Authors we have come to know and appreciate have been hard at work and will be publishing again in the near future. Novels currently in the pipeline include Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings," coming from Viking in early January. The author of "The Secret Life of Bees" writes this time about the intertwined lives of Sarah Grimke (based on a real historical figure), a resident of Charleston, S.C., and her slave handmaiden, Handful, over a 35-year period in the early 19th century.

February will bring the release of San Francisco author Rabih Alameddine's "An Unnecessary Woman" (Grove Press), a novel about an elderly recluse in Beirut who lives alone in her apartment surrounded by books she has translated into Arabic. Her life and emotional upheavals have been shaped by the Lebanese civil war. The author of "The Hakawati" already is drawing high praise for the new work from his peers, including Colm Toibin, Rachel Kushner and Bay Area authors Daniel Alarcon and Yiyun Li.

Coming in March is "Boy, Snow, Bird" (Riverhead Books) by Helen Oyeyemi, named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists for 2013. The prize-winning author of "Mr. Fox" has taken the Snow White legend and turned it into a 20th-century parable about beauty, vanity, race and family secrets.

-- Sue Gilmore, Staff

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