Natalia’s New Year Picks 2024
Selected by Natalia de la Ossa
The first three months of the publishing calendar for 2024 are looking very promising. I’m delighted to be reading Hisham Matar’s new novel My Friends, a moving tale of friendship and exile. Alongside this I’m eager to read a couple of new titles from Latin America: the long-awaited posthumous novel by Gabriel García Marquéz Until August, translated by Anne McLean; and Simpatía by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, translated by Noel Hernández González and Daniel Hahn. Set in Maduro’s Venezuela, Simpatía tells the story of a man tasked with looking after the abandoned dogs left behind by the exodus of Venezuelans due to the political situation.
I’m equally excited to read two new novels exploring Central American history: The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez tells the story of those who lived and laboured alongside the construction of the Panama Canal; and Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias is set in Costa Rica during the height of the US banana plantations and explores the long repercussions for one family when their plantation is burnt down.
For me, no list is complete without some new thrillers: one from Tana French, The Hunter; and Asako Yuzuki’s Butter, translated by Polly Barton, which will be my long haul flight companion, thanks to a proof Gayle shared with me.