Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 books preview: Jane Austen gets tough, The Shining revisited and Boyd takes on Bond

Next year also brings translation of Sebald's A Place in the Country. And can Gill Hornby do for chick-lit what brother Nick did for lad-lit?

Stephen King speaks at Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans, America - 12 Nov 2011
Be afraid … Stephen King's sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, will be published in September. Photograph: Rex Features

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, by Paula Byrne

Paula Byrne, a Jane Austen scholar and author who believes she found a lost portrait of Austen last year, has written a new biography of the novelist, revealing her as "far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern" than we thought. Out to mark the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice (prepare for Austen overload next year), it is already creating a buzz. HarperPress, 17 January.

A Place in the Country, by WG Sebald

This long-awaited translation is a fusion of biography and essay from the revered author of The Rings of Saturn and Austerlitz, who died in 2001. A reflection on six figures who shaped him, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Walser and Jan Peter Tripp, it has been described by its publisher as "a window into the mind of this much-loved and much-missed writer". Hamish Hamilton, 2 May.

The Hive, by Gill Hornby

Nick Hornby is the undisputed king of lad-lit; now his sister Gill is set to make her literary debut with The Hive, a novel about female friendship, motherhood and one-upmanship at the school gates. Its publisher, who bought it for a six-figure sum in a heated auction, is promising it will be "irresistible, brilliantly observed and wickedly funny". Little, Brown, 23 May.

Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

More than 30 years on, America's master of horror is returning to one of his most enduring characters, Danny Torrance, the little psychic boy whose father went mad in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Danny is now Dan, and middle-aged, using his "shining" power to help the dying in a hospice, when he meets a 12-year-old girl threatened by a great evil. Hodder & Stoughton, 24 September.

Untitled, by William Boyd

Following Sebastian Faulks and Jeffrey Deaver, William Boyd – winner of most literary prizes going – takes on James Bond. The author of Restless and Any Human Heart is being tight-lipped: all he has said is that it will be set in 1969, and be a return to "classic Bond". Jonathan Cape, autumn.

Untitled, by Helen Fielding

Having notched up sales of 15m around the world, Bridget Jones will return, in a "different phase" of her life, this autumn. Helen Fielding hasn't said if the perennial Mark Darcy/Daniel Cleaver/Bridget Jones love triangle will still be in play, but reassuringly revealed that Bridget will still be dieting, while trying to give up drinking and smoking. Jonathan Cape, autumn.

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