As always, the scope of non-fiction books set for publication this year is wide-ranging in both genre and subject matter, so this is just a small taste of what’s to come.
Two major new books look at how artificial intelligence is changing all our lives. In Filterworld (January), New Yorker staff writer Kyle Chayka concentrates on how algorithms are shaping our culture and narrowing our experience of the world. In Code Dependent (March), Financial Times journalist Madhumita Murgia explores what the rise of AI means for us as a society by looking at the impact it has on nine ordinary people around the world.
Following on from his bestselling Empireland, author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera continues his examination of Britain’s colonial past with Empireworld (January), exploring its legacies around the world. In her book Private Revolutions: A Coming of Age Story (May), journalist Yuan Yang looks at life in modern China through the lives of four women in the 1980s and 1990s, all dreaming of a brighter future.
Olivia Laing’s previous non-fiction books have seen her explore subjects including loneliness, alcoholic writers, rivers and the human body. For her new one The Garden Against Time, out in May, she starts closer to home – in her walled garden in Sussex – and from there begins an investigation into the pleasures and possibilities of gardens.
Another writer exploring a subject close to her heart is renowned NPR music critic Ann Powers. Travelling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell (March) looks at the life and career of Joni Mitchell through her many journeys, musical and otherwise.
Lauren Oyler has a reputation as a fierce literary critic, so it makes sense that her first collection of essays, No Judgement (March) explores the role of cultural criticism in modern society. It’s followed in April by Like Love, a collection of essays on art and artists from Maggie Nelson, author of Bluets and The Argonauts. Nelson’s genre-busting writing has won her many devoted fans, as has that of author Deborah Levy, who also has an essay collection out this year – though we’ll have to wait patiently until the autumn for that one.
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