What literary delights does March bring? A number of books we’ve been awaiting eagerly for years, for one thing, including new works by Mitchell S. Jackson and Seth Fried. A host of ambitious literary debuts as well — and a number of collections of short fiction that push at the limits of storytelling. Here’s a look at some of the March books we’re looking forward to the most.
William Boyle, A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself
(March 5, Pegasus Books)
It’s been a big year for William Boyle: since early 2018, he’s had two new novels released by Pegasus, plus a new edition of his earlier novel Gravesend. His latest novel brings together a group of unexpected characters together in the wake of a Mob hit, sending them all in unpredictable directions.
K Chess, Famous Men Who Never Lived
(March 5, Tin House Books)
K Chess’s new novel has it all: cult literary works, parallel universes, and a group of disparate characters who find themselves far from home. At the heart of this novel are two refugees from an alternate Earth, each in their own way striving to find a unique space for themselves in contemporary New Y0rk.
Richard Chiem, King of Joy
(March 5, Soft Skull Press)
Richard Chiem has followed up his collection You Private Person with a novel centered around a young woman for whom pop culture serves as a literal means of escape from the stresses of the world around her. Chiem’s novel explores our relationship to film and music even as it posits an intriguing take on grief and trauma.
Mitchell S. Jackson, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
(March 5, Scribner)
We’ve been eager to read Mitchell S. Jackson’s followup to his acclaimed novel The Residue Years for several years now, and we’re ecstatic to see that this month brings a new book from him. Survival Math finds Jackson delving into nonfiction, exploring his own family’s history amidst a rich thematic terrain.
T Kira Madden, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir
(March 5, Bloomsbury)
Perhaps you know T Kira Madden through her writings, or through her work as editor of the fantastic journal No Tokens. Here, Madden makes her full-length debut, exploring questions of sexuality and privilege in unexpected ways in this decades-spanning narrative.
Jordan A. Rothacker, Gristle: Weird Tales
(March 5, Stalking Horse Press)
Jordan A. Rothacker has a penchant for the unsettling and the metafiction: check out his earlier My Shadow Book if you doubt us. Gristle finds him venturing further into the realms of the bizarre, with more than a few bold literary techniques employed along the way.
Asja Bakić, Mars; translated by Jennifer Zoble
(March 12, Feminist Press)
This collection of stories from Bosnian writer Asja Bakić utilizes surreal scenarios to explore urgent themes of isolation, creative frustration, and power dynamics. And along the way, this book should also give Anglophone readers a good sense of Bakić’s literary work.
Lee Ann Roripaugh, tsunami vs the fukushima 50
(March 12, Milkweed Editions)
As the title of Lee Ann Roripaugh’s new collection of poetry suggests, she’s taken as her subject the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster — and the people who risked their lives to prevent conditions from worsening. It’s a thematically rich and moving moment in history, powerfully channeled into words on a page.
Seth Fried, The Municipalists
(March 19, Penguin Books)
Ever since we encountered his collection The Great Frustration in 2011, we’ve been serious admirers of the writings of Seth Fried. Ergo, the news that this year would bring a new book from him, and a novel at that, warmed our literary hearts. That this is about a human and an AI teaming up to save a futuristic city is all the better.
Bryan Washington, Lot: Stories
(March 19, Riverhead Books)
First and foremost, we may have a winner for the best book cover of 2019 on our hands. Bryan Washington’s new collection of short stories follows a number of disparate lives in Houston, exploring different facets of life though a multiplicity of perspectives.
Autumn Christian, Girl Like a Bomb
(March 26, Clash Books)
Autumn Christian’s Girl Like a Bomb covers a vast thematic ground. Through the device of its protagonist’s uncanny abilities, it’s a rumination about healing, but also about the role of celebrity in modern society, and about the cost of (literal) emotional labor.
Katherine Dunn, On Cussing: Bad Words and Creative Cursing
(March 26, Tin House Books)
There’s an art to using profanity in one’s prose. Katherine Dunn, author of (among others) Geek Love, is surely a writer who knows this well — and in this short work, she explores the way that cursing can enliven a narrative or take words into a transcendent territory.
Mira Jacob, Good Talk: A Memoir In Conversations
(March 26, One World)
Mira Jacob has followed up her fantastic novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing with a new book that ventures into a new genre and a new medium. Good Talk is a graphic memoir, based around conversations that Jacob has had with her young son, which explores some of the most pressing questions in American society today.
Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift
(March 26, Hogarth)
Namwali Serpell’s first novel, The Old Drift, covers over a century of Zambia’s history through the stories of several interconnected families. Serpell’s novel ventures into unconventional territory by pushing the narrative into the near future and via one experimental structural decision; the result is a novel that’s thrilling and thought-provoking throughout.