Vol.1 Brooklyn’s March 2016 Books Preview


This March brings it with a host of books that we’re eager to read–everything from thought-provoking and incisive nonfiction to unexpected national histories to transportive, unpredictable fiction. Some come from authors whose work we’ve come to trust; others fall into the category of highly anticipated debuts. Here’s a look at some of the books that have us most excited for the upcoming month.


The Face: Cartography of the Void, Chris Abani
(March 1, Restless Books)

Chris Abani’s fiction and poetry span a wide array of styles and tones, delving into lost histories, war crimes, and fractured identities with equal measure. In this short book, Abani delves into memoir, with his face and his experiences growing up at the root of it all.


Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, Bob Mehr
(March 1, Da Capo Press)

Will we read an extensive biography of The Replacements? We sure will, especially when one is a decade in the making, as this one is.


The Winged Histories, Sofia Samatar
(March 1, Small Beer Press)

Sofia Samatar’s award-winning first novel, A Stranger in Olondria, took readers to a world that was both familiar and decidedly different. The Winged Histories, described as a “companion novel” to Samatar’s debut, focuses on four women in the midst of a rebellion, and looks to be a memorable blend of history, character, and setting.


The Folly of Loving Life, Monica Drake
(March 8, Future Tense Publishing)

Monica Drake’s novel Clown Girl remains a dizzyingly unpredictable novel, surreal and comic throughout. Her followup, The Stud Book, was a comedy of manners set in contemporary Portland, and now she’s returned with a story collection. We’re eager to see how her take on offbeat personal dynamics plays out in shorter forms.


We Love You, Charlie Freeman, Kaitlyn Greenidge
(March 8, Algonquin)

Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel spans decades, and tells a story that involves scientific research, an isolated small town, and questions of race in America. Greenidge’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in places like The Believer, Guernica, and the Tottenville Review, and we’re looking forward to reading this one.


Knockout, John Jodzio
(March 8, Soft Skull)

We like John Jodzio’s short fiction a whole lot–in fact, we published one of his stories in late 2012. So it’s probably not surprising that we’re eager to read his latest collection, which follows two earlier books, Get In If You Want To Live and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home.


What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Helen Oyeyemi
(March 8, Riverhead Books)

Helen Oyeyemi’s fiction blends fairy tales, myths, and the harsh realities of modern life in constantly changing ways–her most recent novel, Boy, Snow, Bird combined folklore and American history in ways that upended reader expectations. Her latest book brings together a number of short stories in which keys, restless spirits, and mysteries play a key role.


I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You: A Life on the Low Road, Mishka Shubaly
(March 8, Public Affairs)

As longtime admirers of Mishka Shubaly’s writing, we’re eager to read this memoir, which encompasses everything from its author’s encounters with punk to his grappling with addiction and his embrace of ultramarathoning. Shubaly’s work is often candid and haunting, and we expect more of the same here.


The Sky Isn’t Blue, Janice Lee
(March 11, Civil Coping Mechanisms)

Last year, Penny-Ante Editions released Janice Lee’s Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you, a haunting and poetic work of nonfiction. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to this new work, which touches on questions of memory and grief.


Insignificana, Dolan Morgan
(March 11, Civil Coping Mechanisms)

Also in the “Sunday Stories alumni with collections out this month” category: Dolan Morgan. We loved his previous collection, That’s When the Knives Come Down, which blended conceptually bold fiction with compelling concepts. If this story from 2013 is any indication, these stories head even more deeply into the conceptual, while throwing more than a little viscera in there as well.


Marigold, Troy James Weaver
(March 11, King Shot Press)

Troy James Weaver is on a roll: the short novel Marigold is his third book out in the past year, each on a notable small press. This one, as the title suggests, has something to do with plant life, with a depressed flower salesman as its central character.


So Sad Today: Personal Essays, Melissa Broder
(March 15, Grand Central Publishing)

We like Melissa Broder’s writing a whole lot: both her poetry and the work that she’s been doing at Vice and on Twitter under the So Sad Today banner. Candid and moving, Broder’s work is unpredictable and vital, and we’re looking forward to the work collected here.


Margaret the First, Danielle Dutton
(March 15, Catapult)

As publisher of Dorothy, a publishing project, Danielle Dutton has done a lot to get amazing literature out into the world. With this novel about the 17th-century intellectual Margaret Cavendish, Dutton joins Alexander Chee in the camp of writers who are looking to history for vibrant settings and new ways to explore their themes of choice.


Hold Still, Lynn Steger Strong
(March 21, Liveright)

Lynn Steger Strong’s debut novel examines the relationship between a mother and daughter, and how a tragic event causes an already-fraught connection to become even more complex. Whether tautly exploring personal bonds or writing movingly about her own life, Strong’s stories and essays have impressed us, and we’ve been eager to read this one for a while.


The Association of Small Bombs, Karan Mahajan
(March 22, Viking)

Besides having one of the most instantly memorable titles for a novel in recent memory, Karan Mahajan’s new novel explores the life of a young man in the aftermath of a horrific event that takes the life of two of his friends. With a story that crosses continents and addresses questions of nationalism, terrorism, and the effects of violence, this novel seems ready to engage with some of our era’s looming issues.


Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, Jesse Jarnow
(March 29, Da Capo Press)

Jesse Jarnow’s new book delves into the history of psychedelics and America from the 1950s onwards, covering a vast array of time, geography, and personalities along the way. Jarnow’s previous work has also explored notable subcultures, from the heyday of indie rock to underground animation, and we can’t wait to see what he does here.

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