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22nd January 2020

Reads for 2020

Books editor Shaheena lists a few books to look out for in 2020
Reads for 2020
Photo: innviertlerin @Pixabay

We’re into a new decade, hopefully one which promises as many inspiring, harrowing, heart-wrenching, freeing, interrogative and overall impressing reads as the last.

Looking at the upcoming titles for 2020, this year is shaping up to be a great year for fiction. Here is a list of just a few reads to look out for this year, though we’ll have reviews up for you to compare with your own reading soon enough.

Agency, by William Gibson, 21st January

Agency is a novel that lets you indulge in the political ‘what-ifs’ of the last few major elections. We’ve all surely asked ourselves what the world might have looked like had Hillary come into office in 2017, or rather had Trump not come into office.

Gibson’s Agency, described as a ‘prequel’ and a ‘sequel’ to his 2014 novel The Peripheral, allows a reader to explore this reality, or his version of this realityThe novel explores diverging time lines. One being an alternative outcome to the 2017 elections and another a millenia ahead of us.

It is a novel that uses a familiar landscape to map a larger story of the potentialities of time travel, and creates space to indulge in the what-ifs some of us can’t help but contemplate.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, 30th January

Anappara’s debut novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line hands over its narrative agency to nine year old Jai. Jai is a young child living in Kerala with, like all young kids, an excitable imagination.

Jai’s perspective enables a reader insight into the every-day life lived by the community of Kerala, with a poignant twist. People are disappearing in Jai’s home town. Specifically, children. Children are going missing and, after a school friend disappears, Jai makes it his responsibility to figure out what is happening.

If you’re interested in Anappara’s novel, you can read through a short extract on the Penguin Random House website.

The Recovery of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel 3rd March

Wrobel creates an intricate though unhealthy relationship between mother and daughter in her novel The Recovery of Rose Gold. Lee Child calls Wrobel ‘a writer to watch’ in response to her novel.

Her novel sees two women, one who has been immeasurably wronged by her controlling mother and one whose vying for control has left her daughter suspicious, living together again. With Rose Gold’s infant son in the mix, her relationship with her mother, Patty Watts, is characterised by suspicion.

Wrobel asks, through her novel, whether what lengths we should go to in order to accept somebody who has wronged us back into our lives. The relationship of mother and daughter makes this an especially tense read to navigate.

Poor by Caleb Femi 30th July

Caleb Femi recounts his experiences in his collection of poetry, Poor. Growing up young and black in North Peckham, Femi’s experiences include episodes of police violence and profiling, the support of his community living on his estate, and his pursuit for love.

These experiences are reflected in his collection of poetry. Imagery in his poetry is reflective of the architecture of the now demolished estate he grew up in. His poetry is punctuated by his own photography, interwoven in the pages of the collection.

His poetry is an interesting exploration of how place shapes and shaped the community, the experiences and the body of his work set to be published in July this year.

Whilst there are many more books we’d like to recommend all at once, these are just a few of the titles we’re anticipating for 2020.

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