We Need New Stories: January Pre-orders
It's a bumper month for fiction lovers – and just as well, because we could all use stories that stop us doom-scrolling while telling us, in extended and engaged ways, about the world and how people are within it. Here's our top 20 novels for Jan, all available 10% off this month. Click on the titles to browse and buy.
First up, we have FIVE signed titles to excite you:
Luster (signed), Raven Leilani
If you've ever worked or loved (especially while navigating racism and sexism), Raven Leilani's Luster is the book for you. If you like stories juicy and complicated and absorbing, narrated with breathtaking wit, this book is for you.
The Death of Francis Bacon (signed), Max Porter
Can writing be shaped to condense itself and explode itself simultaneously, like the late paintings of Francis Bacon? If anyone can, Max Porter can. A bang-snap of a book, a January brain reset.
Asylum Road (signed), Olivia Sudjic
Borders and breakdowns: but Olivia Sudjic's book isn't just timely and telling, it's also a gift in the telling, a subtle exploration of the precarious promise of safety in social convention.
The War of the Poor (signed), Eric Vuillard, translated by Mark Polizzotti
Bienvenue à C16th Europe where the controversial radical theologian Thomas Müntzer leads a peasants' uprising against both church and state. Spoiler: things end bloodily – but Müntzer's message reverberates.
little scratch (signed), Rebecca Watson
The title makes me think of Joni Mitchell's "Little Green" and the book has the same mesmeric weaving-together of intimate thought and daily life, lyric and precise in accounting for how we live with trauma.
Right After the Weather, Carol Anshaw
Author of the legendary Aquamarine is back with more queer insight. With a protagonist who evaluates people based on their home decor, Right after the Weather is full of love-to-hate characters making startling choices.
The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, Gina Apostol
Insurrecto, Apostol's first novel to be available in the UK, was such a stunning mindfuck, layering screenplay, diary, history, Internet conspiracy and karaoke, that I'll be dropping everything to read this.
Aphasia, Mauro Javier Cardenas
His sister has disappeared and his ex-wife is haunted by her past, so Antonio does what any man would do: obsessively visits a pick-up artists' site and wonders why his mother left his father. Does history have to repeat?
Luckenbooth, Jenni Fagan
One Edinburgh tenement building. A century of secrets, starting with the devil's daughter. Jenni Fagan's new novel strikes the same perfect blend of wild, wyrd imagination and social rage as The Sunlight Pilgrims.
The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, Richard Flanagan
It's a month of weird: Richard Flanagan offers an allegory of climate chaos in this novel of disappearing body parts, a window to another dimension, second sight and how we avoid confronting grief.
Unsettled Ground, Claire Fuller
Also confronting loss is Claire Fuller's follow-up to the compulsive Bitter Orange. It's a melancholy tale of twins alone against the world, coming to terms with hidden truths and lost lives.
Agency, William Gibson
Master pattern recogniser William Gibson is back with a heart rush of a novel about AI, alternative histories, panoptical police, the grandfather paradox, and being careful what you wish for.
Mrs Death Misses Death, Salena Godden
Death is a working-class Black woman and she's tired and fed up. When she meets Wolf, a young writer, she starts sharing her stories and observations from a millennia-long lifetime of watching humanity.
A Burning, Magha Majumdar
A single dramatic event alters the lives of three very different characters irrevocably, revealing a nation in freefall towards fundamentalism as freedom of expression is silenced.
Fragile Monsters, Catherine Menon
When Durga, back in rural Malaysia for the summer, starts asking her grandmother Mary questions, secrets emerge that entwine family, empire and the force of nature itself. A stunning, gripping debut.
A River Called Time, Courttia Newland
Epic speculative fiction that takes on both inequality and injustice, and inspiration and the spirit. In the Ark, an elite refuge, Markriss has to prove his worth but hide his secret, while trying to understand his history.
Detransition, Baby, Torrey Peters
Modern love and parenting, gender identity, friendship and urban living, what it takes to get together and get through: it's all here in this lovely novel about expecting when you're unexpected.
Low, Jeet Thayil
A rollercoaster of drug tourism: fast-paced, sharply-observed and just a little sweaty. Jeet Thayil's third novel takes you for a hell of a ride.
The Yield, Tara June Winch
Prize-winner & game-changer from the Wiradjuri author, who told Sian Cain: “This book can’t just be for me… This is just my heart on a plate. And I want to get it right.”
We are All Birds of Uganda, Hafsa Zayyan
Winner of the inaugural Merky Books' New Writers Prize, Hafsa Zayyan's debut is a deeply absorbing, deeply-felt multi-generational tale of post-colonial migration and return.