Four highly anticipated follow-up novels out this autumn

‘Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming’ marks the final volume of Krasznahorkai’s unofficial four-part series, composed of his former novels ‘Satantango’, ‘The Melancholy of Resistance’ and ‘War and War’. — Handout via AFP
‘Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming’ marks the final volume of Krasznahorkai’s unofficial four-part series, composed of his former novels ‘Satantango’, ‘The Melancholy of Resistance’ and ‘War and War’. — Handout via AFP

LONDON, Aug 1 — Olive Kitteridge, Offred... This autumn, several beloved characters will make their return in your local bookstore. Here is a selection of four sequels that will make you long for back-to-school season.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus), out September 10

The Testaments marks Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to the bestselling The Handmaid’s Tale, which was first published in 1985.

Although the dystopian novel is in the running for this year’s Man Booker Prize, few details about the plot have been unveiled to his date.

As announced by Atwood, The Testaments picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The sequel, which is set to be one of the biggest books of the year, follows the lives of three female characters in the theocratic dictatorship of Gilead.

“Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in,” Atwood teased ahead of the novel’s release.

The Testaments will be unveiled worldwide on September 10, with pre-orders being taken now.

Margaret Atwood will also be touring North America and the UK in support of the sequel, with the kickoff event taking place October 26 at Sage Gateshead in the North East of England.

For additional information, check the author’s official website.

Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai (New Directions), out September 24

Krasznahorkai, who has been described by Susan Sontag as “the contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse,” returns this autumn with Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming.

The novel follows the story of Baron Béla Wenckheim, a character reminiscent of Dostoevsky’s Prince Myshkin in The Idiot.

Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, he returns to his provincial Hungarian hometown where he hopes to reunite with his high-school sweetheart Marika.

Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming marks the final volume of Krasznahorkai’s unofficial four-part series, composed of his former novels Satantango, The Melancholy of Resistance and War and War.

“I’ve said a thousand times that I always wanted to write just one book. I wasn’t satisfied with the first, and that’s why I wrote the second. I wasn’t satisfied with the second, so I wrote the third, and so on. Now, with ‘Baron’, I can close this story. With this novel I can prove that I really wrote just one book in my life,” he told The Paris Review.

Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, which was translated by Ottilie Mulzet, will be released on September 24.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Random House), out October 15

Olive, Again follows the critically acclaimed novel Olive Kitteridge by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Elizabeth Strout.

It tells the story of Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who struggles to adjust to her new life with her second husband in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine.

“I never intended to return to Olive Kitteridge. I really thought I was done with her, and she with me,” Strout told the New Yorker, ahead of the release of Olive, Again.

Like its predecessor, the novel unfolds through 13 linked short stories, in which Olive encounters a cast of memorable characters.

Among them are a woman giving birth during an inopportune moment in “Labour;” a cancer patient in “Light;” and even Jim Burgess from Strout’s New York Times bestseller, “The Burgess Boys.”

Olive, Again will be published in the US on October 15, with pre-orders now available.

In the meantime, you can discover the award-winning HBO miniseries, Olive Kitteridge, starring Frances McDormand as the misanthropic but loveable Olive.

Find Me by André Aciman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), out October 29

Find Me is set decades after Oliver and Elio first met in Aciman’s critically acclaimed Call Me By Your Name, which was first published in 2007.

The sequel follows Elio’s recently divorced father Samuel, who goes to Rome to visit his son. While travelling by train, he encounters a beautiful young woman who will change his life forever.

Meanwhile, Elio moves to Paris and Oliver, who is now a college professor and a family man, finds himself contemplating the idea of returning to Europe.

“Elio and Oliver have been with me ever since they visited my pages and they’ve never left. I fell in love with them, fell in love with their love, and have never stopped thinking of them,” Aciman explained to Entertainment Weekly.

Although Find Me is set for release on October 29, it is still unclear whether the novel will also be turned into a movie. — AFP-Relaxnews

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