By Iona Fleming, Ayman Sabir and Katie Farr
From fantasy to romance, historical fiction to thrillers, 2024 promises to be an exciting year of excellent debuts and returns from well-known authors. Here are some of the most anticipated books of 2024.
Coming soon is Rebecca K Reilly’s Greta and Valdin, which will be released by Hutchinson Heinemann on 8 February. In her debut novel, Reilly, a Maoori novelist from Waitaakere, New Zealand, explores the importance of family through titular siblings Greta and Valdin as they reckon with their multiracial identities, queerness and attempts at love against the background of the Vladisavljevic family. The novel was released in 2021 in New Zealand and has been hailed as a hilarious and bittersweet celebration of the idiosyncrasies of family life, and the complexities of love.
Kristen Perrin’s mystery novel How to Solve Your Own Murder will be published by Dutton on 26 March. Set in 1965 and the present day, Perrin’s novel follows Frances Adams as she spends decades trying to solve her own murder before it happens, while present-day Annie Adams works to unravel her great-aunt’s secrets to catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim. In an original whodunnit mystery filled with an eccentric cast of characters that hark back to Agatha Christie’s novels, Perrin weaves an entertaining, charming and eccentric tale which promises a new player on the mystery scene.
Elizabeth O’Connor’s devastating debut novel Whale Fall is to be released on 25 April from Pan MacMillan. Set in 1938 on a remote island off the Welsh coast, Whale Fall is the story of a young woman named Manod, longing for something more than her isolated life. When a whale beaches on the shore of the island, two anthropologists arrive from the mainland, Manod becoming their guide and translator. While at first seeing the newcomers as an opportunity to break free from the island, she soon becomes entangled in their relationship, with her future and the future of her community feeling more uncertain than ever. This tale of loss and isolation seems sure to be a poignant and emotional read.
The thought-provoking debut novel The Ministry of Time by award-winning British Cambodian author Kaliane Bradley, to be published by Hodder & Stoughton on 7 May, is a melange of time travel, love story and political commentary. Both a romance and a comedy, it tells the story of an experimental government project which transports expatriates from the past to the present - namely, Victorian polar explorer Commander Graham Gore. Gore and the woman assigned to him (known only as “the bridge”) are forced to confront the uncomfortable reality of the project. In this moving narrative which questions colonial structures, Bradley deftly articulates the intricacies of mixed-race heritage in the modern day.
On 4 June, Tin House Books brings us Fire Exit, the debut novel from Morgan Talty, author of the award-winning short story collection Night of the Living Rez. The novel follows Charles Lamosway, who has spent two decades watching as his daughter Elizabeth is raised on the nearby Penobscot Reservation in Maine – her real father’s identity a secret to both Elizabeth and Charles’s mother Louise. As Charles wrestles with his desire to finally reveal his identity to his daughter, he is forced to confront his past, including the tragic death of his stepfather. Sparse and honest, Fire Exit delves into questions of identity, culture, inheritance and manhood.
4 July kicks off with the ultimate historical fiction, fairy-tale-like story by Nigerian American author O.O. Sangoyomi, Masquerade. Published by Forge Books, Sangoyomi’s debut novel consists of a lyrical tale that narrates the celebratory story of Ódódó’s battle of self- discovery and freedom. After the cruel king of Yorúbalánd conquers Ódódó’s hometown, women’s living conditions worsen incredibly, and Ódódó finds herself kidnapped and forced into marrying the king against her will. But despite this downside, the protagonist marvels at the luxurious lifestyle that she’s now experiencing, surrounded by an abundance of power and patriarchy. Bringing together Sangoyomi’s impeccable ability to bring real West African history to life and her fondness for mythology and history, this novel is a rebirth of the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone.
Pan Macmillan offers us a wonderful thriller treat with their publication of We Are Hunted by author Tomi Oyemakinde on 29 August. The novel features seventeen-year-old Femis, whose father invites him and his brother on a top-secret business trip to a mysterious, faraway land. The family are welcomed in amazement by a range of spectacular animals and futuristic pieces of technology, alongside its curator Richard Jenkins. However, their warm welcome soon dissipates as the land’s secret is disclosed and Femi finds himself in great jeopardy, left to decide who is worthy to trust his life with. Oyemakinde explores gripping themes of survival and the dangers of capitalism.
We can’t wait to read all these great books and more in 2024. We also are looking to interview new authors this year. If you’re an author or agent and would be interested in an interview, please reach out to The Publishing Post via the email on our website.