Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia by Gary J Bass (Picador/Knopf)
A magisterial history of the trial of Japan’s wartime leaders — the largely overlooked Asian counterpart to Nuremberg — combines battlefield action, dramatic courtroom battles and the formative years that set the stage for the Asian postwar era.
The Wild Men: The Remarkable Story of Britain’s First Labour Government by David Torrance (Bloomsbury)
In a year when the Labour party may return to office in the UK, a history of its first spell in government a century ago, as told through the stories of some of the key players, offers many resonating insights.
The Algorithm: How AI Decides Who Gets Hired, Monitored, Promoted and Fired and Why We Need to Fight Back by Hilke Schellmann (Hachette)
One of scores of new books on artificial intelligence and how it will shape our future, this one focuses on how the technology is already deployed in personnel decisions in the workplace — with alarming results.
The Political Thought of Xi Jinping by Steve Tsang and Olivia Cheung (OUP)
With “Xi Jinping Thought” now the official dogma of the Chinese Communist party, this book by UK-based experts gives a detailed examination of the policy and its national and global implications.
Capitalism and Crises: How to Fix Them by Colin Mayer (OUP) A searching examination from a professor of management of how capitalism operates — in particular where and why it fails — takes a critical look at the role of the key driver in the system: profit.
Missing Person, Or My Grandmother’s Secrets by Clair Wills (Allen Lane)
An Irish family memoir of unmarried motherhood through the generations explores the secrets families keep and the violence carried out in their name.
Where We Come From: Rap, Home and Hope in Modern Britain by Aniefiok Ekpoudom (Faber)
A social history of Britain today, from south London to the West Midlands, told through the evolution of rap and grime music.
The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon by Adam Schatz (Bloomsbury/Farrar Straus & Giroux)
A biography of the French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher whose work shaped radical movements across the globe.
Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe: Male-Male Sexual Relations, 1400-1750 by Noel Malcolm (OUP)
This deeply researched account of male-male sexual relations in Europe, the Ottoman Empire and the European colonies in the Americas and Asia by one of Britain’s most eminent historians challenges many of the assumptions that have dominated modern historiography.
Empireworld: How British Imperialism Has Shaped the Globe by Sathnam Sanghera (Viking/Public Affairs)
In this follow-up to the best-selling Empireland, the author investigates the legacy of British imperialism on the rest of the world, from the international legal system to the spread of Christianity to the side of the road people drive on.
Exhausted: An A-Z for the Weary by Anna Katharina Schaffner (Profile) Burnout is a defining feature of our post-pandemic world — but why are we all so exhausted? Cultural historian and burnout coach Schaffner explains why and what to do about it.
Keir Starmer: The Biography by Tom Baldwin (William Collins)
The man who would be Britain’s next prime minister is put under the spotlight by a veteran Westminster political journalist in an authorised account that draws on scores of interviews.
Adventures in Democracy: The Turbulent World of People Power by Erica Benner (Allen Lane)
A political philosopher explores the flaws and weaknesses of people power in a world defined by competition, wealth and greatness, and looks at the roles citizens must play in order to keep democracy alive.
Smoke and Ashes: A Writer’s Journey Through Opium’s Hidden Histories by Amitav Ghosh (John Murray Press/Farrar Straus & Giroux)
A sweeping, and personal, account of the immense effect the opium trade has had on world history and how it continues to impact our lives today.
Revolusi: Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World by David Van Reybrouck (Bodley Head/WW Norton)
In August 1945 Indonesia became the first colonised country to declare its independence after the second world war — an action that sparked a movement across the world, as told in this deeply researched account.
The Secret Public: How LGBTQ Resistance Shaped Popular Culture (1955-1979) by Jon Savage (Faber)
The story of the shift of gay culture from the margins to the mainstream and how this changed the nature of pop music forever, as told through this lively account of key moments personalities in entertainment history.
The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture by Tricia Romano (Public Affairs)
An oral history of the legendary alternative weekly, from its launch to its folding, promises vibrant personalities, low and high drama and bitter feuds — all initiated by an editor who believed in backing writers who “lived their byline”.
The Price Is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet by Brett Christophers (Verso) Markets and the private sector cannot solve the climate crisis: rather than the cost of transitioning to renewables being too expensive, the problem, argues Christophers, is that saving the planet is not sufficiently profitable.
City of Intellect: The Uses and Abuses of the University by Nicholas Dirks (Cambridge University Press)
A former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, reveals how administrators, faculty and students are responding to the many headwinds coursing through higher education.
The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the CIA, and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq by Stephen Coll (Allen Lane/Penguin Press)
A “definitive” account of the decades-long ties between the US and Saddam Hussein and all the associated miscalculations and power plays that ultimately led to a disastrous war.
How the World Made the West: A 4,000-Year History by Josephine Quinn (Bloomsbury)
A revelatory account of how the ancient world was much wider and more interconnected than traditionally thought — and the lessons that holds for today.
Private Equity: A Memoir by Carrie Sun (Penguin Press)
One woman’s story of self-discovery while working at a leading Wall Street finance firm examines what we’re willing to sacrifice to get to the top — and what it might take to break free and leave it all behind.
How to Win an Information War: The Propagandist Who Outwitted Hitler by Peter Pomerantsev (Public Affairs/Faber)
One of the world’s leading experts on disinformation looks to the second world war and the extraordinary — yet largely forgotten — story of one of the great masters of propaganda, and finds possible lessons on how to turn the tide in the information wars.
Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher (Simon & Schuster)
The tech industry said it wanted to change the world. This witty, scathing, yet fair account from one of the top journalists covering the sector shows how it ended up breaking the world instead.
The English Soul: Faith of a Nation by Peter Ackroyd (Reaktion)
Acclaimed novelist and historian Ackroyd explores the intimate relationship between Christianity and the English soul arguing — perhaps surprisingly for such a secular nation — that the former has provided the anchor for the latter.
The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Penguin Press/ Allen Lane)
Drawing on one of the most oversubscribed courses at Harvard, a major literary critic and cultural commentator of his generation has written a “foundational reckoning” with how black Americans have used the written word to define and redefine themselves.
Woman, Life, Freedom by Marjane Satrapi et al (Seven Stories Press)
The much-feted author of the graphic novel Persepolis leads a collection of vivid, “visually stunning” accounts of the current unrest gripping her native Iran.
The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain: Lyrics for Stacey Kent by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
A collection of the 16 song lyrics that Nobel laureate Ishiguro wrote for the singer Stacey Kent with illustrations by Bianca Bagnarelli in a coming together of the world of literature, music and art.
3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool by James Kaplan (Penguin Press/Canongate)
The story of the ascent of jazz to the top of American culture, as told through the lives of the three artists who combined to create Kind of Blue, one of the most famous and bestselling jazz albums of all time.
Reading Genesis by Marilynne Robinson (Virago/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A “radiant, thrilling interpretation” as a work of great literature by one of America’s leading novelists and thinkers.
Who’s Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler (Allen Lane/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
An argument for how a fear of gender is fuelling reactionary politics around the world from one of the leading authorities on the subject.
Black Success by Tony Sewell (Swift Press)
In a provocative, often surprising account that combines memoir and polemic, Sewell explores the drivers of black British success, tracing its hard-won achievements to family, education, hard work, discipline and the property market.
The Incarcerations: BK16 and the Search for Democracy in India by Alpa Shah (William Collins)
The chilling story the Bhima Koregaon case, in which 16 people (the BK-16) — scholars, lawyers, democratic rights activists, artists and poets — have been imprisoned, without credible evidence or trial, for waging war against the state as Maoist terrorists is what has been dubbed the great unravelling of Indian democracy.
Why We Die: The New Science of Ageing and the Quest for Immortality by Venki Ramakrishnan (Hodder Press/William Morrow)
The science of ageing, death and longevity is explored in this timely book from a Nobel-prize winning biologist that seeks to transform our understanding of why we grow old and die.
The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Caused an Epidemic of Mental Illness by Jonathan Haidt (Allen Lane/Penguin Press)
This investigation into the collapse in youth mental health argues that the roots lie in the shift from play-based childhoods to ones defined by over-supervision, structure, and fear — and the advent of smartphones and the selfie culture.
Out: How Brexit Got Done & Three PMs Were Done In by Tim Shipman (William Collins)
In the final instalment of his celebrated Brexit trilogy, Shipman delivers a warts-and-all account of the past five years in British politics in an account of the scandals, gambles, mistakes and personalities that have shaped and shaken the country.
Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport (Penguin Business)
Sacrifice yourself on the altar of success or reject ambition entirely? It doesn’t have to be this way, argues one of the world’s leading productivity gurus in this timely argument for taking life more slowly.
Tangled Paths: A Life of Aby Warburg by Hans C Hönes (Reaktion/ University of Chicago Press)
The story of one of the most influential historians of art and culture of the 20th century reveals a man of many identities — public intellectual, ethnographer, shrewd academic administrator and founder of a library — who still struggled to assert his place in the world.
A Very Private School: A Memoir by Charles Spencer (William Collins/ Simon & Schuster)
Unflinching personal account of a boarding school childhood exposes the shocking flaws, cruelties and life-long legacies of an antiquated system.
America Last: The Right’s Century-Long Romance with Foreign Dictators by Jacob Heilbrunn (Liveright)
The story of the American right’s strange, disturbing infatuation with foreign dictators and strongmen — from Kaiser Wilhelm and Mussolini to Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán — and how, the author argues, they have become role models for fighting liberalism and progressivism at home.
All The Rage: Pleasure, Pain, Power Stories from the Frontline of Beauty 1860-1960 by Virginia Nicholson (Virago)
In this detailed account, social historian Virginia Nicholson examines the revolution in the perceived ideal of the western woman’s body that played out in the century between the crinoline and the bikini.
Rural Hours: The Country Lives of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Rosamond Lehmann by Harriet Baker (Allen Lane)
This group biography with a difference looks at the defining impact of the countryside on three celebrated women writers whose life and work was forever changed by the shift to rural life.
Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape)
Rushdie’s account of surviving an attempt on his life is billed as an “ultimately uplifting meditation on life, loss, love, the power of art, finding the strength to keep going — and to stand up again”.
Moederland: Nine Daughters of South Africa by Cato Pedder (John Murray)
The great-granddaughter of former South African prime minister Jan Smuts explores what it means to be a descendant of one of the people responsible for apartheid through the stories of nine of her ancestors — from a former slave to an anti-apartheid activist — to a picture of South Africa from Cape Town in 1652 to today.
To Run the World: The Kremlin’s Cold War Bid for Global Power by Sergey Radchenko (Cambridge University Press)
A panoramic new history of the cold war and the question of what it world be like to run the world provides an unprecedented deep dive into the psychology of decision makers in the Kremlin that can still be felt today.
The Damascus Events: The 1860 Massacre and the Destruction of the Old Ottoman World by Eugene Rogan (Allen Lane)
One of the watershed moments in the history of the Middle East is vividly recreated in this new history that captures the closing chapters of the Ottoman Empire.
Rumbles: A Curious History of the Gut by Elsa Richardson (Wellcome Collection)
Growling, gurgling and grumbling — our stomachs are noisy things, unlike our other organs. Cultural historian Richardson embarks on a tour of our guts and the influence they hold over our physical and mental wellbeing and more.
World Without End by Jean-Marc Jancovici and Christophe Blain (Particular Books)
A collaboration between a climate expert and a graphic novelist provides an illuminating and original approach to understanding climate change — a bestseller in France.
All That Glitters: A Story of Friendship, Fraud and Fine Art by Orlando Whitfield (Pantheon/Profile)
Insider account of the contemporary art world and the stunning rise and fall of the charismatic American art dealer Inigo Philbrick, who went from the world of private jets and multimillion dollar deals to life on the run, extradition and a prison sentence — as told by a friend and fellow dealer.
The Garden Against Time by Olivia Laing (Picador)
A celebration by the acclaimed writer and critic of the abundant pleasures and possibilities of gardens — not as a place to hide from the world but as a site of experiment and discovery — that ranges from pandemic Suffolk to utopian visions of a new Eden, while also examining the sometimes shocking costs of making paradise on Earth.
On the Edge: The Art of Risking Everything by Nate Silver (Allen Lane)
The rock star statistician offers a “definitive” guide to our age of risk, looking at what we all can learn from masters of managing uncertainty such as poker-players, hedge fund managers and blue-chip art collectors.
The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge with Computers by Ray Kurzweil (Bodley Head)
One of the most influential and far-sighted thinkers on artificial intelligence offers a “thrillingly positive” vision of what superintelligent AI is going to do for us — and ultimately, courtesy of nanotechnology, to us — in the next 30 years.
Great Britain? How to Get Our Future Back by Torsten Bell (Bodley Head)
Flatlining wages, rising taxes, crumbling public services: just what on Earth is happening to Britain? A leading think-tank head with close links to the Labour party offers a rigorous diagnosis of the problems as well as a prospectus for reclaiming the future.
Why War? by Richard Overy (Pelican)
What leads humans to wage war? One of Britain’s leading military historians looks back over wave upon wave of conflict to examine and understand the various ways in which warfare emerges as the seemingly legitimate option.
The Language of War by Oleksandr Mykhed (Allen Lane)
What happens when your world changes overnight, when you wake up to the sound of helicopters, when, even though you’ve never held a weapon before, you realise the only choice is to fight back? The Ukrainian writer-turned-soldier provides a vivid account of invasion and struggle to find the words to describe a new reality, war.
Neu Klang: The Definitive History of Krautrock by Christoph Dallach (Faber)
An oral history of the West German electronic and experimental bands — from Kraftwerk to Neu!, Can to Tangerine Dream — whose sound changed modern music.
The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez (Virago)
Hot on the heels of Michael Cunningham’s Day, fellow American Sigrid Nunez gives us her novelistic take on lockdown life during Covid — albeit in wilder, more genre-bending ways (one major character is a parrot).
Wild Houses by Colin Barrett (Jonathan Cape)
Ever since Barrett’s short-story collection Young Skins appeared in 2014, the publishing world has been awaiting his novel. Edgy and sharp, it’s a tale of a kidnap and small-time drug dealers in County Mayo. Sally Rooney and Anne Enright are fans, which tells you something.
What Will Survive of Us by Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
Billed as a “provocative look at infidelity”, Jacobson’s latest novel explores love in later life and drips with the author’s customary deadpan humour.
Fourteen Days edited by Margaret Atwood & Douglas Preston (Chatto & Windus)
This “collaborative novel” unites writers including Celeste Ng, John Grisham and Emma Donoghue for a story set in a New York apartment building during — surprise! — Covid-19. Framed as an ode to the people who couldn’t escape the city, there’s a twist: it’s deliberately unclear who wrote what.
My Heavenly Favourite by Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison (Faber)
The first non-binary writer to win the International Booker, Rijnveld — who now uses male pronouns — is an unnervingly brilliant talent. The new book, a queasy reimagining of Lolita set in the Dutch countryside, is sure to make waves.
James by Percival Everett (Mantle/Doubleday)
How would Huckleberry Finn read if it wasn’t Huck telling the story, but the enslaved African-American Jim? The veteran Everett attempts an audacious rewriting of Mark Twain, and delivers a story bristling with atmosphere, sadness and sly wit.
Until August by Gabriel García Márquez (Viking/Knopf)
Before his death in 2014, the legendary Colombian writer was at work on a novel he decided should never be published. A decade on, his family has decreed this “extraordinary and profound tale of female freedom and desire” will appear after all. Will it be worth the wait?
The Extinction of Irena Rey by Jennifer Croft (Scribe)
Best-known as the collaborator of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Croft also does solo projects. Her new novel wittily tracks eight translators in search of a writer who’s gone missing in a Polish forest (perhaps Tokarczuk needs to watch out).
Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan (Faber)
O’Hagan’s take on the era of #MeToo portrays a high-flying art historian whose glittering life comes crashing down, which is played out in front of a bustling, sprawling social canvas reminiscent of Thackeray or Dickens.
Mania by Lionel Shriver (Borough Press/Harper)
Never shy of getting stuck in, Shriver now sets her satirical sights on groupthink and the policing of thought. The dystopian vision of America she conjures is one where exams have been banned and the adjective “stupid” outlawed.
And the Stones Cry Out by Clara Dupont-Monod, translated by Ben Faccini (MacLehose)
A sensation when it was published in France in 2021, this lyrical yet tough account of living with a disabled child was partly inspired by the author’s own experiences.
Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru (Simon & Schuster/Knopf)
Kunzru has a sharp eye for the mores and malaise of the contemporary US. This story of a once-promising artist who washes up as an undocumented delivery driver in post-Covid New York, and comes face to face with his past, promises much.
A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (Abacus)
It’s the year for collaborative projects: this collection, timed to mark the centenary of Franz Kafka’s death, includes tales by the likes of Ali Smith, Naomi Alderman, Yiyun Li and Helen Oyeyemi. (AI, perhaps inevitably, looms large.)
Enlightenment by Sarah Perry (Jonathan Cape)
The bestselling author of 2016’s eerie, gothicky The Essex Serpent and 2018’s Melmoth returns with a new story set again in eastern England, following a pair of Baptist Christians who become obsessed by astronomy and stray into far kookier territory.
Long Island by Colm Tóibín (Picador)
Was Eilis Lacey right to settle as she did, or could her life have taken another turn? The long-awaited follow-up to Brooklyn finds Tóibín in autumnal mood, reuniting that novel’s characters decades on.
Parade by Rachel Cusk (Faber)
Cusk’s “path-breaking” new book explores topics that have long been of deep fascination to the author: art, creativity and how women relate to the world. Set in Paris, it features a cast of interlocking characters.
Clean by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes (4th Estate)
A nightmarish examination of the life of a live-in maid who dies — and the toxic family and societal relationships that surround her — this latest work by the International Booker-shortlisted Chilean author arrives garlanded with praise from the Spanish-speaking world.
THE SUMMER AND BEYOND
Publishing plans for later in the year are largely under wraps — and inevitably subject to flux — but topics and titles to look out for include books on the retreat of liberal democracy (Autocracy Inc by Anne Applebaum); a history of sex and Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch; the story of how ancient India transformed the world (The Golden Road by William Dalrymple); numerous works on the Middle East; and an investigation into the workings of Huawei (The Listening State by Eva Dou).
In fiction, expect work from Anita Desai (Rosarita, July), Irvine Welsh (Resolution, July) and David Peace (Munichs, August), among many others. There’s also talk of exciting new novels by some major names, but publishers are keeping coy — at least for now.
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