With March upon us, we’re another step closer to spring. What does the month have to offer in terms of new reads? A couple of debut novels we’ve been eager to read for a while, a foray into cosmic horror, some insightful literary criticism — and, of course, pirates. What’s not to like?
Kevin Bigley, Comaville
(March 3, Clash Books)
What happens when memory and nostalgia curdle into something horrifying? That’s a question at the heart of Kevin Bigley’s new novel, in which the protagonist lays immersed in a reality of his own making, where his past experiences and pop cultural obsessions blend into something both familiar and unsettling.
William Boyle, City of Margins
(March 3, Pegasus Books)
In recent years, William Boyle has carved out an impressive space for himself chronicling crime narratives in working-class Brooklyn neighborhoods. For his latest novel, City of Margins, Boyle transports the reader back to the 1990s, where a group of characters navigates issues on both sides of the law and grapples with the legacy of departed loved ones.
Isaac Fitzgerald, How to be a Pirate; illustrated by Brigette Barrager
(March 3, Bloomsbury)
For years, the secrets of piracy on the high seas have been a closely guarded secret. But now, Isaac Fitzgerald has revealed them in this instructional volume. Ready the sea shanties and hoist the main sail — we’re setting out on a voyage.
Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space
(March 3, Coach House Books)
In this insightful work of literary criticism, Amanda Leduc explores fairy tales both classic and revisionist in light of how they handle questions of disability. It’s a fascinating and thoughtful look at some familiar stories, and what their subtext might well be. Leduc blends her own experiences in with the larger questions she raises, creating a powerful work.
Hilary Leichter, Temporary
(March 3, Emily Books/Coffee House Press)
Calling Hilary Leichter’s novel Temporary a late-capitalist fable wouldn’t be entirely accurate, but neither would it completely miss the mark. Leichter’s novel follows a character as she takes on a series of bizarre and thematically rich jobs, gradually accumulating a kind of mythological heft of the course of the book.
Premee Mohamed, Beneath the Rising
(March 3, Solaris)
Premee Mohamed’s new novel Beneath the Rising is the sort of book that brings together a host of seemingly disparate elements into a thoroughly compelling whole. In this case, it’s a pair of friends with secret chemistry between them, the discovery of an environmentally-friendly energy process, and cosmic terrors menacing the world. What’s not to like?
That We May Live: Speculative Chinese Fiction
(March 10, Two Lines Press)
We’re always up for a good collection of speculative fiction, and That We May Live — which kicks off Two Lines Press’s Calico imprint — offers exactly that. This volume offers seven stories, featuring writers from China and Hong Kong; it might be the place where you find your new favorite author.
Kathryn Cowles, Maps and Transcripts of the Ordinary World
(March 10, Milkweed Editions)
Kathryn Cowles’s new collection of poetry, Maps and Transcripts of the Ordinary World, brings together words and images in unexpected and sometimes revelatory ways. Throughout the book, Cowles juxtaposes the impressions one can get of life from books with the lived-in quality of the quotidian.
Kevin Nguyen, New Waves
(March 10, One World)
Raising questions about technology, surveillance, and the lives we live online, Kevin Nguyen’s debut novel New Waves is a thoughtful work of fiction tailor-made for the questions people are asking of tech giants in 2020. It’s also a heist novel, which is never a bad addition to any narrative.
Harry Dodge, My Meteorite
(March 17, Penguin Books)
Harry Dodge’s work eludes overly facile artistic boundaries, and includes everything from visual art to forays into literature. My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing offers Dodge’s exploration of his life, the nature of coincidences, and an actual meteorite.
Paul Lisicky, Later: My Life at the Edge of the World
(March 17, Graywolf Press)
In Paul Lisicky’s new memoir Later, he explores his life in Provincetown in the 1990s — and, in doing so, explores bold questions that have endured since then. How do artists relate to a larger community? What is the role of a community during a time of crisis? Blending elegant prose with thought-provoking themes, Lisicky has created a compelling narrative here.
Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel
(March 24, Knopf)
Emily St. John Mandel’s followup to Station Eleven taps into the noir-infused sensibility of her earlier novels, tracing the mysterious connections among a seemingly disparate group of characters. Set in the wake of one crime and in the footsteps of a theoretically-impossible event, Mandel’s novel offers a dizzying, heady blend of atmosphere and plot.
Elizabeth Kadetsky, The Memory Eaters
(March 31, University of Massachusetts Press)
What does a shared history mean if only one party is aware of it? Elizabeth Kadetsky’s new memoir uses an inventive approach to prose to discuss the author’s relationship with her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Spanning decades and exploring history both familial and personal, Kadetsky’s book explores a powerful terrain.
Note: all cover art and release dates are subject to change.
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