As we picked the 15 new books we're most looking forward to getting our hands on in 2012, it occurred to us that this year may well be the year of the literary comeback.
In the purest sense of the term there are some well-loved authors - like Zadie Smith and Naomi Wolf - who haven't released a new book in so long, fans of their work will be forgiven for feeling a drop of doubt in their excitement over the imminent new titles. Does a gift for storytelling like Smith's fade over time? What about the ferocious intellect behind Naomi Wolf's cultural theories? 2012 is the year we'll find out.
For other writers like Irvine Welsh and Will Self, it will be a literary comeback of a different kind as they revisit characters that occurred during a different stage in their careers. Can Welsh, after almost 20 years of living comfortably as Scotland's most famous writer, recapture the gutsy realism of Trainspotting with his prequel Skagboys? Can Will Self's shrink Zack Busner survive another run out in Umbrella?
2012 isn't all about reemerging titans, however. Noah Hawley, to date better known as a TV producer and script writer, is on the cusp of being taken seriously as one of the great emerging talents in American literature when The Good Father hits the UK, while Lionel Shriver is seeking to capitalise on her new audience since 2011's successful film adaptation of We Need To Talk About Kevin with her next novel The New Republic.
All in all, we're licking our lips at the prospect of the most exciting releases penciled in for 2012. Have a look at our selection below, and let us know if there's any you feel we've missed.
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