From surreal fiction to insightful guides to the intersection of design and crime in everyday life to elegantly constructed memoirs to updated versions of beloved stories, the books due out in April cover a wide range of topics and styles. Here are a few of the books that have caught our eye, from noteworthy debuts to new works from some of our favorite writers.
Murder, Jane Liddle
(April 1, 421 Atlanta)
We are huge admirers of the surreal short fiction written by Jane Liddle; we’re even involved with the release event for her debut collection. So placing this group of taut, unpredictable, sometimes violent stories on this list was not a hard decision.
My Radio Radio, Jessie Van Eerden
(April 1, Vandalia Press)
Jessie Van Eerden’s first novel is set among a small community in Indiana, and follows a young woman who finds herself at odds with the people among whom she was raised after the loss of her brother.
Proxies: Essays Near Knowing, Brian Blanchfield
(April 5, Nightboat Books)
In this collection of essays, Brian Blanchfield embraces the flaws of memory to create a moving portrait that raises powerful questions about how we define ourselves, how we interact with the world around us, and how the things that have affected us over time alter in our minds.
Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, Lesley Hazleton
(April 5, Riverhead)
In this concise work, Lesley Hazleton makes a compelling case for why agnosticism matters, and sets out a comprehensive and though-provoking definition of what it means. It’s a powerful and deeply humanistic argument, told deftly through these pages.
Everything I Found On the Beach, Cynan Jones
(April 5, Coffee House Press)
Last year, we were floored by Cynan Jones’s The Dig, which blended visceral imagery, a compassionate understanding of character, and a fantastic sense of place. Now, some of his earlier novels are being released in the US for the first time, including this one. In our interview with Jones last year, he described it as “much more deliberately a thriller narrative in some respects.” And Duncan B. Barlow reviewed it earlier this week.
A Burglar’s Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh
(April 5, FSG Originals)
There’s something inherently compelling about unorthodox histories of urban spaces. As dedicated admirers of the work that Luc Sante did in books like Low Life and The Other Paris, it’s not a shock that we’re fans of the form. Geoff Manaugh takes a more overtly architectural approach in his new book, looking at how architecture and crime have increasingly begun to overlap. It’s a fascinating read.
The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, Maggie Nelson
(April 5, Graywolf)
No two books by Maggie Nelson resemble one another all that much. The Red Parts, originally released in 2007 and now being released in a paperback edition, is no difference. Ostensibly, it’s about a trial decades after the murder of Nelson’s aunt–but as with much of Nelson’s work, there’s plenty more to ponder as the book proceeds.
Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss
(April 5, Gallery/Scout Press)
Perhaps not surprisingly, we are fond of books that use New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s as their setting. So this novel from Molly Prentiss following a small group of people through the gallery scene of New York at that time definitely has our interest piqued.
All Tomorrow’s Parties, Rob Spillman
(April 5, Grove/Atlantic)
We’ve been eager to read Rob Spillman’s memoir ever since it was first announced. It encompasses two distinct periods in its author’s life: his childhood, including time spent in Berlin with his musician father; and the time he spent living in Berlin just after the Berlin Wall came down.
The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, Manuel Gonzales
(April 12, Riverhead)
Manuel Gonzales’s short story collection The Miniature Wife was both nuanced and unsettling, and as a result we’re very eager to read his new novel. That there are secret societies and a group of female assassins in the mix doesn’t hurt, either.
Springtime: A Ghost Story, Michelle de Kretser
(April 12, Catapult)
Michelle de Kretser’s short novel is neatly paced and quietly unsettling. It follows a young woman who moves with her family to a new city, where she discovers a ghostly presence on her travels exploring it. It’s perfectly-pitched and hard to shake.
The Bed Moved: Stories, Rebecca Schiff
(April 12, Knopf)
We’ve been admirers of Rebecca Schiff’s short fiction–which has appeared in places like Guernica, n+1, and Recommended Reading, for a while now. Needless to say, we’re very eager to read The Bed Moved, her debut collection, which looks to cover a wide gamut of locations and emotions.
The Border of Paradise, Esmé Weijun Wang
(April 12, Unnamed Press)
Esmé Weijun Wang’s new novel focuses on the complex relationships among a family with a prosperous business in the post-war United States, and the conflicts and questions of family that occur over time.
(April 19, Random House)