Most Anticipated New Books for 2018

In the first few months of last year I sampled rather more contemporary fiction than is usual for me. Frankly much of it wasn’t to my taste and ended up abandoned. Contemporary literature in any period tends toward mediocre, so it wasn’t too surprising.

This year, my new book purchasing will be much more restrained. These are those I am most looking forward to.

It isn’t any surprise that Seagull Books dominates the list as they have impeccable taste in bringing forth newly translated treasures. I also expect to make some new discoveries through my subscription to the always intriguing Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Giorgio Agamben, Pulcinella: Or Entertainment for Children (trans. Kevin Attell)
Giorgio Agamben, The Adventure (trans. Lorenzo Chiesa)
Friederike Mayröcker, Requiem for Ernst Jandl (trans. Rosalyn Theobald)
Ilse Aichinger, Bad Words (trans. Uljana Wolf and Christian Hawkey)
Pascal Quignard, Villa Amalia (trans. Chris Turner)
Rachel Cusk, Kudos
Claudio Magris, Journeying (trans. Anne Milano Appel)
Dag Solstad, Armand V (trans. Steven T. Murray)
Dag Solstad, T Singer (trans. Tiina Nunnally)
Peter Handke, The Great Fall (trans. Krishna Winston)
Jon Fosse, Scenes from a Childhood
Esther Kinsky, River (trans. Iain Galbraith)
Clarice Lispector, The Chandelier (trans. Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards)
Cesare Pavese, The Beautiful Summer
Alberto Manguel, Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
Joanna Walsh, Break.up
Kate Zambreno, Drifts (since confirmed for early 2019)
Ismail Kadare, Essays on World Literature Shakespeare, Aeschylus, Dante

22 thoughts on “Most Anticipated New Books for 2018

  1. I’m looking forward to Grace Dane Mazur’s ‘The Garden Party’ (July), Will Buckingham’s ‘Stealing With the Eyes’ (May) and Eugene Vodolazkin’s ‘The Aviator’ (also May).

  2. For years I have been toying with the idea of a Pavese week but far too little could be found in translation. I’m delighted to see that a translation La Bella estate will be published soon. Thank you very much for this list. There are so many gems on it.

  3. A wonderful list. You might like Jeet Thayel’s new book. (Narcopolis was extraordinary). And, at the risk of mild egomania, you might like to look to the late Charles Ré and my translation pf Quignard’s wonderful TERRACE IN ROME (Wakefield Press).

    Thank you for keeping up this so engaging blog, and best wishes for the New Year.

    • Many thanks for the kind words and suggestions. I have Terrace in Rome awaiting my attention; I haven’t had time for Quignard last year, but hope to find some time this year. Happy new year.

  4. Taking many cues from this list – some I know of, some you’re introducing to me. Am looking forward to starting Dorothy Richardson this year, have acquired Book 1! Other than that am not making detailed reading plans this year, will let books fall into my hands and see what happens. I subscribed to Asymptote’s book club and so will be getting a nice selection of translated literature, am very much looking forward to that.

  5. I am a long-time reader, but a first-time commenter–and I really enjoy your blog. This is a great list, and I decided to order a few myself: the Manguel, the Cusk (I loved Outline but only finished half of Transit), the Magris, and the Lispector. I also have the first volume of Pilgrimage, which I learned about from your blog.

    In addition, I read your post about the Divine Comedy, which I enjoyed very much. I read the poem in its entirety several years ago (after reading the Inferno in high school). I read it very slowly, and it took me over a year to read, but it was very rewarding. I used the Hollander translation and the Sayers and Ciardi notes. (The Hollander notes were almost too thorough for my first time reading of the entire poem, and while I am not a fan of Sayers’ translation, I think her notes are invaluable.) I read Prue Shaw’s book two years ago, and I thought it was fabulous! She was interviewed by Gil Roth on his podcast so I learned about the book there. In addition, I have read several chapters of Dante’s Testaments though I could not finish Auerbach’s book. I also really enjoyed Peter Leithart’s Ascent to Love, as well as the Cambridge Companion to Dante. I basically have an entire library on the Divine Comedy (several translations and many, many commentaries–I even purchased Dorothy Sayers three volumes on Dante, as well as Charles Williams book on Beatrice). It is most definitely a dessert island book for me, and I am due for a reread so I very much look forward to your future posts about it.

    Finally, I purchased Steiner’s Language and Silence after reading your posts about Steiner. The first essay is excellent, and I already believe I will really enjoy this book.

    Anyway, thanks for such a lively blog that explores such interesting books.

    • Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I’m pleased you are taking the plunge with some of the same books, especially Steiner. I’ve got Language and Silence on order.

      I will add Peter Liethart’s book to my reading list, and the Cambridge Companion. I think I’ll use the Hollander for my next reading. Please jump in when I start posting and continue the conversation.

    • Sorry that in my earlier reply=written from my first day back at work after a fortnight of holiday=that I didn’t thank you for your kind words. It made my day/week to have a first comment from a long time reader. Thanks!

  6. Glad to see another Ben Moser translation of Lispector. I thought his Hour of the Star very good (and I spent ages comparing translations against the original Portuguese on that one – I don’t speak it but I can read enough just about to make that kind of comparison).

    Why that particular Magris? One you haven’t got to yet or something specific about it?

  7. Hello Anthony, another long time reader but first time commenter here. Your blog has increasingly become one of my main inspirations for new reading. Books written in other languages than English I generally read in my own Swedish so my access to the works in your interesting list is not complete. Anyhow, I have recently discovered Mayröcker and bought, in Swedish, the same title as in your list, plus Scardanelli (poetry), And I Shook a Darling (prose), and Embraces (poetry). Since I am working my way through other priorities (Murnane, Borges, Lispector, Josipovici, Gass, Carson) it will be some time before reading Mayröcker seriously, but I very much look forward to your impressions of the Requiem. I have dipped into it and it seems really interesting and original.

    • Hello Mattias. Thank you for taking time to comment. It is much appreciated. My interest in Mayröcker comes from flowerville, and I am looking forward to Requiem.

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