What does November hold, in terms of books hitting the shelves? We’re glad you asked. As we advance deeper into fall, literary offerings will appear on bookstore shelves from critically acclaimed powerhouses, champions of experimental fiction, writers appearing in translation, and more. There are new editions of cult classics, and the first book from Vol.1 Brooklyn’s founder–all told, a terrific month to be reading. Here are some of the books that have gotten our attention for this month.
Have I Got a Story For You, edited by Ezra Glinter
(November 1, W.W. Norton)
Over the 120-year history of the Forward, they’ve published fiction from a host of writers and touching on a number of styles. This new anthology collects a number of the highlights, along with an introduction by A Guide to the Perplexed author Dara Horn.
Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu
(November 1, Tor)
If you’re looking for a look at the current state of Chinese science fiction, the stories in this anthology (translated by editor Ken Liu) will give you plenty to mull over. Stylistically, they range from visceral stories of war to dreamlike takes on the nature of consciousness and mortality to riffs on our place in the cosmos. And throughout, they serve as a great reminder of what great science fiction is capable of.
Thus Bad Begins, Javier Marias; translated by Margaret Jull Costa
(November 1, Knopf)
Javier Marias’s fiction attains its power through meticulous pacing and the accumulation of information surrounding his characters. His latest novel takes in an unhappy marriage and the secrets that inform it–the kind of scenario in which the past looms large.
Fish in Exile, Vi Khi Nao
(November 1, Coffee House Press)
In Vi Khi Nao’s new novel, the death of a child and the trauma that results is filtered through a host of different stylistic approaches, making for a haunting take on grief and the ways in which we process it.
Trysting, Emmanuelle Pagano; translated by Jennifer Higgins and Sophie Lewis
(November 1, Two Lines Press)
We don’t normally note publishers’ descriptions of books in here, but we were very intrigued by Two Lines Press referring to this book as a “blend of Maggie Nelson and Marguerite Duras.” Did that pique our interest? Yes indeed.
Everything We Don’t Know, Aaron Gilbreath
(November 8, Curbside Splendor)
We’ve long been admirers of Aaron Gilbreath’s writing–specifically, his abilities to make familiar places seem new again, and his willingness to delve beneath seemingly calm nonfictional surfaces. This collection of his essays brings a host of his work together, and serves as a great introduction to his work.
The Great American Songbook, Sam Allingham
(November 15, A Strange Object)
We like Sam Allingham’s fiction a lot–in fact, we published one of his short stories earlier this year. They venture into unexpected places, both stylistically and in terms of their plots; we’re very eager to take in an entire book’s worth of them.
Pieces of Soap, Stanley Elkin
(November 15, Tin House)
What’s better than one essential comic writer? In the case of this new edition of Stanley Elkin’s Pieces of Soap, which has an introduction by Sam Lipsyte, the answer is pretty clear: the presence of two essential comic writers. Elkin’s brand of discomfiting comedy is ripe for rediscovery; this might be a great place to start.
Glue, Constance Ann Fitzgerald
(November 15, Lazy Fascist)
We published an excerpt from Constance Ann Fitzgerald’s Glue earlier this year, and we’re looking forward to reading the whole thing. Glue promises to be a harrowing work exploring grief, mortality, and the tenuousness of our everyday lives.
Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi
(November 15, Hachette Books)
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we’re always up for a good punk memoir; this one, from Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, looks to be exactly that.
Hi, Anxiety: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves, Kat Kinsman
(November 15, Dey Street Books)
You may know Kat Kinsman from her work as an editor at Extra Crispy, or her work with Chefs With Issues. In Hi, Anxiety, Kinsman explores anxiety and depression through her own experiences with both, writing with candor about each has affected her everyday life.
Swing Time, Zadie Smith
(November 15, Penguin Press)
It’s a new novel by the great Zadie Smith exploring questions of friendship, art, and when ambition exceeds talent. That sounds like the stuff from which great literature emerges, and our hopes are high for this one.
Sing the Song, Meredith Alling
(November 18, Future Tense Books)
Meredith Alling’s frequently disarming short stories have appeared in the likes of Tin House and The Guardian. Sing the Song is her first collection; we published an excerpt from it last month, if you’d like to get a sense of what to expect.
Defiant Pose, Stewart Home
(November 26, Penny-Ante)
Stewart Home’s fiction blends visceral aspects with theoretical headiness, creating an arresting style of literature that’s decidedly unique. This 25th anniversary edition of his book Defiant Pose features a new introduction by McKenzie Wark.
Searching For John Hughes, Jason Diamond
(November 29, William Morrow)
The first book from Vol.1 Brooklyn’s own Jason Diamond chronicles his experiences trying to write a biography of filmmaker John Hughes. Along the way, the book covers a wide range of topics, from his coming of age around Chicago to finding one’s own artistic voice.