark on a tentative friendship, a twist of fate brings Hayat herself to France, where the destinies of all of them will once again collide.

Spanning more than half a century of Algeria's tumultuous recent history, this is a poignant tale of secret lovers brought together and pulled apart as they navigate Algeria's changing political landscape from the heady, bright peaks of independence to the dark depths of corruption and disillusionments this is a sweeping epic and an arresting ode to a once great country. 

Short Story Day Africa's Water: New Short Fiction from Africa  (March 17 2016)

New Releases for 2016
SSDA's third anthology collection, edited by Nick Mulgrew and Karina Szczurek, aims to break the one-dimensional view of African storytelling and fiction writing. The stories in this anthology explore true and alternative African culture through a competition on the theme of Water. The winner of the SSDA prize for Short Fiction, South African author Cat Hellisen, with her winning story The Worme Bridge, was announced at the Ake Arts & Book Festival. 

The winning story, along with the rest of the 2015 longlist (which comprised of 21 short stories) will be in Water: New Short Fiction from Africa. The collection features a number of Caine Prize-winning and nominated authors including Efemia Chela and Pede Hollist, as well as a host of exciting emerging writers and established favourites from throughout the African continent and diaspora.

Ibrahim Essa's The Televangelist - translated by Jonathan Wright (April 30 2016)

New Releases for 2016
Published by Hoopoe (a new imprint of the American University in Cairo Press), and shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, meet Hatem el-Shenawi, a Muslim TV preacher who has won fame and fortune through his show delivering Islam to the masses. 

Affable, sharp-witted, and well-connected to the government and business elite of Cairo, Shenawi seems at the top of his game. But when he is entrusted with a dangerous secret, one that could tip the whole country into chaos, the double-edged sword of his celebrity threatens him with scandal and ruin as he is drawn deeper into political intrigue and the dark underbelly of the state. 

Fast-paced and brilliantly observed, The Televangelist, takes us on a journey into the corrupt nexus of power, money, media, and religious performance that has dominated Egypt in recent years. 

Yewande Omotoso's The Woman Next Door (May 5 2016)
Published by Chatto & Windus, two wickedly funny old women show us it's never too late to find friendship. Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hatred and pruning both with a vim and zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty. But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the sniping and bickering softens into lively debate, and fromthere into memories shared. The big question is whether these glimpses of common ground could ever transforminto a (rather spiky) formof friendship. Or is it far too late for these two ever to change their spots? 

Youssef Fadel's A Rare Blue Bird Flies With Me - translated by Jonathan Smolin (May 30 2016)

New Releases for 2016
First published in Arabic in 2013 and shortlisted for the International Prize for Arab Fiction, Hoopoe brings us the English translation. It's spring 1990 in a dingy small-town Moroccan bar. Zina is serving drinks when a mysterious man approaches her. The man gives Zina a handwritten note from her husband, Aziz, who disappeared the day after their wedding, eighteen years ago, after participating in the failed 1972 coup against King Hassan II. Zina has spent the past eighteen years searching for Azia, who has been imprisoned in inhuman conditions in a solitary cell inside a secret desert jail. Will Zina finally find Aziz? Moving back and forth between 1990 and the past, A Rare Blue Bird That Flies With Me recounts the painful circumstances that brought Zina and Aziz together and the torture after the 1972 coup that tore them apart. Told from the perspective of several narrators - including Zina, Aziz, Aziz's two tailors - Youssef Fadel's novel is a masterful history of modern Morocco.
Parker Bilal's City of Jackals: A Makana Mystery (June 7 2016)
New Releases for 2016
Published by Bloomsbury USA, this is the fifth thriller in this 'excellent', 'must-read' series, featuring  'the perfect 21st-century detective', Makana. Mourad Hafiz appears to have dropped out of university and disappeared. Engaged by his family to try and find him, Makana comes to believe that the Hafiz boy became involved in some kind of political activity just prior to his disappearance. But before he can discover more, the investigation is sidetracked: a severed head turns up on the riverbank next to his home, and Makana finds himself drawn into ethnic rivalry and gang war among young men from South Sudan. The trail leads from a church in the slums and the benevolent work of the large-than-life Rev. Preston Corbis and sister Liz to the enigmatic Ihsan Qaddus and the Hesira Institute. 

The fifth installment of this acclaimed series is set in Egypt in December 2005. While Cairo is tor by the protests by South Sudanese refugees demanding their rights, President Mubarak has just been re-elected by a dubious 88 per cent majority in the country's first multi-party elections. In response to what appears to be flagrant election-rigging, there are early stirrings of organised political opposition to the regime. Change is afoot and Makana is in danger of being swept away in the seismic shifts of his adopted nation. 

Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing (June 7 2016)

New Releases for 2016
Published by Penguin Random House, this is a riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.

Two half sisters, Effa and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different tribal villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effa is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's novel moves through histories and geographies and captures - with outstanding economy and force - the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.

Imbolo Mbue's Behold the Dreamers (August 23 2016)
New Releases for 2016
Published by Penguin Random House, this is a debut novel about an immigrant couple striving to get ahead as the Great Recession hits home. With profound empathy, keen insight, and sly wit, Imbolo Mbue has written a compulsively readable story about marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream. 

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Borthers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty - and Jende is eager to please. Clark's wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at their summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future. 

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers' facades. 

Then the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Desperate to keep Jende's job, which grows more tenuous by the day, the Jongas try to protect the Edwardses from certain truths, even as their own marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

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