Booklist

Natalia’s Books of the Year 2023

Selected by Natalia de la Ossa


The most unexpected book of the year for me was Ten Planets by Yuri Herrera (translated by Lisa Dillman): his first collection of short stories, Ten Planets combines science-fiction with detective work, immigration and our endless need to find a space where we belong. Close second was Tomás Nevinson, Javier Marias’s last book (tr. Margaret Jull Costa) about an ageing detective brought back from the fringes to find and kill a suspected terrorist amongst three possible suspects.

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan (tr. Chi-Young Kim), was a another surprising experience, a bit of science fiction, a bit of fairy tale and a lot of transformative experiences in one family’s history. Seicho Matsumoto’s Tokyo Express (tr. Jesse Kirkwood)gripped me with its carefully crafted plot and had me making mental calculations based on train timetables. Fascinating in equal but distinct ways, two new novels from my favourite authors Deborah Levy and Sophie Mackintosh tell stories with such clarity, the inner thoughts of the characters reveal the thread of their lives and everyone that inhabits their realities. The book I will recommend to everyone this Christmas is The New Life by Tom Crewe; and the books I haven’t quite got round to but am certain I’ll be recommending once I have are The Maniac, the long awaited new title by Benjamín Labatut and Blackouts by Justin Torres.

From the publisher:
Translated by Lisa DillmanThe characters that populate Yuri Herrera’s first collection of stories inhabit imagined futures that reveal the strangeness and instability of the present. Drawing on science fiction, noir, and the…

From the publisher:
Translated by Margaret Jull CostaTHE FINAL NOVEL FROM THE GREATEST SPANISH WRITER OF HIS GENERATION, JAVIER MARIAS'The most subtle and gifted writer in contemporary Spanish literature' Boston GlobeSpain in the 1990s is beset by a simmering…

From the publisher:
Translated by Chi-Young KimSHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE 2023A sweeping, multi-generational tale blending fable, farce and fantasy.“A peerless work devoted to telling a powerful story and lauded for expanding…

From the publisher:
Translated by Jesse Kirkwood'A classic of postwar Japanese crime fiction' ​Financial Times​'It was a puzzle with no solution. But he did not lose heart.'In a rocky cove in the bay of Hakata, the bodies of a young and…

From the publisher:
The mesmerising new novel from the twice Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home'If she was my double and I was hers, was it true that she was knowing, I was unknowing, she was sane, I was crazy, she was wise,…

From the publisher:
GRANTA BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTSFrom the Booker Prize-nominated author of The Water Cure comes a chilling new feminist fable based on the true story of an unsolved mystery . . .'A shimmering fever-dream of a…

From the publisher:
*Shortlist, Debut Fiction, 2023 Nero Book Awards *London, 1894. John and Henry have a vision for a new way of life. But as the Oscar Wilde trial ignites public outcry, everything they long for could be under threat.'Beautifully written'…

From the publisher:
From the author of When We Cease to Understand the World: a dazzling, kaleidoscopic book about the destructive chaos lurking in the history of computing and AI‘Monstrously good… Reads like a dark foundation myth about…

From the publisher:
Juan Gay is on his deathbed. He has decided to spend his last days in The Palace: a monumental, fading institution in the desert, which was an asylum in another lifetime. There, a young man tends to this dying soul – someone who Juan…

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