The holidays seem to go so fast! Here we are now in 2022, and the publishers are hitting the ground running. From the vast number of books that will publish this month, we’ve identified 80 of particular note, 13 of which publish this week. These include The Latinist, a cerebral thriller set in Oxford, England by debut novelist Mark Prins, which our members reviewed for our early reader program, First Impressions; and Anthem by Noah Hawley, which is set in a dystopian near-future America.
Also, Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor, which expands on The Great Gatsby from the points of view of three women: Daisy Buchanan, Daisy’s friend Jordan Baker and suffragette Catherine McCoy.
A number of books with characters from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known work already published in 2021 (the first of which was Nick by Michael Farris Smith, last January) and it’s likely that we’ll see more in the coming years as the book’s copyright expired in the U.S. in 2021, so the original text, as well as the book’s characters, can be used freely by anyone in any form without permission or fee.
Each New Year’s Day brings a new batch of books into the public domain. In the U.S. in 2022, this includes books first published in 1926, such as A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh; The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway; My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather; Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner; Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence; an early novel by Georgette Heyer, These Old Shades; a slew of novels from the prolific Edgar Wallace; and other works by a veritable who’s who of early 20th century authors including Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ford Maddox Ford, C. S. Forester, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Dorothy L. Sayers and H. G. Wells (see more).
Copyright law varies by country, so works that are freely available in one country are not necessarily so in others. To give you a hint of the complexities, in the U.S. there have been two major changes to copyright law since the 1970s: Works published before 1978 are now protected for 95 years from publication, but those published after 1978 are generally protected for the author’s life + 70 years. Eventually, this will bring U.S. copyright law broadly into line with Europe, where most countries recognize life + 70 years, but will leave both Europe and the U.S. with much longer copyright periods than most countries in Africa and Asia, where books generally enter the public domain 50 years after an author’s death.
With best wishes for the new year,