As 2018 comes to a close, the Picador editorial team look back over the books that impressed them the most in the last 12 months. Here is their edit of the year’s literary fiction and non-fiction that you shouldn’t miss.

 

Kudos

The book I was anticipating reading most was Kudos by Rachel Cusk; I rushed to read it the weekend after it was published and although I didn't love it as much as Transit, her previous novel, it concludes her remarkable Outline Trilogy, and I still think, taken together, they're one of the most remarkable works of fiction I've read so far this decade. - Kris Doyle, Senior Commisioning Editor

 

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Who Is Mary Sue?

In Who Is Mary Sue? Sophie Collins shifts between poetry, prose and collage to explore shame, patriarchy and selfhood, the result is a sublime and fearlessly feminist debut collection that you will press into the hands of everyone you know. - Kishani Widyaratna, Editor 

 

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American Sonnets for My Past and Future

Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin collects seventy sonnets Hayes wrote after Trump’s election, all addressed to his would-be assassins as a black man in America. They read as an urgent, interrogative and formally beautiful diary-like sequence, quite unlike anything else.

 

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Notes To Self

I inhaled Notes To Self and thought every one of Emilie Pine's essays utterly incredible - gripping and moving, impassioned and angry-making in all the right ways. Her writing is pitch-perfect, lyrical and her subjects so deeply, painfully personal, that it felt like a genuine privilege to read these essays.

It is so rare to read something that is so very moving and so affecting that it feels like an intimate conversation between the author and reader, but that's what Emilie does, and to lift your head after reading these essays and realize that others have read and reacted in the same way is a strangely exposing experience. I was totally blown away by Notes To Self, and I think they are essays I will return to again and again. - Sophie Jonathan, Senior Commissioning Editor

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Everything Under

Of the many novels not published by Picador that I managed to read this year, I so admired Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under. I was very taken by her short story collection, Fen, so knew that I wanted to read the novel the moment it appeared. A dark tale of mothers and daughters and the complicated relationships between them, and an eerie retelling of the Oedipus story, freighted with myth and fairy-tale, I was enthralled by it. - Georgina Morley, Non-Fiction Editorial Director

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Ghost Wall

This was a bumper year for brilliant fiction, essays, poetry and translation, in large part thanks to independent publishers who continue to do the most. I enjoyed a number of novels by return favourites, but it was Sarah Moss’s Ghost Wall  that took me by surprise— it’s somehow about bog people, queer sexual awakening, toxic families and Brexit all at once. The writing is achingly clear and sensuous, the book has crept into my bones. - Kishani Widyaratna, Editor 

 

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