New Year, New Books: January 2022 Releases
By Meg Jones, Sarah Ernestine, Alfie Kimmins and Georgia Wells
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
4 January, Viking Press USA
Jean Chen Ho’s debut novel charts the relationship between two Taiwanese American women, best friends since early childhood, as they attempt to deal with past and current traumas. Jane is reeling from the loss of her father, placing pressure on her relationship with a girl who may not be good for her, whilst Fiona ups and moves to New York to tend to a friend. Yet, their friendship binds them across distance and time, tethering them to secrets and betrayals, hopes and losses. Told from both perspectives across their teenage and adult years, this powerful, intense read is an intimate portrayal of friendship at its breaking point.
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
6 January, Fleet
This January, Xochitl Gonzalez’s firey debut novel, Olga Dies Dreaming, finally falls into the hands of readers. It follows the story of Olga, a New York wedding planner fighting for success in the face of social ambition, an absent mother and the ramifications of the 2017 Hurricane Maria that ravaged Puerto Rico. When storm winds blow Olga’s estranged mother to New York, their family is forced to face the past after twenty-seven years apart.
This sweeping story unravels tales of family, strife and those strong individuals who persevere. Olga Dies Dreaming is the next literary fiction read for fans of Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney’s Good Company and Nikki May’s Wahala.
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
11 January, Picador
Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara releases her first book since 2015 with To Paradise. Set across three centuries in the years 1893, 1993 and 2093, To Paradise portrays not just different time periods but different perspectives on the elusive promise of utopia.
The three sections are fused in a beguiling and inspired symphony telling the story of an alternate version of New York in 1893 where people may live and love however they wish. A descendent of a noble family chooses to resist their betrothal to a wealthy suitor and instead pursue a music teacher of no means. The story then follows a young Hawaiian man amid the AIDS epidemic of 1993, who lives with a much older wealthy partner, hiding his troubled past. The dystopian 2093 is divided by plagues and a totalitarian government, where the granddaughter of a scientist tries to navigate life without him as well as solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance.
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
11 January 2022, Headline Publishing Group
Sylvia Beach knows that there is no greater place in the world than Paris and when she decides to open an English-language bookshop, she cannot possibly predict the history that she is making. A woman dedicated to literature, Sylvia is determined for the world to see the works of Joyce’s Ulysses. But attempting to publish a banned book cannot run without risk. Sylvia puts her heart and reputation on the line as she must decide how far she is willing to go for her passion.
Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei
18 January, Henry Holt and Company
Debut author A.L. Graziadei grew up in New York watching Sabres hockey and their writing is inspired by both. Their novel, Icebreaker, follows the story of Micky James III, a seventeen-year-old college freshman. With his father and grandfather both legends in NHL (National Hockey League) history, Micky battles with the pressure to live up to their legacy as he joins the college hockey team. His, distractingly attractive teammate, Jaysen Caulfield, is his biggest competition for the team’s top spot. In this story of risk and romance, Micky must decide where his priorities lie on the ice and in his life. Icebreaker is the perfect new Young Adult contemporary romance to warm your hearts this winter.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
20 January, HarperVoyager
Daughter of the Moon Goddess, the debut novel of Sue Lynn Tan, is the highly anticipated first installment of the Celestial Kingdom Duology. In this novel, Sue Lynn Tan reimagines the legend of the Chinese moon goddess. The book contains a mixture of fantasy, magic, mythology and romance. Xingyin spent her childhood living on the moon, hidden away from the dangerous Celestial Emperor. When her magic is discovered, Xingyin must set out on a treacherous journey, battling creatures and murderous enemies, in an attempt to save her mother.