I think it’s safe to say that October is something of a juggernaut, as far as books we’re looking forward to are concerned. The full spectrum is covered: surreal short fiction, expansive works in translation, smart juxtapositions of pop and literary culture, insightful memoirs, and more.
The New and Improved Romie Futch, Julia Elliott
(October 1, Tin House)
Last year, we were deeply impressed by Julia Elliott’s collection The Wilds. Now she’s returned with her first novel, involving feral hogs and advances in human intelligence. Needless to say, we’ve looking forward to this quite a bit.
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, Kristin Hersh
(October 1, University of Texas Press)
Kristin Hersh’s memoir Rat Girl earned an abundance of praise when it was released a couple of years ago. Now, she’s returned with a new book, which focuses on the late Vic Chesnutt. The kind of book you can be reasonably sure will break your heart before you even open it.
Vertigo, Joanna Walsh
(October 1, Dorothy, a publishing project)
Do you like your fiction difficult to pin down and stunningly written? This collection of work from 3:AM fiction editor Joanna Walsh makes the familiar alien, breaking down and remaking quotidian situations, and in the process turning them into gripping literature.
The Clasp, Sloane Crosley
(October 6, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The first novel from Sloane Crosley, following a pair of essay collections, follows a recently-reunited group of friends seeking a missing necklace. There’s also a nod in the direction of a Guy de Maupassant classic in there as well.
Bats of the Republic, Zachary Thomas Dodson
(October 6, Knopf)
With plotlines set in multiple centuries, Dodson’s “illuminated novel” brings together the historical and the futuristic, all the while working with an array of storytelling techniques.
The Pink Trance Notebooks, Wayne Koestenbaum
(October 6, Nightboat Books)
In lieu of keeping a journal for a year, Wayne Koestenbaum instead maintained “trance notebooks,” the end product of which became the writings collected in this new volume. Koestenbaum is never less than fascinating, and we’re curious to see a more experimental side of his work.
Slaughterhouse 90210, Maris Kreizman
(October 6, Flatiron Books)
Do you like smart, witty juxtapositions of pop culture and literature? Then (a)you’re probably already aware of Slaughterhouse 90210, and (b)you’ve probably been counting down to its release, much as we have.
M Train, Patti Smith
(October 6, Knopf)
Patti Smith’s Just Kids was a phenomenal memoir, both providing insight into Smith’s own work as a musician and poet and opening a window into a New York of decades past. We’re eager to see how she returns to revisiting her life in her latest work of nonfiction.
Katherine Carlyle, Rupert Thomson
(October 6, Other Press)
Rupert Thomson’s body of work is a fascinating, constantly shifting one, whether he’s taking detours into landscapes futuristic, historical, or emotional. His latest novel focuses on a young woman whose grief takes her on an unexpected journey.
Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine
(October 6, Drawn & Quarterly)
Adrian Tomine’s latest collection ventures into the inner lives of eccentrics, artists, parents, and more. Tomine’s skill at rendering body language and dialogue is second to none, as is his deadpan sense of comedy.
The Sleep of the Righteous, Wolfgang Hilbig
(October 13, Two Lines Press)
Do you enjoy your fiction paranoid and sinister? These stories evoke buried memories, sinister governments, and unpleasant compulsions; they’re both specific to a time and place and timelessly menacing.
Now and At the Hour of Our Death, Susana Moreira Marques
(October 13, And Other Stories)
In her debut, Susana Moriera Marques uses several scenes from life in Portugal to examine death and mortality. It’s been acclaimed by the likes of Leslie Jamison, which may give you an idea of the literary territory into which Marques is delving.
Upright Beasts, Lincoln Michel
(October 13, Coffee House Press)
Lincoln Michel’s fiction defies genre in often-inventive ways. His first collection involves alien presences, mysterious schools, humans devoured by animals, and much more. If you like your short stories with a heady dose of the surreal and unpredictable, look no further.
The Strangest, Michael J. Seidlinger
(October 15, O/R Books)
This is, apparently, the year for literary riffs on Camus’s The Stranger. Earlier in the year, Kamel Daoud’s The Mersault Investigation examined its themes from an Algerian perspective; now, Michael J. Seidlinger’s The Strangest updates its tale of alienation to the present day.
Teen Surf Goth, Oscar D’Artois
(October 19, Metatron)
Oscar D’Artois’s fantastically-titled Teen Surf Goth has been described by Melissa Broder as “a book of fantasy built on internet dreams and nostalgia for what never existed.” That sounds mightily promising; plus: it’s called Teen Surf Goth. What’s not to like?
Witches of America, Alex Mar
(October 20, Sarah Crichton Books)
With Halloween drawing near, it seems appropriate to have a nod to the occult in here–and, thankfully, we have Alex Mar’s forthcoming book on witchcraft, paganism, and more to look forward to.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Carrie Brownstein
(October 27, Riverhead Books)
If you’re reading Vol.1 Brooklyn, you probably know who Carrie Brownstein is. Thus, you can probably figure out why we’re excited to read her memoir–which will likely also prompt us to cue up many a Wild Flag and Sleater-Kinney song.
Home, Leila S. Chudori
(October 27, Deep Vellum)
Journalist Leila S. Chudori’s award-winning first novel, newly translated into English, covers several decades’ worth of political unrest in Indonesia in the second half of the twentieth century.