Great reads await in 2015 from the likes of Morrison, King, Franzen, Rice and Oates

Novelist Stephen King spoke in December to creative writing students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in Lowell.
Novelist Stephen King spoke in December to creative writing students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in Lowell. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Finish up those 2014 books, folks. A new crop of great reads is about to arrive. Here's a short, selective list; publication dates are subject to change.

Literary lights

■ Chinese novelist Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, continues to chronicle his nation in Frog. It's the story of a playwright who wants to write about his aunt, a midwife who became a brutal enforcer of China's one-child policy. Jan. 22.

■ It has been a decade since Kazuo Ishiguro's last novel, Never Let Me Go. He returns with The Buried Giant, about a couple searching through a troubled land for a son they haven't seen in years. March.

■ Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner Toni Morrison's 11th novel, God Help the Child, is described as a "searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult." April.

■ T.C. Boyle again explores his favorite territory, the American psyche, in The Harder They Come, about an aging Vietnam vet and his mentally unstable son. April.

■ National Book Award winner Jonathan Franzen releases his fifth novel, Purity, about a girl searching for her father. September.

Next in the series

■ Jim Harrison's The Big Seven continues the darkly comic escapades of Detective Sunderson, from the best-selling The Great Leader. February.

■ Dennis Lehane completes an epic crime fiction trilogy with World Gone By. March.

■ Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquelaure, publishes a long-awaited sequel. Beauty's Kingdom is the fourth in her erotic Sleeping Beauty series, the third of which was published in 1985. This definitely is not the children's version of the fairy tale. April.

■ Fans of Kate Atkinson's wonderful, time-bending Life After Life can look forward to the continuation of that story (or stories) in A God in Ruins. May.

■ Stephen King is likely to publish a bunch of books, as usual. One of them will be Finders Keepers, which brings back the surviving characters from his deft thriller Mr. Mercedes. June.

Fiction from history

■ The tireless Joyce Carol Oates publishes The Sacrifice, a tense novel based on the notorious Tawana Brawley rape case in 1987. Jan. 27.

■ Stewart O'Nan offers West of Sunset, about writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's years in Hollywood. Jan. 13.

■ In The Fifth Heart, Dan Simmons weaves an intriguing web of historical and fictional characters (Henry James, Clover Adams, Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes) caught up in a mystery. March.

In the Unlikely Event is the first book for adults in 15 years from beloved kids' author Judy Blume. It's based on a series of plane crashes that closed the Newark, N.J., airport for a year in the early 1950s. June.

Moving memoirs

Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the first book by a current prisoner at the U.S. facility to be published, should be revealing. Jan. 20.

■ Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk, which won Britain's prestigious Samuel Johnson award, publishes in the United States. It's the strange and lyrical story of how she trained a wild falcon. March.

■ In My Journey With Maya, Tavis Smiley recounts his long friendship with Maya Angelou, who became his mentor when he was a young man. April.

Born With Teeth, a memoir by actress Kate Mulgrew, looks at a career that includes Star Trek: Voyager and Orange Is the New Black. April.

■ Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, two of the women imprisoned for years in a Cleveland house, tell their story in H ope: A Memoir of Survival. May.

■ Comedian-actor Aziz Ansari got a $3.5 million deal to write Modern Romance. He describes it as being more sociology than memoir. We'll see. June.