Vol. 1 Brooklyn’s February 2021 Book Preview

February 2021 books

It is quite snowy in our corner of the world right now. Remember winter? Winter apparently did. We’d say that it’s the perfect time to curl up with a book, but you’ve probably figured that out on your own. This month brings new books from a number of our favorite writers, along with some highly anticipated debuts and a few books capable of transporting you to an entirely new time and place. Here are some of our favorites.

Erika T. Wurth, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend
(Feb. 1, Astrophil Press)

We’ve been huge admirers of Erika T. Wurth’s fiction in recent years, including the novel You Who Enter Here and the collection Buckskin Cocaine. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to see her debut novel Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, a coming-of-age story about a young Indian woman dealing with familial strife and an unexpected pregnancy, back in print.


Gil Adamson, Ridgerunner
(Feb. 2, House of Anansi Press)

Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Gil Adamson’s novel Ridgerunner tells the story of an aging thief traveling through Montana during World War I. What happens when a desperate man living in a changing world takes a series of risks in order to improve his son’s life? Adamson’s novel covers a wide canvas while retaining an intimate focus.

"Milk Fed"

Melissa Broder, Milk Fed
(Feb. 2, Scribner)

If you’re Melissa Broder, how do you follow up a novel as singular as The Pisces? If Milk Fed, her new novel, is any indication, the answer involves a plot abounding with musings on food, Judaism, and detox — which a talented chronicler of the human condition like Broder can transform into a deeply compelling and off-beat narrative.

Brandon Hobson, The Removed
(Feb. 2, Ecco)

Brandon Hobson’s previous novel Where the Dead Sit Talking grappled with themes of mortality, identity, and memory. With his new novel The Removed, Hobson goes even deeper into those themes as he tells the story of a grieving family still wrestling with the tragic death of one of its members. Hobson is equally at home writing realistic fiction and venturing into the surreal, and he uses both talents to tell this particular story.

Randa Jarrar, Love is an Ex-Country
(Feb. 2, Catapult)

Randa Jarrar’s latest book brings together a host of personal accounts covering a host of emotions, from lingering trauma to forays into 20th century history. Much as her fiction eludes easy description, so too does this foray into memoir, which moves from the politically gripping to the hauntingly personal.

Ben OkriPrayer for the Living
(Feb. 2, Akashic Books)

If you’ve been curious about reading the works of Ben Okri but have been unsure where to begin, this collection of short stories spanning his long career might be a good place to start. Okri’s fiction often offers a dreamlike vision of reality — a quality very much on display here.

Lauren Oyler, Fake Accounts
(Feb. 2, Catapult)

In the last few years, Lauren Oyler has made a name for herself with incisive fiction and literary criticism. Her debut novel, Fake Accounts, explores questions of identity and social media, even as it also fits into the subgenre of books about expatriate Americans. That knowing blend of old and new should make for a compelling, thought-provoking read.

Laird Hunt, Zorrie
(Feb.9, Bloomsbury)

Laird Hunt’s fiction spans an array of tones and styles, from stories of racial tension during the Civil War to a surreal noir set in contemporary New York City. For his latest novel, Zorrie, Hunt returns to the Midwestern setting of several of his books, focusing on one woman’s search for family and community across the 20th century.

Gemma Files, In That Endlessness, Our End
(Feb. 15, Grimscribe Press)

Gemma Files’s fiction get under your skin. She has a talent for tales of the uncanny and the horrific, but she’s also fond of pushing at the limits of narratives and methods of storytelling. In That Endlessness, Our End is her latest work — a collection of fifteen short stories that demonstrates her range and the chilling places she can take readers.

Sarah Gailey, The Echo Wife
(Feb. 16, Tor)

The writings of Sarah Gailey cover a lot of territory, from alternate histories populated by hippos to murder mysteries set at magical colleges. Their latest novel explores questions of cloning, infidelity, and murder — all ingredients for a thoroughly engrossing yarn.

Abraham Riesman, True Believer
(Feb. 16, Crown)

Onetime Vol. 1 Brooklyn contributor Abraham Riesman’s first book enters the world this month, and its subject is one of the most charismatic pop culture figures in recent memory. That would be the late Stan Lee, a ubiquitous presence for decades and a figure both complex and influential. There’s plenty to be learned from the story of his life and times, all documented here.

Zak Salih, Let’s Get Back to the Party
(Feb. 16, Algonquin)

Zak Salih’s debut novel Let’s Get Back to the Party focuses on two old friends reconnecting in 2015, only to learn that their respective feelings on the state of queer culture are at odds. The subsequent connections each of the two men make further complicates matters, offering a wide-ranging and generational take on societal change.

Karin Tidbeck, The Memory Theater
(Feb. 16, Pantheon)

The fiction of Karin Tidbeck’s that we’ve encountered to date has been difficult to describe: phantasmagorical in places, emotionally resonant in others. Her latest novel spans multiple levels of reality and addresses questions of aging and authority, offering readers a thoroughly unique take on time, space, and friendship.

Matthew Gavin Frank, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers
(Feb. 23, Liveright)

One fascinating subject for a work of nonfiction: diamond smuggling. Another fascinating subject for a work of fiction: carrier pigeons. Matthew Gavin Frank’s new book is about (in part) diamond smuggling using carrier pigeons. If that doesn’t get your attention, we’re not sure what will.


(Note: all cover art and release dates are subject to change.)

Background image: Haley Kelly/Unsplash

Follow Vol. 1 Brooklyn on TwitterFacebook, and sign up for our mailing list.