Amitav Ghosh, Nisi Shawl and others on Publishers’ Weekly’s best books of 2008

This week, Publishers’ Weekly posted the list of books it has judged the best of 2008. Among the works of the fantastic on the list by writers of colour are books by Amitav Ghosh, Jaime Hernandez, the CBS’s own Nisi Shawl, and others.

Publishers’ Weekly says: Once again, we take the opportunity near year’s end to review the year in books, highlighting the very best of what American publishing* had to offer in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, comics, religion, lifestyle and children’s. There were the authors we expected to deliver, and they did.

Congratulations to everyone on the list. Some of the titles:

Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Diaspora, myth and a fascinating language mash-up propel the Rubik’s cube of plots in Ghosh’s picaresque epic. The cast is marvelous and the plot majestically serpentine, but the real hero is the English language, which has rarely felt so alive and vibrant.

Filter House
Nisi Shawl (Aqueduct)
Shawl’s exquisitely rendered debut collection weaves threads of folklore, religion, family and the search for a cohesive self through a panorama of race, magic and the body.

The Education of Hopey Glass
Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Perpetual punk Hopey Glass must face the loss of her ambitions in yet another stunning book from Hernandez.

Yuichi Yokoyama (Picturebox)
A train journey becomes a madly energetic blueprint for an alternate reality in this abstract, experimental manga.

*It’s not all American publishing. The non-SF/F graphic novel Skim, by Canadians Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, was published by Groundwood Books, based in my home city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Look for more of Jillian Tamaki’s work in Hiromi Goto‘s forthcoming fantasy novel Half World, a January 2009 release.