Besides the promise of cooler weather, pumpkin spice everything, and sweaters on the rise, what does October have to offer? If you’re looking for new books to read, the answer is “plenty.” This month brings with it candid and harrowing memoirs, stunning short fiction, and expansive novels — a fantastic array of literary work to carry you into the autumn. Here’s a look at some of our most-anticipated books for the month.
Marguerite Duras, Me & Other Writing; translated by Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan
(Oct. 1, dorothy, a publishing project)
Marguerite Duras’s writings span a host of styles and emotional tones, but Anglophone readers have, to date, not been exposed to nearly as much of her nonfiction. That’s all about to change with this expansive collection of her nonfiction, offering readers a way to engage with a new, and equally impressive, side of Duras’s bibliography.
Mark Haber, Reinhardt’s Garden
(Oct.1, Coffee House Press)
Told in a haunting style that recalls 19th-century tales of obsession, Mark Haber’s new novel focuses on an aristocrat fixated on finding a long-lost philosopher and the people ensnared in his charismatic web. At times tragic and at times hilarious, this novel boldly redefines a certain strain of fiction.
Annaleese Jochems, Baby
(Oct. 1, Scribe)
In Annaleese Jochems’s debut novel, a couple decide to make their escape from the parts of contemporary life that they loathe; they buy a boat (the Baby of the title) and make their way towards the open water — and soon discover that this way of life may not be what they expected.
Natanya Ann Pulley, With Teeth
(Oct. 1, New Rivers Press)
Natanya Ann Pulley describes her new collection, With Teeth, as “a collection about desperate, resigned, bewitching, and spiraling storytellers in crisis.” We’re always up for storytelling about, well, storytelling — and we’re eager to see what Pulley does with her own foray into this territory.
Jeannie Vanasco, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
(Oct.1, Tin House Books)
In Jeannie Vanasco’s new memoir, she looks back on a horrifying betrayal from an old friend — and uses the aftermath to explore questions of trauma, guilt, and the legacy of pain. It’s a work that uses some bold structural decisions to ask big thematic questions, and frequently takes the reader to revelatory places.
Hillary Leftwich, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock
(Oct. 7, Civil Coping Mechanisms)
We’re pretty sure Hillary Leftwich’s new collection has one of the best titles we’ve encountered all year. The short works contained therein offer forays into a number of styles, offering an impressive glimpse of Leftwich’s range as a writer — and the power of storytelling to summon unbridled emotions.
Suiyi Tang, American Symphony: Other White Lies
(Oct. 7, #RECURRENT/Civil Coping Mechanisms)
At the center of Suiyi Tang’s American Symphony is a disappearance — and, as is the case with disappearances, an investigation of the same. Tang’s book uses a number of styles and forms to explore questions of presence and identity, leading towards an unlikely denouement.
Chris Eaton, Symphony No. 3
(Oct. 8, Book*Hug)
Chris Eaton’s fiction has covered a host of territory throughout the years, revisiting the past even as the author pushes his prose to experimental new places. His latest novel focuses on the life of composer Camille Saint-Saëns, taking inspiration from his music even as it probes the depths of his psyche.
Jac Jemc, False Bingo
(Oct. 8, MCD/FSG Originals)
The latest collection from Jac Jemc explores the unnerving side of human behavior, sometimes taking forays into the uncanny as it goes. Jemc’s fiction often leads the reader into disquieting spaces; False Bingo may be her most transporting work yet, moving from the familiar to the alienating and back again in record time.
Saeed Jones, How We Fight For Our Lives
(Oct. 8, Simon & Schuster)
Saeed Jones’s new book takes readers in a new direction — in this case, into nonfiction and his own life story. It’s both the story of his own life and a larger meditation on identity, the current state of the nation, and the creation of art — all topics that resonate deeply with contemporary America, and all told in Jones’s uncompromising style.
Jokha Alharthi, Celestial Bodies, translated by Marilyn Booth
(Oct. 15, Catapult)
Jokha Alharthi’s novel Celestial Bodies — the first novel in Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize — focuses on a trio of sisters living in Oman and the disparate paths they follow as they make their way in life. In doing so, this novel also explores questions of family and societal change — an impressive blend of the personal and sociopolitical.
Joshua Chaplinsky, Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape
(Oct. 15, CLASH Books)
The irreverent fictions of Joshua Chaplinsky blend elements of horror, speculative fiction, and satire. In this new collection, Chaplinsky’s shorter works converge, offering readers a picture of a writer with plenty to say and a legion of ways to explore modern society’s foibles.
Jami Attenberg, All This Could Be Yours
(Oct. 22, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The latest novel from Jami Attenberg continues in its author’s bravura ongoing inspection of the contemporary American family, in all of its frequently-dysfunctional glory. In this case, the focus is on a dying paterfamilias, as each member of the family he’s soon to leave behind ponders his troubled legacy and their own involvement with him.
Meghan Tifft, From Hell to Breakfast
(Oct. 22, Unnamed Press)
Megan Tifft’s novel From Hell to Breakfast might be a novel about a young woman dating a man with some odd habits who isn’t really right for her — or it might be about a young woman in love with a centuries-old vampire with ulterior motives. In telling this story, Tifft both explores a compelling plot and riffs on our cultural fascination with vampires.
Troy James Weaver, Selected Stories
(Oct. 22, Apocalypse Party)
The latest collection from Troy James Weaver — and, if he’s to be believed, something that might be his last book for a while — Selected Stories is the latest installment in a series of books that use hypnotic prose to offer readers a heightened riff on contemporary life.
Note: all cover artwork and release dates are subject to change.
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