And now we’re in the month of September. Hello, September. From our space, it seems like the summer is beginning to abate somewhat — or at least it’s moved out of the “brutally hot and humid” camp. So if you’re looking for books to bridge the gap between summer reads and something cozier, here are a couple of suggestions.
Eula Biss, Having and Being Had
(Sept. 1, Riverhead)
There’s a reason a lot of people were discussing Eula Biss’s On Immunity in the early days of the pandemic: Biss is a thoughtful writer with a particular talent for tying one issue in with larger historical and philosophical strands. In her latest book, Biss grapples with questions of wealth and privilege — topics with plenty of relevance in 2020.
Jenny Erpenbeck, Not a Novel; translated by Kurt Beals
(Sept. 1, New Directions)
Jenny Erpenbeck’s fiction addresses the complexities of human interaction in a world fraught with miscommunication. In her nonfiction collection Not a Novel, she explores the historical and literary influences that inform her work — and have informed her as a writer.
Hari Kunzru, Red Pill
(Sept. 1, Knopf)
Hari Kunzru’s fiction occupies a surreal place in which urgent sociopolitical concerns intersect with phantasmagorical imagery. With Red Pill, he’s addressing both literary legacies and problematic television shows — and how both connect with the growing popularity of fringe right-wing movements.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, A Girl Is a Body of Water
(Sept. 1, Tin House)
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s debut novel Kintu was a favorite around these parts, and we’ve been eager to read her next novel. A Girl Is a Body of Water tells the story of a girl being raised in a community in Uganda, and explores questions of history, folklore, and family along the way.
Melissa Wiley, Skull Cathedral
(Sept. 5, Autumn House)
Do you like your nonfiction unpredictable, shape-shifting, and visceral? Well then. Skull Cathedral is Melissa Wiley’s second book, and offers further evidence that she’s carving out a distinctive prose space from which no one leaves unscathed.
Claudia Rankine, Just Us
(Sept. 8, Coffee House Press)
Two of Claudia Rankine’s previous books contained the subtitle “An American Lyric.” That Just Us is subtitled “An American Conversation” seems more than a little significant — a shift in the always-complex dynamics of race and gender that Rankine addresses in much of her work. This looks to be another thoughtful, powerful exploration of the American consciousness.
Tatiana Ryckman, The Ancestry of Objects
(Sept. 8, Deep Vellum)
Told with a technique that’s at once formally modern and timeless, Tatiana Ryckman’s new novel tells the story of an affair which takes both of its participants into extreme and harrowing places. The result is an unsettling and powerful story, told in a unique way.
Brandon Stosuy, Make Time For Creativity
(Sept. 8. Abrams Image)
What does it mean to live a creative life? Brandon Stosuy, of The Creative Independent and Basilica Soundscape (among others), explores this question in this new book. Along with his own musings on creativity, he also features commentary from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Hermione Hoby.
Doon Arbus, The Caretaker
(Sept. 15, New Directions)
Do you enjoy taut, Gothic-infused novels that chronicle the obsessive lives of people in surreal circumstances? Well then. Doon Arbus’s The Caretaker tells the story of a man who finds himself with a new job: maintaining an archive in which priceless objects coexist with more quotidian ones. From there, things get weird.
François Dominique, Asaroë; translated by Richard Sieburth and Howard Limoli
(Sept. 15, Bellevue Literary Press)
Mushrooms! Language! Literary ephemera! The blurring away of identities! Bizarre creatures! And a cover that’s at once beguiling and deeply unsettling. What’s not to like?
Nathalie Léger, Exposition
(Sept. 15, Dorothy, a publishing project)
Exposition is the third of Nathalie Léger’s books to draw from the life of an overlooked yet critically important female artist. Here, the subject is the Countess of Castiglione, who was the most photographed woman of her day — and who played an important role in the development of photography as an art.
K-Ming Chang, Bestiary
(Sept. 29, One World)
K-Ming Chang’s debut novel Bestiary chronicles the lives of three generations of women in one family, and their slow discovery of the way in which which each of their lives has been shaped by a particular myth. Blending the folkloric with the quotidian, Chang takes this novel into a host of unexpected and revelatory places.
Jeremy Robert Johnson, The Loop
(Sept. 29, Gallery/Saga Press)
Jeremy Robert Johnson’s fiction touches on everything from pared-down pulp narratives to hallucinatory body horror. With his new novel The Loop, Johnson ventures into the science fictional realm, with just a touch of paranoid thrillers to keep things unpredictable. A secret government project starting an outbreak of violence? We’re intrigued.
Note: all artwork and release dates are subject to change.
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