The editors of poco.lit. share their favorite books of 2022 – five novels by incredibly talented writers from around the world.
Djinns by Fatma Aydemir
Fatma Aydemir shows exceptional compositional and narrative skill in her second novel, Djinns (not translated into English yet), which is based on a family story. The complexity of migration, family, relationships and life choices lie at the centre of Djinns. These themes are explored through a queer lens. The book invites readers to develop empathy for all the characters. Those who engage with their perspectives realise how rarely anything is simply good or bad, black or white. Read more about Djinns here.
Our missing hearts by Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng’s Our missing hearts takes readers into the near future of the United States. The book presents a dystopian world of oppression that exaggerates some aspects of our present reality, showing where racism and regulation might lead. The bleak picture is contrasted with a couple‘s love for their child and the artistic resistance that moves the whole country with its public interventions. Read more about this dystopia, where gentleness and creativity cannot be driven away, here.
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Tara June Winch is an Australian (Wiradjuri) writer, winner of a number of literary awards. This is her third book, and a bestseller in Australia. The plot surrounding main character August Gondiwindi gives the story its momentum, with the narrative managing both an enchantingly sedate meandering, as a story told via a dictionary might suggest, and some surprise turnarounds and instances of real suspense. We absolutely loved The Yield, and can recommend it wholeheartedly. Read our review here.
The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Nana Oforiatta Ayim’s prose in her debut novel The God Child feels like poetry: vivid, associative, beautiful – and sometimes a little confusing. The story navigates between Ghana, Germany and the UK, following its young protagonist Maya from childhood to her early twenties, and is a narrative rich in history, complicity and complicated relationships. You can find a full review of this wonderful book here.
The Promise by Damon Galgut
Formally, this was one of the most interesting and surprising books we’d read in a while – and it was its formal innovation that the jury of the Booker Prize praised in particular when they made Damon Galgut’s The Promise the winner of the award for 2021. The novel is structured around the four funerals of different members of the Swart family, a white South African farming family, and spans different epochs in the history of the country in which it is set. A complicated and compelling read, this book was reviewed by us here.