Book releases 2024: From RuPaul to Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie
Image caption,Rushdie was attacked at an event in New York in August 2022

By Emma Saunders

Culture reporter

The dead days between Christmas and New Year are often the perfect time to cosy up and indulge in a good book. But before you do, let us tempt you with a taster of what’s to come in the new year – from celebrity memoirs to heavy hitters, exciting debuts to fantasy fiction, we’ve got you covered.


Where else to start but with Salman Rushdie’s Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder. The renowned author recounts the horrific attack which caused both physical and emotional trauma, including leaving him blind in one eye. 16 April, Penguin Random House.

Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia writer, is also sharing a recent traumatic experience with his book, Shattered, about the fall he suffered at the end of 2022 which left him paralysed. 31 October, Hamish Hamilton.

From the celebrity world, The House of Hidden Meanings by RuPaul will chronicle the first 40 years of the star’s life before he co-created Drag Race. “I’m so excited and so anxious at the same time, because I reveal so much of myself,” he posted in a video on Instagram. 5 March, Fourth Estate.

Britney Spears has also teased a second volume of her revelatory 2023 memoir, The Woman In Me. The pop singer revealed the news on Instagram but there’s no publication date as yet.

Coverage of the CBS Original Series LINGO, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: RuPaul
Image caption,RuPaul’s memoir will chronicle the first 40 years of his life before he co-created the hugely successful Drag Race

One Sinha Lifetime: A Bengali Boy’s Search for the Meaning of Life is a funny and moving coming of age story from The Chase star and stand-up comic Paul Sinha29 Feb, Ebury.

Politics fans may be more interested in Diane Abbott’s A Woman Like Me, which charts her journey from working class 1960s London to Cambridge to becoming the UK’s first black female MP. She is currently an Independent MP having had the Labour whip suspended earlier this year. 19 September, Penguin.

Across the channel, Angela Merkel, who was the first woman and East German to hold the office of chancellor, will publish her autobiography although we have no title as yet. Autumn, St Martin’s Press.

Stateside, basketball star Brittney Griner’s as yet untitled memoir will cover her time spent in a Russian prison. Spring, Alfred A Knopf.

A Very Private School is a poignant memoir from Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, who recalls the trauma of being sent to boarding school at the age of 8. 14 March, Gallery Books.

However, brilliant memoirs don’t have to have a famous name attached. My Good Bright Wolf: A Memoir by Sarah Moss is a devastating account of how the author developed a dangerous and controlling relationship with food as a teenager. 29 August, Picador.

Big hitters

Chigozie Obioma
Image caption,Chigozie Obioma’s first two books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize – so no pressure with his third

Widely regarded as one of the 20th Century’s greatest writers, it’s been nearly 10 years since Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s death. Having suffered from dementia in his latter years, he decided in his final days that his latest novel, Until August, should not be released upon his death. But now his sons have have had a change of heart and it will go on sale on 12 March (Viking). It tells the story of a middle-aged woman’s search for freedom, a sensual tale set against the backdrop of the Caribbean.

Colm Tóibín’s Long Island is the sequel to the prize-winning, bestselling novel Brooklyn. When an Irish stranger knocks on Eilis’s door in Long Island, it upends her comfortable life and she finds herself turning towards her native Ireland. 23 May, Picador.

The Wood at Midwinter is a breath-taking short story by Susanna Clarke, the author behind Peranesi and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. 24 October, Bloomsbury.

Leigh Bardugo will be hoping to follow up on the success of her last novel Hell Bent (part of her Alex Stern series) with this standalone book, The Familiar, set in the Spanish Golden Age. 11 April, Viking.

The Voyage Home is the third book in Pat Barker’s series which retells The Iliad story from the perspective of the Trojan women. 22 August, Hamish Hamilton.

The Road to the Country is the third book from Chigozie Obioma, the twice Booker-shortlisted Nigerian author, and he’s only 35. Not. Jealous. At all. Set in the 1960s, this is a coming-of-age story about a university student in Lagos who decides to search for his missing brother in the midst of Nigeria’s civil war. 30 May, Hutchinson Heinemann.

Elif Shafak with her last book, The Island of Missing Trees
Image caption,Elif Shafak returns with a new book, There Are Rivers in the Sky, following on from her popular novel The Island of Missing Trees

If you want to feel well read in double-quick time, try Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering, which is set in a New York city tenement in the early days of the pandemic. It has a novel twist (pardon the pun) – each character has been secretly written by a different author from Margaret Atwood and John Grisham to Dave Eggers and Celeste Ng. 6 February, Chatto & Windus.

Now this combo is gold. Eruption has a joint byline for none other than James Patterson and Michael Crichton. The novel is based on a partially finished manuscript by Jurassic Park’s Crichton, who died in 2008. Patterson has now completed it. When an Hawaiian volcano erupts, it threatens to ignite a secret stash of chemical weapons which could destroy the world. 6 June, Century.

The Rotters’ Club and What A Carve Up! author Jonathan Coe’s latest novel is called The Proof of My Innocence and is a political murder mystery about an academic who uncovers dirty secrets about an influential think-tank. 7 November, Viking.

The prolific Stephen King is releasing a new collection of stories called You Like It Darker. 21 May, Hodder & Stoughton.

British-Turkish author Elif ShafakAnthony Horowitz and Matt Haig also have books coming out in 2024.

Other fiction

Henry Golding, Constance Wu and Kevin Kwan
Image caption,Kevin Kwan (right) is pictured with the stars of the film adaptation of his novel Crazy Rich Asians, Henry Golding and Constance Wu

Christie Watson’s Moral Injuries is a psychological drama from the former NHS nurse and award-winning writer about three friends who met in medical school. Their 25-year-old friendship is thrown into doubt when a tragic night from their youth comes back to haunt them. Gripping stuff. 14 March, W&N.

Shy Creatures is the new novel from Clare Chambers, author of word-of-mouth hit Small Pleasures. An art therapist at a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s discovers a man who has been shut up in a derelict house for decades but who is also a talented artist. 29 August, W&N.

Also set in the 1960s is The Women by Kristin Hannah. From the author behind Firefly Lane (adapted for a Netflix series), this is the story of Frankie, a young woman from California who impulsively joins the Army Nurses Corps and goes to Vietnam. 15 February, Pan MacMillan.

A couple more historical novels worth checking out – The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden is set in World War One, and uses magic realism to weave a gripping tale of loss, mystery, ghosts and queer romance. 7 March, Century.

There’s also The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez, a sweeping tale about the unsung people who lived in the shadow of the Panama Canal as it was being constructed, including labourers, protestors, doctors and fishmongers. 14 March, Fourth Estate.

Across the pond, the eagerly awaited follow-up to his breakout bestseller There, There, Tommy Orange’s Wandering Stars traces the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through three generations. 21 March, Harvill Secker.

Julia Alvarez’s The Cemetery of Untold Stories is a really innovative and unique tale about a writer who literally tries to bury her draft manuscripts but fails to stop them coming to life. 2 April, Algonquin Books.

We’re also looking forward to Lies and Weddings from Crazy, Rich Asians writer, Kevin Kwan. It’s a comedy of manners which takes off after an affair is exposed during a decadent tropical wedding. 20 June, Hutchinson Heinemann.

Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru follows talented artist Jay, who finds himself down on his luck in New York living out of his car during the pandemic and recovering from Covid. Things take a turn when he bumps into an old girlfriend from his art school days whose life has turned out differently. 16 May, Scribner UK.

Now if you like your classics with a twist, this one’s for you. Booker-shortlisted author of The Trees. Percival Everett, delivers James, a powerful retelling of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of Huck’s friend, the enslaved Jim. 11 April, Mantle.


Reverend Richard Coles appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2017
Image caption,The Reverend Richard Coles has many strings to his bow, with his career as an author among them

Meanwhile, the murder mystery and “cosy crime” juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.

Last Murder at the End of the World is the latest by Stuart Turton, previous winner of the Costa First Novel Award (28 March, Raven Books) and Rev Richard Coles is back with his latest, Murder at the Monastery. 6 June, W&N.

Set in a slightly more glamorous locationAlex Michaelides’ The Fury is a pacey murder mystery which follows a group of friends on holiday on an exclusive Greek island. It’s the follow-up to his hit The Silent Patient. 1 February, Michael Joseph.

Now a cult Japanese bestseller, Asako Yuzuki’s Butter, about a serial killer, chef was inspired by the true story of The Konkatsu Killer. 29 February, Fourth Estate.


There’s plenty on offer for this genre too, including Mark Greaney’s The Chaos Agent – artificial intelligence leads to danger for the Gray Man in this latest entry in the bestselling series, which was made into a Netflix film starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna de Armas and Chris Evans. 20 February, Sphere.

David Baldacci also returns with A Calamity of Souls, based on a racially-charged murder case set in 1968 Virginia. 11 April, Pan Macmillan.

Back across the Atlantic, there’s a buzz about Tana French’s latest book, The Hunter, a revenge tale set in the West of Ireland which is brimming with suspense. 7 March, Viking.

Love is in the air

Emily Henry
Image caption,Emily Henry’s previous books include Beach Read, Book Lovers and People We Met on Vacation

Romance is ever popular and BookTok influencer Payten Jewell is one of many who has championed romcom queen Emily Henry. She’s looking forward to her next title, Funny Story (23 April, Viking).

Both Payten and Emily are fans of Abbey Jiminez, who will release Just for the Summer with Piatkus on 2 April.

Sci-fi/fantasy (SFF)

A time-travelling swashbuckling adventure, The Principle of Moments, traverses space and Regency London and comes courtesy of Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson, who was the winner of the inaugural Future Worlds Prize for SFF writers of colour. 18 January, Gollancz.

Natasha Pulley’s The Mars House explores gender, prejudice and climate change against the backdrop of forced immigration to Mars. 19 March, Bloomsbury.


Renée Zellwegger played Bridget Jones in the film adaptation of Helen Fielding's novel, Bridget Jones's Diary
Image caption,Anoushka Warden’s I’m F*cking Amazing has been described as “Bridget Jones for the Fleabag generation”.

So many goodies in store from newbies in 2024. Here’s just a few of the ones to watch.

The Coast Road by Alan Murrin is set in a small Irish community in 1994, the year before divorce became legal, and is about two women who are trying to break out from societal norms. 9 May, Bloomsbury.

Going much further back in time is The Instrumentalist by Harriet Constable, an epic novel set in 18th Century Venice and based on the real life of Anna Maria della Pietà who, taught by Vivaldi, went on to become the leading pop star of her day. She’s since been written out of history. Until now. 20 August, Simon and Schuster.

The Painter’s Daughters by Emily Howes is a novel inspired by the two daughters of Thomas Gainsborough. It was praised by none other than the late Hilary Mantel, who said it is “beautifully written … I raced through it”. 29 February, Simon & Schuster.

Closer to home, The List of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey is set in Yorkshire in 1979. Miv and her best mate Sharon try to solve the case of the missing women. The novel was partly inspired by Godfrey’s father having worked alongside serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. 15 February, Hutchinson Heinneman.

From the author of memoir The Last Days comes Ali Millar’s debut novel, Ava Anna Ada, about climate collapse in an isolated British village. Stylish, unsettling and riveting. 18 January, White Rabbit.

Gareth Brown’s The Book of Doors is set in the here and now but spans numerous genres – fantasy and thriller being the dominant ones. It’s an unusual and original work about a New York City bookseller who comes across a special book that bestows extraordinary powers. Incidentally, Gareth is head of NHS Screening in Scotland as well. Multi-talented. 15 February, Bantam.

The Lagos Wife by Vanessa Walters is a deftly written mystery about a woman who goes missing in Nigeria and her aunt who is determined to find her. 29 February, Hutchinson Heinnemann.

Over in the Caribbean. Sweetness in the Skin by Ishi Robinson is a coming-of-age story, a celebration of Jamaica that also examines its legacy of colonialism and classism. If you liked The Girl with the Louding Voice, this is probably one for you. 11 April, Michael Joseph.

If you’re in the market for something a little lighter, Anoushka Warden’s I’m F*cking Amazing is just the ticket. This was described to me as “Bridget Jones for the Fleabag generation” and is an amusing, riotous romp about a woman in her mid-30s who tries to get her sex life back on track after leaving her husband. 26 March, Doubleday.

Only Here, Only Now by Tom Newlands is another coming-of-age novel that takes the reader inside the brilliant, fizzing mind of a teenage girl with ADHD growing up in post-industrial Scotland. Funny and fierce. 13 June, Phoenix.

Published in the UK for the first time, Māori writer Rebecca K Reilly’s debut novel, Greta and Valdin was on the bestseller charts in New Zealand for a year and is centred around two queer siblings (who give the book its title) and their family. 8 February, Hutchinson Heinemann.


EU and UK flags outside Westminster
Image caption,Tim Shipman will publish the final book from his Brexit trilogy in the spring

I love fiction so much that I sometimes neglect to pick up a non-fiction book for months. Shame on me. So my new year’s resolution is to alternate between novels and factual books. Fingers crossed.

For history buffs, Jonathan Dimbleby’s Endgame 1944 is an absorbing account of the year that sealed the fate of the Nazis. 23 May, Viking.

There’s also Survivors: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin, an immersive and revelatory history of the survivors of the Clotilda, the last ship of the Atlantic slave trade. 18 January, WC.

For those more interested in recent history, Out is the final instalment of Tim Shipman’s bestselling Brexit trilogy. 14 March, WC.

Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s The Lasting Harm covers the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell; Lucia was one of a handful of legal reporters who were in the courtroom every day. 23 May, Fourth Estate.

Kay Kerr, author of Please Don’t Hug Me and Social Queue publishes her first non-fiction book, Love and Autism, which follows the lives of five autistic Australians. 28 March. Macmillan Australia.

Somebody Told Me: One Man’s Unexpected Journey Down the Rabbithole of Lies, Trolls and Conspiracies – Danny Wallace lightens this dark topic about lies and propaganda with his trademark humour and gets the balance just right. 9 May, Ebury

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