Ta-Nehisi Coates says he will publish his first novel next year

The essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates ("Between the World and Me") wants to publish his debut novel in 2019: "I’ve been working on this since 2009", he tells the German weekly ZEITmagazin. He says he had to walk away from it many times because "everything kept getting in the way", referring to his previous non-fiction books "Between the World And Me" and "We Were Eight Years In Power", as well as to the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, and the first year of Donald Trump’s.

Coates says that the last time he talked to Barack Obama was right after Trump was elected. "Obama was still very much the optimist he was when I first got to know him", Coates says. "That’s always been the dynamic between the two of us: He continues to believe in the institutions of the United States."

Asked about Trump’s political prospects, Coates says: "He might win again."