To begin with, Martin Amis’ The Pregnant Widow (the writer who once said his subject was men now takes a look at feminism) and Robert Harris’ Conspirata (the third in his Roman trilogy) both of which were to be released in late 2008, but were inexplicably delayed.
Also among the heavy hitters are Philip Roth’s The Humbling (like Ol’ Man River, he jes’ keeps rollin’ on); Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, in which a private eye creeps “out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the LA fog.”; Margaret Atwood’s God’s Gardeners, another one of her dystopian epics; and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes, a “story cycle” dealing with love, music and death
One hopes that Monica Ali is over her sophomore slump with her third novel, In The Kitchen – a tale of events in a London hotel, which may well turn out to have forebears as unlikely as Sankar’s Chowringhee, Robert Altman’s Gosford Park and Henry Green’s Loving.
Closer to the subcontinent, there’s Daniyal Mueenuddin's much-heralded debut, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, with some already likening him to no less a personage than Turgenev (the title story is here); William Dalrymple’s non-fiction account of the remnants of pre-codified religious practices in India (an interview on the subject is here); Amit Chaudhuri’s The Immortals, a tale of the criss-crossing paths of three Indian musicians; and Abraham Verghese’s first novel, Cutting for Stone, spanning decades and set in India, Ethiopia and New York.
Then, there’s Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, a ghost story set in rural Warwickshire in the late 1940s, and Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, which takes place a few years later, with a young immigrant from Ireland trying to forge a new life for herself in New York.
Finally, here’s hoping that the publishing industry finds a way to get back on its feet in the coming year, and that Landmark’s Mumbai branch re-opens so that the city can once again have at least one decent bookstore in which the above titles will be available.