Cover Find out the best upcoming books for 2021 (Photo: Unsplash.com)

From Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel as a Nobel laureate to hardback releases from Haruki Mukarami and Yaa Gyasi, here are the most anticipated book releases of 2021

Books serve as a perfect escape from the pandemic. And though the Hong Kong Book Fair has been postponed once again, it doesn't mean we still can't get our literary fix. There are a number of bookstores in Hong Kong where you can find your next read, or simply have your books delivered right by your doorstep.

No matter what you choose, a great book is something that we can all look forward to next year. To help you with that, we're rounding up the most anticipated upcoming releases for 2021. Whether it's crime, suspense or surrealism you're into––these books will have you covered.

See also: Tatler Reading List: 10 Books About Hong Kong By Hongkongers

1 / 10

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun mark Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. The stunning new novel from the award-winning author simply asks, what does it mean to love?

It follows the story of Klara, an "artificial friend" with outstanding qualities who is waiting for a customer to choose her from the store she's being sold at. But when her chance finally comes, she realises the dangers of relying on the promises of humans. Ishiguro's upcoming novel is a thrilling story of world-building filled with tenderness—just what you should expect from a Nobel laureate.

Release date: March 2, 2021

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See also: Tatler's Guide To Being Conversant: Albert Wan On Literature

2 / 10

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom is the much-anticipated follow-up novel from Yaa Gyasi, the award-winning author of Homegoing. It's about the experiences of a Ghanaian immigrant family in contemporary America. The novel was released July 2020 to critical acclaim but the hardback is coming in 2021.

The protagonist, Gifty who deals with the consequences of her father and brother succumbing to drugs. The family is torn apart and the life Gifty dreams seem further and further away. Hoping to understand the addiction that her family fell into, she turns to science for answers. But she soon realises that it's not as easy as it seems and she must trace her family's story through places and generations. The novel is a powerful story about family love, loss and belonging.

Release date: March 3, 2021

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3 / 10

First Person Singular by Harumi Murakami

Harumi Murakami's latest novel once again showcases the author's mastery of surrealism. Originally published in July 2020, the hardback is coming in 2021. First Person Singular is a hypnotic collection of short stories from jazz to baseball to whimsical dreamscapes that are all narrated in the first person—hence the title.

The eight stories all tackle different themes, from the nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music, the love of baseball to the Japanese author's signature dreamlike sequences that together challenge the boundaries of reality and illusion. But the ultimate question the book poses is, is it a memoir or a fiction? You decide.

Release date: April 6, 2021

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4 / 10

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

Animal marks the debut novel of New York Times best-selling author, Lisa Taddeo. It illustrates a woman's transforming from prey into a predator, a tale of female empowerment against a male-dominated society. 

Telling the story of Joan, who spent most of her life enduring horrific treatment from men. She's had enough when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her and flees to New York, looking for Alice, the only person who can help her about her past. Joan unravels the mysteries of a horrific event she witnessed as a child that's haunted her for as long as she can remember, eventually gaining the courage to strike back.

Release date: June 8, 2021

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See also: 7 Inspiring Biographies and Memoirs From Notable Women Around the World

5 / 10

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts is Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jhumpa Lahiri's first work in nearly a decade. First published in Italian and then translated into English by Lahiri herself, the novel is a haunting tale of a woman—her decisions, conversations, solitariness set in the beautiful yet lonely Italian city.

The story follows a woman who moves through the city on her own and tells us what she encounters: bright pavements, bridges, shops, pools and bars. She sees couples fighting, an old woman or pays a visit to her grieving mother, still recovering from her father's death. Over the course of a year, both overwhelmed and energised by her constant travels, she finds herself looking for belonging.

Lahiri was one of the speakers at this year's Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

Release date: April 27, 2021

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See also: 5 Travel Books For Your Wanderlust Needs

6 / 10

Later by Stephen King

Best-selling author and literary household name Stephen King return with Later, a terrifying and touching story of a loss of innocence and finding the courage to stand up against evil. The new novel also echoes King's classic piece, It.

Later is about Jamie Conklin, a song of a struggling single mother. Jamie just wants a normal childhood. But he soon realises that he's no ordinary child. He has to keep his unnatural ability a secret from others until he becomes involved in a crime investigation—pursuing a killer who is ready to strike, even beyond the grave.

Release date: March 2, 2021

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7 / 10

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

An epic tale of love, heroism and hope—that's The Four Winds. Written by New York Times best-selling author, Kristin Hannah, the new novel is set against the Great Depression and follows the story of sacrifice and dreams through the eyes of an indomitable woman.

It's 1934 in Texas. The Great Depression has put millions out of work and drought has broken out, leaving farmers to struggle on what to do with their land and livelihood. Elsa Martinelli is forced to make a choice: fight for her land or travel to California for a better life. 

Release date: February 2, 2021

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8 / 10

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is back with Game Changer, an out-of-this-world story of parallel universes and the realities that we need to question. The ambitious new novel from the New York Times bestselling author seems like the perfect escape to the times we're living in. 

Much to his surprise, Ash realises that he's been hit into another dimension and has been continuously bouncing through worlds that he feels aren't his own. The changes start small but quickly get out of control ending up in many different universes—where he gets everything he wants, where society is stuck in the past and where he's with someone he never thought he would.

Release date: February 9, 2021

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9 / 10

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs promises an exciting twist on a Gothic classic which author Rachel Hawkins pairs charm with domestic suspense. This new novel from the best-selling author is her first foray into the adult fiction genre, all her previous works have been for young adults.

The story is about Jane who just arrived in Birmingham, Alabama. She works as a dog-walker at Thornfield's Estate, an uncanny gated community of mansions, SUVs and bored housewives. No one paid attention to Jane until she meets newly-widowed, Eddie Rochester. As a romance starts to sprout between the two, Jane becomes curious about the death of Eddie's wife and starts to question her rags-to-riches romance.

Release date: January 5, 2021

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See also: Crazy Rich Asians Author Kevin Kwan Returns With A New Book, Sex And Vanity

10 / 10

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising is the latest offering from New York Times best-selling author Taylor Jenkins Reid and follows four famous siblings who throw a party to celebrate the end of summer. But those past 24 hours will change their lives forever.

August 1983 in Malibu—the day of Nina Riva's high-anticipated end-of-summer party. The Rivas are the talk of the town with supermodel brothers and adorable sister. But Nina is different, she doesn't want the fame or attention and is dreading the party. Things quickly escalate by midnight and by morning, the mansion has gone up in flames. How did that happen? That's what you're about to find out.

Release date: May 25, 2021

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See also: Tatler Guide To Hosting A Luxury Birthday Party At Home