The works of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison go beyond thought-provoking to what could better be called thought-demanding, with their lush prose, deep themes and occasional touches of magic or mysticism. But that's just what readers and critics appreciate about Morrison, who is one of America's most treasured writers. Her next novel, Home, will be published by Knopf on May 8. It's the story of a Korean War veteran who returns to small-town Georgia, disappointed in its racist culture and trying to help his emotionally unstable sister while still recovering from the physical and emotional aftereffects of war.

All this inner turmoil in just 160 pages. Get ready, Morrison fans. I can see this one competing for some of 2012's biggest literary prizes alongside Hilary Mantel's Bringing Up the Bodies.

What books are you looking forward to in 2012?

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