Here are some of the books publishers and booksellers are excited about as the New Year approaches
2022 is over and it’s as good a time as any to look for the new and exciting books on the way. While authors like Margaret Atwood, Irfan Javed, Paul Auster and Dr Nasir Abbas Nayyar are delivering new titles this year – the Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram, has written a book that promises to be a necessary addition to every cricket lover’s bookshelf.
Below we have rounded up some new arrivals that booksellers and publishers look forward to in 2023.
The genres I’m looking forward to in 2023 are memoir and auto-fiction. These are genres I keep gravitating to, especially while writing – being vital repositories of myth, lore, and fairy tale, where we recreate and unearth our lives’ stories through a universal structure and meaning. Some of the memoirs I’m looking forward to reading in the coming months are Toby Litt’sA Writer’s Diary, Davon Loeb’s The In-Betweens: A Lyrical Memoir, and Maggie Smith’s You Could Make This Place Beautiful. The reading practice I follow and a piece of advice I’d give to any writer is to read widely in the genre they’re writing in and to always include poetry. Writing prose, discovering and understanding the nuances of language in order to find one’s own voice, is impossible without poetry. A book I’m excited to have with me is Jose Olivarez’s collection of poems Promises of Gold – a rich and varied exploration of love, which I feel is fundamental to the essence of any piece of work.
Retellings, historical fiction and origin stories never fail to fascinate me. I’m curious to see how Renee Rosen crafts her story of Estee Lauder in her upcoming novel Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl. I’m also interested to read Eleanor Catton’s next novel after The Luminaries (2013) – Birnam Wood.
– The writer is the founder of Àla Books and Authors
Let us begin with Ashiana-i-Ghurbat say AshiandarAshian, the autobiography of Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik. At its core, it is the story of how a boy born in a small town in British India became one of the most prominent intellectuals of Pakistan with several accolades to his name - a journey of grit, perseverance and hard work without any compromise on values. It is a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration.
Next up is NayeNaqaad kay Naam Khatootby Dr Nasir Abbas Nayyar, who is an intellectual powerhouse. A teacher, an author, a critic and a storyteller, continues to make his mark in all these fields. His upcoming book demonstrates once again how he continues to striving to make criticism accessible to his readers. He has the ability to explain the most difficult concepts simply without compromising on their meaning. More importantly, his command over the craft of writing will leave the reader wanting more.
Last but certainly not the least, Irfan Javed’sAadmi is about to hit the bookshelves. This is the third volume in his series of character sketches. The first two, Darwazay and Surkhaab were immensely popular amongst critics and lay readers. We hope for a similar response for the third one. Character sketches provide a rare opportunity to get deeper insights into the lives of public figures. They are more than mere descriptions. The author has the responsibility of not only talking about well-known public figures but also of weaving in storytelling, conversations and his own insights, often highlighting aspects that others might have missed. This is something Irfan Javed accomplishes with apparent ease.
– The writer is the CEO of Sang-e-meel Publications
Safinah Danish Elahi
2023 is a big year for me in terms of publishing as well as writing. I have to put to good use in the coming year what I learnt during my residency and master’s. I’m looking forward to some books Reverie is publishing; some are in the pipeline. Two Booker Prize winners will likely be released in Pakistan next year, as well as a collection of essays by a lovely writer from Karachi. Two books I’m really looking forward to are: Good For a Girl, a memoir by Lauren Fleshman about falling in love with running as a girl. This is a much-awaited book globally, and I can relate to it since I’m somewhat a runner too. The second book is Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes, one of my favourite authors; even though she writes commercial fiction that’s easily adapted to screen – her books flow and sell well.
On the local front, Taha Kehar and Awais Khan are also set to release their books in the coming year. My own book, The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon is set to be released in 2023, so there is a lot to be excited about.
– The writer is a novelist and founder of an award-winning publishing house, Reverie Publishers.
From Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise flying off of shelves to the compelling fantasy Babel, 2022 was a big year for books. Booktok recommendations took the world by storm as well, from controversial Colleen Hoover books to niche fantasy fiction becoming popular and making their way to shelves in bookstores. Like every other year, there are certain books that readers are desperately waiting to curl up with, all set to release in 2023.
Fans of Margaret Atwood are in luck, as the acclaimed author is set to release her short story collection Old Babes in the Wood early next year. The stories revolve around families, love and loss. Following a similar theme is the highly awaited memoir, Spare, by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. The biography is likely to provide more insights into royal duties, losing his mother and his decision to leave the royal family. Jada Pinkett Smith is also writing her memoir, though the release dates remain unknown.
Exciting news for rom-com readers: Emily Henry’s Happy Place, set for release in April 2023, follows a couple that has recently broken up and has no choice but to meet at a gathering with old friends. Curtis Sittenfield is back with another humorous novel following a comedy writer who falls in love with a famous pop star after he appears on her show in the book Romantic Comedy.
Following the success of Babel, RF Kuang is expected to release another razor-sharp novel titled Yellowface, which deals with anti-Asian sentiments and white privilege. Paul Auster has also decided to tackle another American debacle with his book Bloodbath Nation, which deals with American gun laws and violence, set for release in January 2023.
– The writer is head of communications at The Last Word bookshop
In the tumultuous times we live in, reading is a source of respite and a refuge for those who love the written word. We, at Liberty Publishing, are excited about 2023 as it holds on the horizon riveting new titles that promise to entertain and add a sparkle to the rigours of the daily grind. There are two titles in particular that we are looking forward to sharing with the Pakistani readership. The non-fiction title we’re thrilled to publish is Sultan - A Memoir by Wasim Akram. Sultan is a no-holds-barred glimpse into the celebrated and often controversial career of the Sultan of Swing, the legendary Wasim Akram. A necessary addition to every cricket lover’s bookshelf, Sultan raises the curtain on the public and private life of Wasim Akram and is packed with juicy details that reveal the all-too-human man behind the myth. From match-fixing to his addiction to cocaine and the courtship with his wonderful wife, Shaneira, Akram shares everything about his life’s journey. This is a book not to be missed. While we have numerous fascinating books lined up for 2023, another one we’re looking forward to tremendously is Between You, Me and the Four Walls by the inimitable satirist Moni Mohsin. The book is a continuation of the much-loved Diary of a Social Butterfly and covers the years from 2014 right up to the Covid era that changed the world and gave us with the term “the new normal”. In her signature tongue-in-cheek style, the social butterfly has something to say about all the adventures and misadventures of the haves and have-mores from Lahore to London. The politics of house help, the dynamics of dressing up for high-society funerals and the economics of the luxury art world are all brought to the fore through the biting wit and laugh-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts style of Moni Mohsin. This read is guaranteed to have readers in stitches and soften the bite of a bad day.
– The writer is Editor of Liberty Publishing
1946. The Last War of Independence. The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny By Pramod Kapoor: This is a remarkable book about a critical period of the history of India a little over a year before the Partition, of which very little is known and which seems to have been deliberately brushed under the carpet, indeed even suppressed. In February 1946, sailors of the Royal Indian Navy mutinied in Karachi, Madras, Bombay and 18 other shore establishments across India. Their anger was caused by the terrible service conditions, racism, insults and broken recruitment promises. In less than 48 hours, 20,000 sailors took over 78 ships as well as ports across India and replaced the British flag with the entwined flags of the Muslim League, Congress and the communists. The British panicked and announced a Cabinet Mission to discuss the modalities of the transfer of power. The mutiny sparked revolts in other branches of the armed forces. This hastened the transfer of power. Yet this seminal event which inspired song, art, film and theatre, has been edited out of the popular narratives of the Freedom Movement. Sadly, this neglected event was suppressed both by the colonial masters and the Congress and Muslim League. It led to public disagreements between Gandhi and Aruna Asaf Ali and between Sardar Patel and Nehru. As late as 1965, the Congress government of West Bengal tried every trick in the book to stop the performance of a play by UtpalDutt based on the 1946 mutiny, Kallol (Storm), from being staged in Minerva Theatre, Kolkata. Despite Congress’s obstructions, the play was staged to record audiences. This event was meticulously researched by the author, Pramod Kapoor, whose compelling narrative is a nail-biting, blow-by-blow historic account of a hidden chapter of our history.
From My Wounded Heart With Love by Claudia Arnold: This book is an open and honest personal narrative on love, amputated breasts, cancer and the loss of a loved one. Anja Caspary writes in moving, gripping prose her story of losing her beloved husband just when she had won her battle against cancer. She writes about how she faced existential crises and how love can transcend death. This is more than a journey of a cancer survivor. It is an uplifting and inspiring story of courage, love, hope and relationships told with sensitivity. The translator, Claudia Arnold, has translated the book in its every nuance in wonderful prose while remaining faithful to the mood and feelings of the author.
– The writer is the founder and managing director of Lightstone Publishers
As we end a very productive 2022, we are keen to begin 2023, which promises to be an even more eventful year for us as far as publishing is concerned. The first half of the coming year will see the publication of Khushboo ki Deewar kay Peechay by Mohammad Hameed Shahid, an autobiography of the renowned short story writer, novelist and literary critic. The book promises to be different from conventional autobiographies in the refreshing way the author tells his story – a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
Next up, we have IdharDoobay, UdharNiklay by SohailParwaz, an invigorating account of Kakul Academy in a manner unlike any you may have come across in books about the same subject. This is a book we are very excited about and definitely not to be missed. We are also very happy to publish Leena Hashir’s latest book, Dhanak Ka Athwaan Rung, next year.
– The writer heads Book Corner, Jhelum