Empires, reindeer, “wizards”, gunslingers, tycoons, menacing stars, 14th century India, 16th century Florence, the Indochina and Ukrainian wars, and much more. In the wide world of literature we all fit.

There is probably no better way to start this celebration of literature that comes every April 23 than by entrusting yourself to a symbol of your invulnerability. The reborn Salman Rushdie pays homage to the power of stories to explain, unite and transcend us in his latest novel, Ciudad Victoria (Random House), chronicling the rise and fall of the Bisnaga empire between the 14th and 17th centuries, where the epic , fantasy and magical realism.

What Pierre Lemaitre does in The Wide World / The Great Mon (Salamander / Bromera) is another way of thanking the ability to evade reading by transplanting ourselves to Beirut, Saigon and Paris in 1948, following the destinies of the family clan of the Pelletier, allowing us to live countless adventures, conflicts and love stories in a confessed transfer of the mechanisms of the serial to contemporary settings.

Despite the turmoil that the members of the Lemaitre tribe are going through, it is likely that Lucrezia, third daughter of the Grand Duke Cosimo de Medici, changed for one of them after being forced to marry without having yet abandoned childhood in the pages of The married portrait / El retrat de matrimoni (Books of the Asteroid / L’Altra). We are in 16th century Florence, and as the great Maggie O’Farrell is at the controls, we are also in the field of psychological introspection and emotion cut into the thinnest slices imaginable.

Éric Vuillard has exemplified like few authors in recent years the idea that without the novelist’s gaze, the historical account remains fatally incomplete. After opening new layers of meaning to episodes such as Nazism or the French Revolution, now he throws his webs on the Indochina war in Una salida honrosa/Una sortida honorable (Tusquets / Edicions 62 ) to resize it based on a few characters and moments that manages to pop with his scalpel prose.

Now it is time to travel to remote places, to explore a nature as beautiful as it is inclement, to be cold and for our hearts to shrink a little. In Blizzard (Nordic), French Bookstores Award, the writer Marie Vingtras devastates us with a snowstorm that causes the trail of a child to be lost in a small town in Alaska. Several involved in the search for her will turn the experience into a process of self-analysis without hot cloths.

Ann-Hélen Laestadius also faces uncomfortable truths in Robo / Robatori (Navona), a portrait of the ravages suffered by the Sami culture through the eyes of a girl belonging to a family of reindeer herders. Book of the Year in Sweden that highlights the fragility of this indigenous minority.

And we wouldn’t immediately associate the English countryside with the daily struggle for survival, but this is precisely the image that Claire Fuller paints for us in Unsettled Earth / Unsettled Terra (Impedimenta / Les Hores , winner of the Costa Novel Award. Two twins who have lived in isolation and in autarchic regime they will have to relearn everything when their mother dies if they want to make their way through the ruthless world out there.

That this planet of ours can be an inhospitable place is evident day after day with the war in Ukraine, a country whose The Orphanage (Galaxy Gutenberg) by Zhadan Serhiy is one of the novels that has best portrayed its recent convulsions. After the Russian invasion of the Donbass region in 2014, a teacher will embark on an odyssey to locate his nephew, trapped in an orphanage on the other side of the front.

From a very different proposal, Giuliano da Empoli invites us to deepen our knowledge of the Russian colossus in El mago del Kremlin / El mag del Kremlin (Seix Barral / Edicions 62 ), a nickname given to a reality show producer and Putin advisor who By explaining his wild life, he offers us clues about Russian politics, society and character in recent decades.

Let’s surface for some air. Everything is said about human relationships but there are always works that seem to find a personal way of approaching them. This is the case of the Swedish Ia Genberg in Los detalles / Els detalls (Gatopardo Ediciones / Empúries), where the narrator looks back at four people who marked her youth –couple, friendship and family ties– and who built a good part of her identity , and the American Gabrielle Zevin, paradoxically capable in Mañana, y mañana, y mañana / Demà, i demà, i demà (ADN de Novelas / Periscopi) of shaking us with a multifaceted vision of love in a context of virtual reality and video games.

And a trio of titles that open paths within genre literature. Those who confine Karl Ove Knausgaard in impudent autofiction will find a severe corrective in his embrace of the metaphysical terror of The Morning Star (Anagram), where a mysterious star will cause disturbing phenomena and open the murky inner floodgates of a group of characters. What Deepti Kapoor has done with the social novel and the thriller in The Age of Vice (Alfaguara) is put them in a cocktail shaker, set them on fire and throw them down a ravine. Two mafia clans, a wayward son, a fierce servant and a foolish journalist make our hearts race in a heartless India.

To those who thought that the twilight western was the exclusive preserve of cinema, cinema, Valerio Evangelisti responds with four hundred pages of pure dynamite in Anthracite (Tin Sheet), a portrait of the troubled mining counties of Pennsylvania in 1875 with an unforgettable vigilante directing the function: Pantera, a Mexican gunman, santero and mercenary. The dark side of capital in the construction of the modern United States is also part of Fortuna (Anagrama / Periscopi), by Hernán Díaz, which starts from a novel about a magnate from the 1920s to lead us through metafictional labyrinths and narrative games that dilate the pupils.