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Fall preview 2014: international books

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR

Following a prolific run in the fiction realm, Dave Eggers returns to non-­fiction with a collection of travel essays. Visitants ($32.50 cl.) gathers together more than 20 years of journeys, adventures, and behind-the-scenes sketches, including research trips to Sudan and Syria for, respectively, What Is the What and Zeitoun. Eggers’ publishing house, McSweeney’s (distributed in Canada by Raincoast), will release the collection in October.

Readers will finally find out what’s on Oprah Winfrey’s mind when she publishes her first book with the new Macmillan imprint Flatiron Books. What I Know for Sure (Flatiron/Raincoast, $28.99 cl., Sept.) is a collection of O Magazine columns written in the 14 years since the late film critic Gene Siskel asked her the question implied in the title. • A very different set of unanswered questions will be explored in The Wild Truth (Harper­Collins, $22.99 pa., Oct.) by Carine McCandless, sister of the notorious adventurer Christopher McCandless (the subject of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild). McCandless fills in the blanks left after her brother’s tragic death in Alaska.

TheRepublicOfImaginationIn October, Azar Nafisi follows up on the million-copy bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran with The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books (Viking, $33 cl.), a celebration of American fiction and an invitation to readers south of the border to take pride in their homegrown literary legends.

Venerated British comic John Cleese reveals his comedic secrets in an autobiography that details his career as the face of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. So Anyway ($29.95 cl.) appears in November from Doubleday Canada. • Funny man Rainn Wilson chronicles his evolution from band geek to Dwight Schrute on The Office to Twitter celebrity @SoulPancake. His memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy (Dutton/­Penguin, $31 cl.), arrives in October.

GRAPHICA

SyllabusEqual parts stunning and shocking, the Palme d’Or–winning film adaptation of Julie Maroh’s Blue Is the Warmest Colour turned heads in 2013. The graphic novelist returns in October to tell the story of a French rock star’s lust for immortality. Skandalon (Arsenal Pulp Press, $21.95 pa.) is translated by Montreal’s David Homel. • In the late 1990s, an emergency surgery triggered a recurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder in celebrated cartoonist John Porcellino. The Hospital Suite (Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 pa., Nov.) details his subsequent struggle for mental and physical recovery. • Answering the prayers of aspiring writers everywhere, the beloved Lynda Barry has finally anthologized Writing the Unthinkable, her New York Times Magazine column. Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor (D&Q, $24.95 pa., Oct.) collects her writing exercises, colloquial advice, and doodles for anyone looking for an entry point into creative expression.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

A posthumous publication from Christopher Hitchens returns to the topic of one of his most notorious books, God Is Not Great. Why Religion Is Immoral and Other Interventions (Signal/M&S, $29.95 cl., Nov.) is a collection of Hitchens’ previously unpublished speeches made during his time as a controversial political pundit. • At age 91, Henry Kissinger remains in the political conversation with his latest book, World Order (Penguin, $42 cl., Sept.). The former U.S. secretary of state looks for convergence among a decentralized world’s diverse ideologies. • “Big data” is a resolutely millennial phrase, which means a book explaining the trend for the layperson was inevitable. Dataclysm: Who We Think We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl.), by OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, arrives in September.