And now, somehow, it’s March. We’re not sure how that happened, either. Nevertheless, it is the case, even as the weather decides to vacillate between “bitter cold” and “maybe picnic weather?” It’s a strange time. Our recommended books for the month also cover a lot of ground, from insightful looks into the art of writing to immersive forays into surreal landscapes. Read on for what we’re looking forward to this month.
Missouri Williams, The Doloriad
(March 1, MCD x FSG Originals)
A strange post-apocalyptic landscape? Check. Unsettling families? Check. A society based around old VHS tapes? Check. It’s fair to say that our interest is piqued by Missouri Williams’s new novel; maybe yours will be as well?
Matt Bell, Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts
(March 8, Soho Press)
Matt Bell is a fine writer and a sharp observer of the craft of writing — all of which makes this book, focusing on both writing and revision — an especially intriguing proposition. It’s an exciting addition to a growing group of books about the unexpected aspects of the craft of writing.
Tara Isabella Burton, The World Cannot Give
(March 8, Simon & Schuster)
Tara Isabella Burton’s previous novel, Social Creature, was a haunting Highsmith-esque work that grappled with both mysteries and morality. Her followup explores the place in which a close-knit group begins to transform into a cult — and what disquieting manifestations that sort of dedication can have.
Allegra Hyde, Eleutheria
(March 8, Vintage)
Some novels focus on putting a set of ideas and ideals into practice; others focus on characters struggling to turn words and concepts into something concrete. (See also: Norman Rush’s Mortals and Mating.) Allegra Hyde’s new novel takes that very approach, with its protagonist traveling far from home to a potentially utopian society.
Steve Reich, Conversations
(March 8, Hanover Square Editions)
Do you enjoy minimalist compositions? What about intriguing artists talking shop? If that’s the case, Steve Reich’s Conversations — which funds Reich talking with the likes of Brian Eno and Stephen Sondheim — may well already be on your own to-read list.
Jos Charles, A Year & Other Poems: And Other Poems
(March 15, Milkweed Editions)
A couple of years ago, we were floored by Jos Charles’s feeld, a book that turned the evolution of the English language into grounds for a thrilling literary work. Charles’s latest collection ventures into new territory, covering everything from emotional intimacy to the effects of environmental catastrophes.
Melissa Febos, Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative
(March 15, Catapult)
Looks like March is going to be an excellent month for people looking for a new craft book or two. With Body Work, Melissa Febos wrestles with some of the biggest questions facing any writer, from handling how one writes about the people in one’s life to finding a way to translate one’s body into words.
Mike Meginnis, Drowning Work
(March 15, Ecco)
There’s a particular category of apocalyptic fiction that can offer some of the most revelatory and unsettling work possible. That is to say, books about an apocalypse we can see coming. Mike Meginnis’s Drowning Work falls into this category, and is set in a world where the consensus involves a looming end of days. How do you contend with that? Meginnis’s novel offers some answers.
John Dermot Woods and Matt L., Mortals
(March 15, Radix Media)
We’re longtime admirers of John Dermot Woods’s fiction, and we’re thrilled to see Woods make a foray into comics along with collaborator Matt L. Mortals is about an aging actor confronting his own life, the people closest to him, and his professional and personal disappointments.
Robert Lopez, A Better Class of People
(March 22, Dzanc)
In his fiction, Robert Lopez takes the reader deep inside the minds of his characters as they ponder the course of their lives, obsess over consequential occurrences, and grapple with internal struggles. His latest novel follows the journey of an haunted man on the subway, and juxtaposes his path with the events that led him to this point.
John Elizabeth Stintzi, My Volcano
(March 22, Two Dollar Radio)
Time travel, bodily transformations, and uncanny folktales — this novel looks like it has it all. (And that’s before we get into the massive volcano looming over Central Park.) For a novel where the scale of ambition meshes perfectly with the array of imagery on display, My Volcano has plenty to offer.
Maurice Broaddus, Sweep of Stars
(March 29, Tor.com)
Maurice Broaddus’s fiction has ranged from steampunk deconstruction to a modern-day retelling of Arthurian legends set in Indianapolis. For his new book — the first in a trilogy — Broaddus takes the reader into space for a politically-charged tale set in a space empire.
Note: all artwork and release dates are subject to change.