Here are ten books to look out for this year.

Red Pill by Hari Kunzru 

After 17 years with publisher Hamish Hamilton, infamous British Asian author Hari Kunzru will be releasing his new book with Simon & Schuster in September. The literary thriller sees the narrator arrive in Berlin after receiving a German writing fellowship yet he struggles to write anything at all. During his writers block phase, he begins binge-watching a violent police show entitled ‘Blue Lives’ and winds up meeting the writer of the show at a party. The narrator begins thinking that Anton is ‘red-pilling’ his viewers and slowly converting them into an alt-right worldview along with the ghosts that surround his suburb of Wannsee and wonders if he is losing his mind. Red Pill is a captivating and timely read about the type of dystopian future we could have as a consequence of the current political landscape. 

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Former award-winning journalist Deepa Anappara has now become an award winning author with her short fiction winning numerous awards and being broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her debut novel follows Jai, a nine-year old who watches too many reality cop shows and is confident that he is smarter than everyone around him. When a boy is his school goes missing, Jai thinks he will be the best person to find him but soon learns that real life crime can be very different from that shown on television programmes. The novel has been selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and a partial from the novel has been widely acclaimed and already won three awards. It will be released on the 30th of January and will be translated into 17 languages. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is likely to be one of the country’s standout works of fiction in 2020.

To Lahore, With Love by Hina Belitz

London-based equal rights lawyer Hina Belitz will be entering the world of publishing on the 19th of March with her comic take on Addy Mayford who is trying to forge an identity for herself. Growing up with an Irish mother and Pakistani father and nana, Addy Mayford is constantly torn between both cultures. However she finally becomes somewhat content with it when she begins cooking Lahori cuisine after her father’s death. Yet when she thinks everything is settled, Addy stumbles across a family secret which takes her to her father’s hometown, Lahore where her final acceptance of who she is awaits her. Belitz’s debut book is a funny, feel-good novel which reflects the struggle to create an identity for so many of us stuck between cultures. 

Midnight at Malabar House by Vaseem Khan 

Vaseem Khan is best known for his Baby Ganesh Detective Agency novels which feature retired Mumbai police inspector Ashwin Chopra and his beloved sidekick, a baby elephant called Ganesha but with his new book he begins an exciting new crime series. Set in Bombay on the single night of New Year’s Eve in 1949, India’s first female police detective  begins to solve the murder of a prominent English diplomat. As India counts down to becoming a republic, the detective begins to realise that the case is becoming increasingly political and she must solve regardless of the sexism that surrounds her. Midnight at Malabar House is a gripping work of historical fiction that will take you back to the early days of post-colonial India and is expected to be released on the 20th of August.

The Prosecutor by Nazir Afzal 

Nazir Afzal OBE is a former Chief Prosecutor who was responsible for some of the earliest prosecutions for honour killing as well as convicting the Rochdale sexual abuse ring. Afzal grew up in Birmingham where regularly faced racial abuse but those around him thought there was no point reporting it to police as no action would be taken. His father and his family worked in the army and one of his relatives was killed at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland. This led him to studying law at the University of Birmingham and beginning his career as a solicitor and ultimately a Chief Prosecutor for North West England. This memoir is an inspirational tale of how the author used his experiences as a catalyst to advocate for justice and will be released on the 16th of April.

You People by Nikita Lalwani 

Nikita Lalwani’s first novel Gifted was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and translated into 16 languages. Her second novel The Village followed suit as it was one of eight novels awarded the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for the best of British fiction. Meanwhile Lalwani herself was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and won the Desmond Elliot Prize for New Fiction which she decided to donate. Now, the Welsh author’s third novel revolves around The Pizzeria Vesuvio run by the charismatic Tuli, his Sri Lankan chefs and his illegal immigrant kitchen staff. When 19-year-old Nia runs away from her family in Wales and Shan flees the Sri Lankan civil war, Tuli’s guidance leads them into a dangerous situation where they are forced to make a difficult choice. You People will be published on the 2nd of April and has been described as “Intelligent and heart-piercing - an exceptional novel about the Britain we live in, even if we choose not to see” by Kamila Shamsie. 

The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain 

Sairish Hussain’s debut novel revolves around the world of a family comprised of Amjad the father and his two children Saahil and Zahra who he vows to protect. As the children get older, we follow them and their experiences as British Muslims. We witness Saahil and his friends celebrate their university graduation on a night which turns sour whilst we are invited into Zahra’s world of politics and activism which she struggles to balance with comforting her father. The Family Tree tells a moving story of a family full of problems but also full of loyalty and resilience. It is expected to be published by HarperCollins on the 2nd of February.

Can You See Me Now? by Trisha Sakhlecha

Sakhlecha’s second psychological thriller is about Alia Sharma who is sent to live in India with her grandparents. She knows that one of the fastest ways to be accepted is by making friends with the popular girls at school. However when she becomes friends with them, her exciting entrance into the world of privilege is soon overshadowed by jealousy and resentment and one night changes everything around her. Now Alia is an Indian government minister who is trying to hide the secret from her past but someone out there is ready to expose the truth about what happened on that fateful night. The author’s last book was widely acclaimed and described by a reader as “classic domestic noir with a colourful British Indian slant” whereas Can You See Me Now? offers a refreshing change from identity politics by a British Asian author.

Brown Baby by Nikesh Shukla 

Nikesh Shukla has long been an advocate for representation across the country’s publishing industry with The Good Immigrant collection of essays becoming so popular last year that it lead to a TV show of the same name. Now for one of our only non-fiction books on this list, Shukla has turned to his experiences of fatherhood for inspiration. He dwells on how to raise his two young daughters in a world plagued by racism, sexism and the worsening effects of climate change. He also explores how to be a feminist father and how to ensure that his girls have positive role models of colour in their lives. The memoir is a brutally honest but optimistic look at how to be a good British Asian parent in today’s morally corrupt world. 

Kika and Me by Dr Amit Patel

Dr Patel first was first thrust into the limelight when he was rudely shouted at by a fellow commuter on the tube and the video went viral. It was that moment, he decided that he and his trusty guide dog Kika had a message of positivity and inclusivity to spread. In his autobiographical novel Dr Patel tells the story of how he went from working as a trauma doctor to losing his sight within thirty-six hours. He also recalls his reservations about getting a guide dog and meeting Kika, whose stubbornness meant she may not have passed her guide dog training. Now they are a unit in this heart-warming tale of overcoming adversity which will be released on the 20th of February.