10 Novels to Look Forward to in 2016

'My Name is Lucy Barton' by Elizabeth Strout is among the many highly-anticipated novels to come out this year. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Strout)

By : Nico Novito | on 7:40 PM January 07, 2016
Category : Life & Style, Arts & Culture

Jakarta. After a luminous year in literature that saw new novels from Harper Lee and Jonathan Franzen alongside hitherto lesser-known authors like Lauren Groff and Hanya Yanagihara, 2016 is slated to bring more interesting titles to add to your ever-expanding reading list.

Below, we highlight ten of the most anticipated novels that will be released this year.

1. 'Here I Am' by Jonathan Safran Foer

Ten years after publishing “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Jonathan Safran Foer is back with his third novel, due out in September. In “Here I Am,” the author focuses his lens on a Jewish family in present-day Washington. As the parent's divorce looms, their relatives are visiting from Israel for the bar mitzvah of one of their three sons.

The fictional drama is set against the Middle East region, which is struck with a catastrophic earthquake. According to the New York Times, the new novel strikes a similar note with Foer’s previous works, which have grappled with Jewish identity and the way families respond to tragedy.

Release date: September

2. 'My Name Is Lucy Barton' by Elizabeth Strout

This slim new novel of Elizabeth Strout, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Olive Kitteridge,” centers on the titular protagonist who is reconnected with her mother. A visit from her long-lost mother when Lucy Barton is recovering from a surgery brings back memories and longing from her past. An early review in the Washington Post praises Strout as being “in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times.”

Release date: Jan. 12.

3. 'The High Mountains of Portugal' by Yann Martell

Yann Martell is best known for his 2001 fantasy novel “Life of Pi,” which was adapted into a feature film by Ang Lee four years ago. Now in “The High Mountains of Portugal,” the Canadian author takes the reader on a trip through Portugal in the early twentieth century, as a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal that gives clues on an artifact that can redefine history. His quest — and the book — continues until fifty years later when a Canadian senator takes refuge in a Portuguese village to grieve the passing of his wife.

Release date: Feb. 2

4. 'Innocents and Others' by Dana Spiotta

Dana Spiotta, whose 2011 novel “Stone Arabia” received wide critical acclaim, has written a new novel revolving around film, work and love. “Innocents and Others” follows filmmakers Meadow and Carrie, who together grow up as best friends in Los Angeles in the 1980's. As their views on things like movie-making, sex and morality start to differ, they encounter a mysterious older woman named Jenny, who likes to cold-call powerful men and seduce them.

Release date: March 8

5. 'My Struggle: Book Five' by Karl Ove Knausgaard

When Karl Ove Knausgaard’s series of autobiographical novels, “My Struggle,” was translated into English for the first time, it instantly became the subject of scrutiny and adoration in the literary world — writer Zadie Smith once said she needed his books “like crack.”

The fans of the Norwegian author can finally breathe a sigh of relief when the English edition of book five is out this March. This new installment will focus on the nineteen-year-old version of the author as he faces writer’s block and a shattering love affair.

Release date: March 3

6. 'Zero K' by Don DeLillo

Considered as one of the finest living American novelists, Don DeLillo delves into the science of cheating death in “Zero K.” The novel takes a look at Ross Lockhart, an investor in a secret compound where human bodies can be preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can bring them back to life, as his ailing wife volunteers to the project. All of this is narrated by Ross’s son, Jeff, who disagrees with his father’s point of view.

Release date: May 10

7. 'Eligible' by Curtis Sittenfeld

For her new novel, best-selling author Curtis Sittenfeld takes a page — and some more — out of Jane Austen, as “Eligible” retells the beloved “Pride and Prejudice” in modern setting.

In this homage to the legendary English novelist and brave literary experiment, Sittenfeld turns Elizabeth Bennet (or simply Liz) into a magazine writer in her late thirties who lives in New York with her yoga instructor sister, Jane. They return to their childhood home in Cincinatti when their father gets sick — and Mrs. Bennet cannot wait to marry off her daughters. Of course, there will be a Mr. Darcy who, in this book, happens to be a neurosurgeon.

Release date: April 19

8. 'Modern Lovers' by Emma Straub

Coming from the best-selling author of “The Vacationers,” Emma Straub’s new novel focuses on a tight-knit group of friends and former college bandmates as they navigate adult lives — getting married, starting businesses and families, having kids now going to college  — while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth.

If Straub’s previous novel is any indication of things to come, “Modern Lovers” will be a pleasurable book inhabited of finely drawn characters — just in time for the upcoming summer. 

Release date: May 31

9. 'The Noise of Time' by Julian Barnes

British author Julian Barnes took inspiration from real-life Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich for his upcoming novel, “The Noise of Time.” The book guides the readers through the career of Shostakovich as he lives under the totalitarian regime of Stalin in the Soviet Union in the 1930's. The novel will be a follow-up to his Man Booker Prize-winning title, “The Sense of an Ending.”

Release date: May 10

10. 'Moonglow' by Michael Chabon

The only clue about Michael Chabon’s new novel that has already been circulated in the media is that it will concern “friendship, faith and creation” — but that does not stop his fans from anticipating “Moonglow.”

In 2001, the author won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” which tells the story of two Jewish cousins — an artist and a writer — who become famous for their comics. Most recently, Chabon published “Telegraph Avenue,” a music-influenced book on two families in San Francisco, in 2012.

Release date: June 7

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