The month of June brings with it a widely varied host of literature. If you’re in the mood for literary fiction from some of the most adept practitioners of it, you’re going to be pretty well taken care of. Perhaps you’re searching for work from a cult writer that’s only recently re-entered the spotlight? Some of these books fall into this category as well. From surreal, disorienting fiction to explorations of spaces familiar and historic, these books offer plenty for a wide range of literary tastes.
Saint Mazie, Jami Attenberg
(June 2, Grand Central Publishing)
Jami Attenberg’s new novel of New York in the first half of the 20th Century takes its inspiration from a woman profiled by Joseph Mitchell in Up in the Old Hotel. Attenberg’s fiction has been getting more and more ambitious in its scope–there were some impressive and understated narrative devices at work in 2013’s The Middlesteins–and that’s only made us more excited for her latest work.
The Prince of Minor Writers: Selected Essays, Max Beerbohm
(June 2, NYRB Classics)
Writing about Beerbohm in Flavorwire in 2014, Jason Diamond explored his sense of humor, style, and continued relevance to the literary world. He also noted that “now seems as good a time as any for Americans to come around to the very unique, very sharp Beerbohm.” This Phillip Lopate-edited collection of essays doesn’t sound like a bad place to start.
The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, Vendela Vida
(June 2, Knopf)
Vendala Vida’s fiction explores distances of the geographic and emotional varieties. Her latest novel, set in Morocco, explores questions of identity atop everything else, and looks to be another entry in a very strong body of work.
Haints Stay, Colin Winnette
(June 2, Two Dollar Radio)
Colin Winnette is already having a fine year: his short novel Coyote was a mesmerizing account of a couple’s collapse in the face of tragedy. Haints Stay takes the reader back into a violent past, with a journey into a hallucinatory West.
Book of Numbers, Joshua Cohen
(June 9, Random House)
Whether nimble and taut (the novellas in Four New Messages) or sprawling and referential (the novel Witz), Joshua Cohen’s fiction is among the most expansive being written right now. His latest novel–sizable, though perhaps not on the smite-your-enemies scale of Witz–explores questions of the digital age.
American Meteor, Norman Lock
(June 9, Bellevue Literary Press)
Norman Lock’s recent fiction has explored the 19th century, both on its own and in the context of its continued effects on the present day. American Meteor explores America’s westward expansion and the artistic vision and horrors (both personal and societal) that emerged from it.
The Hopeful, Tracy O’Neill
(June 9, Ig Publishing)
Tracey O’Neill explores the world of figure skating and the physical and emotional toll that it can exact in this, her debut novel. O’Neill contributed a Sunday Story in 2013, and we’re eager to read more from her.
The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, Quintan Ana Wikswo
(June 9, Coffee House Press)
Describing The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far isn’t easy: it blends stark prose and shifting imagery with images that sometimes accentuate the words on the page and sometimes bring moments into sharp (pardon the pun) focus. It’s unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year.
101 Detectives, Ivan Vladislavic
(June 16, And Other Stories)
South African writer Ivan Vladislavic’s work reads, at times, like a middle ground between the sensibilities of Edward St. Aubyn and Teju Cole (who wrote the introduction for Vladslavic’s Double Negative). And the newly-released 101 Detectives gives readers the opportunity to delve into Vladislavic’s short fiction.
Baldur’s Gate II, Matt Bell
(June 22, Boss Fight Books)
Feel like reading Matt Bell delve into the world of early-00s role-playing video games? As a result of Boss Fight Books’ ongoing efforts to give video games their cultural due, you’ll soon be able to do exactly that.
A Legend of the Future, Augustín de Rojas
(June 23, Restless Books)
Restless Books is in the process of releasing Cuban science fiction in the U.S. Among the first titles is A Legend of the Future, a haunting work that quickly shrugs off some space-opera trappings and ventures into bleaker psychological territory.
The Star Side of Bird Hill, Naomi Jackson
(June 30, Penguin Press)
Naomi Jackson’s highly-praised first novel focuses on two sisters who move from Brooklyn to Barbados, exploring questions of familial relationships and geographic distance in the process.
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