Anticipating the exciting new books of the year can be tricky. Often my personal favorites will be the out-of-nowhere titles I've never heard of, like 2007's workplace satire Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. The Guardian anticipates a resurgence of fiction in 2009, anticipating new novels from the likes of Martin Amis and Thomas Pynchon. The late Roberto Bolaño's 2666, although published in November, should be considered an "honorary" 2009 novel, since it's more than 900 pages: The New Yorker magazine's Book Bench blog has dubbed January 2009 "National Reading 2666 Month."
This spring features three intriguing-sounding books from authors with local connections:
Bound South - Susan Rebecca White (Feb. 10). The debut novel by an author born in bred in Atlanta offers a portrait of the city from the view of three women seeking to find themselves and their place in the New South. The Margaret Mitchell House hosts an author event for White on Feb. 9.
The Age of Orphans Laleh Khadivi (March 3). A fellow in Emory University's Creative Writing Program, Khadivi received a 2008 Whiting Writers' Award for this historical novel set in Iran during the first Shah's rise to power.
The King James Conspiracy Phillip DePoy (May 12). The playwright, mystery novelist and Creative Loafing Fiction Contest judge pens a historical mystery set around the creation of the King James Bible. It sounds more Name of the Rose than Da Vinci Code.
Here's a handful of other potentially cool books scheduled for 2009 publication; avid readers should feel free to suggest others:
Beat the Reaper Josh Bazell (Jan. 7). This "hot" thriller (meaning it already has a movie deal) involves a hitman turned E.R. doctor.
The Steel Remains Richard K. Morgan (Jan. 20) Morgan, a talented 'post-cyberpunk' sci fi novelist takes on the fantasy genre with reportedly visceral, pungent results.
Drood Dan Simmons (Feb. 9) A high literate author who writes across genres offers a long historical thriller largely involving... Charles Dickens?
Fool Christopher Moore (Feb. 10 ). A comic/revisionist take on 'King Lear' by a highly popular comedic cult novelist (who'll be visiting Wordsmith Books on Feb. 23).
Sunnyside Glen David Gold (May 5). Charlie Chaplin is one of the main characters of this intriguing, peculiar-sounding novel of the early 20th century, from the author of the awesome Houdini-era thriller Carter Beats the Devil.
The City & the City China Mieville (May 26). An author whose work I easily obsess over, Mieville writes fiction that encompasses horror, fantasy, sci fi and socialist politics, and here he pens a murder mystery with supernatural overtones.
Plus two big books, long in the works, just might see the light of day this fall:
Bloods a Rover James Ellroy (Sep. 8). The long-awaited final novel in the "Underworld USA" trilogy from the author of L.A. Confidential.
A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin (Oct. 27). The fifth book in a sprawling, oft-delayed fantasy epic that's currently being developed as a series by HBO. The first five volumes are insanely great.
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