Remember autumn? Remember the existence of a season not characterized by overwhelming heat and humidity? We’ve heard whispers that such a season might be on the way, and that signs of it might even be visible this month. Consequently, we have some reading recommendations for the coming month, from new editions of vital speculative fiction to experimental prose to works that explore human relationships. Here’s a look at some books that might be just the thing to read outdoors as you savor the cooling weather.
Fashion Climbing: A Memoir With Photographs, Bill Cunningham
(Sept. 4, Penguin Press)
Designer, writer, and style icon Bill Cunningham was at work on this memoir before his death; in it, he explores his early years working in the world of fashion, and traces the evolution of his own aesthetic. For those who savored Cunningham’s thoughts on style, this promises to be an crucial read.
The Golden State, Lydia Kiesling
(Sept. 4, MCD)
Lydia Kiesling’s debut novel was longlisted for the Center For Fiction’s prestigious First Novel Prize. In following its protagonist as she relocates to the California desert, Kiesling invokes questions of immigration, political activism, mortality, and depression–all on the way towards a harrowing climax.
Ultraviolet, Suzanne Matson
(Sept. 4, Catapult)
Suzanne Matson’s new book Ultraviolet follows several acclaimed novels and books of poetry. In it, Mattson explores the lives of several generations of one family across America and overseas–and in doing so ventures to unexpected emotional states.
After the Winter, Guadalupe Nettel; translated by Rosalind Harvey
(Sept. 4, Coffee House Press)
Guadalupe Nettel’s award-winning novel After the Winter, following two residents of New York and Paris, is appearing now in an English translation. When it was released in Scotland earlier this year, a review in The Herald noted that it “conducts itself with such poetic elegance and evokes such a precise shade of melancholia that it’s easy to see why the judges were so impressed with the original.”
Patient X: The Case-Book of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, David Peace
(Sept. 4, Knopf)
David Peace’s fiction often overlaps with moments in history, from the Yorkshire Ripper killings in the 1970s to the storied career of soccer manager Bill Shankly. In his new novel Patient X, Peace focuses on the life and work of the 20th century Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa, who wrote a host of groundbreaking and unsettling stories during his all-too-brief life.
Tom Sawyer, Joseph Grantham
(Sept. 10, Civil Coping Mechanisms)
Writer and bookseller Joseph Grantham makes the quotidian fascinating and hypnotic: you may know him, most recently, from his ongoing column at The Nervous Breakdown. In this new collection of poetry, he evokes the quotidian and the cultural in equal measure, to impressive effect.
Moderan, David R. Bunch; introduction by Jeff VanderMeer
(Sept. 11, NYRB Classics)
If you picked up Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Big Book of Science Fiction, you may have taken particular note of the work of David R. Bunch–fiction written decades ago that remains deeply singular. This month brings with it a new collection of his groundbreaking, unpredictable, inventive fiction–one which may well launch a new legion of devotees.
Crudo, Olivia Laing
(Sept. 11, W.W. Norton)
Following a number of acclaimed works of nonfiction, Olivia Laing makes a shift into the world of fiction with her new novel Crudo. That said, Laing’s deep cultural vocabulary still plays a significant part in this book: it’s inspired in part by the life of experimental writer Kathy Acker.
She Would Be King, Wayétu Moore
(Sept. 11, Graywolf Press)
Wayétu Moore’s new novel takes on the decidedly ambitious task of exploring the origins of a nation through multiple perspectives. In this case, the nation is Liberia, and the novels focuses on a disparate trio of characters whose convergence will make history.
Unclaimed Baggage, Jen Doll
(Sept. 18, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Following her acclaimed memoir Save the Date, Jen Doll’s followed that up with her YA debut. Unclaimed Baggage follows the unlikely bond that forms among three characters working at a summer job dealing with–as the title suggests–baggage that hasn’t been claimed.
Night Moves, Jessica Hopper
(Sept. 18, University of Texas Press)
Jessica Hopper’s followup to her book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic takes a more personal look at her life in Chicago in the 2000s. Along the way, it offers a specific and singular glimpse of the city, and a window into a point in time that now seems long past.
My Pet Serial Killer, Michael J. Seidlinger
(Sept. 18, Cinestate)
For decades now, narratives about serial killers have abounded in all forms of media. In his novel My Pet Serial Killer, Michael J. Seidlinger tells a story of obsession and voyeurism that turns the conventions of these narratives on their head while also exploring the reasons for their ongoing appeal.
American Fictionary, Dubravka Ugresic; translated by Celia Hawkesworth and Ellen Elias-Bursac
(Sept. 25, Open Letter)
This new edition of Dubravka Ugresic’s essay collection American Fictionary revisits an early work, in which she juxtaposed leaving behind wars in the Balkans to teach in Connecticut. Ugresic’s exploration of cultural differences and conflicts continue to resonate today; Ugresic has also updated her work for this edition.
Rap Dad: A Story of Family and the Subculture That Shaped a Generation, Juan Vidal
(Sept. 25, Atria)
In his memoir Rap Dad, Juan Vidal explores his own history–specifically, the point at which he himself became a father at a time when his career in music was beginning to generate attention. In exploring his own past experiences, Vidal uses his memoir to explore questions of masculinity, subcultures, and parenthood.