First the bad news. Amitav Ghosh’s last instalment of the Ibis trilogy and Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Girl will not be written in 2014. But there is plenty that will be. After all those years, English August, er, Upamanyu Chatterjee will come up with Fairy Tales at Fifty. Allen Sealy too will be writing the intriguing The Small Wild Goose Pagoda after about a decade and Shashi Tharoor will get back to fiction with Border Crossing. The Lives of Others by Neel Chatterjee, on a Bengali family in decay, No Country by Kalyan Ray, a piece of historical fiction voyaging from New York to Ireland to Bengal to Canada, the much-awaited Idris by Anita Nair and The Gypsy Goddess by Meena Kandaswamy are some of the interesting Indian fiction that will come out soon. Nobel winner Mo Yan’s Frog, Haruki Murakami’s The Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Kamila Shamsie’s A God In Every Stone, Hanief Kureshi’s The Last Word, David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Sarah Waters’s The Paying Guest will be the big international titles.
BJP’s lady on TV, Nirmala Sitharaman, will be done with Atal Behari Vahpayee: A Political Biography this year and former press advisor to the PM Sanjaya Baru will be out with The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh soon. Romila Thapar’s The Past as Present: Essays on Religion and History will be a treat to read. Rana Dasgupta’s Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi, Husain Zaidi’s From Byculla to Bangkok, and Shivaji: The Founder of the Marathas by Francois Gautier will be the non-fiction titles to look out for. There will also be The Novel Cure by Susan Ederkin, Ella Berthond and Indrajit Hazra on advice on how to tackle common reading ailments. It would perhaps be a good idea to buy this last book the first.