April is upon us, and with it the prospect of something akin to spring and a host of memorable new books. A lot of poetry has caught our eye this month, as well as some long-awaited works of nonfiction. Not to be outdone, we’re also intrigued by some works of fiction that transform old stories into something new. Read on for a selection of what has our attention.
Maud Newton, Ancestor Trouble
(Apr. 1, Random House)
Okay, yes, technically this is a late March release and we’re fudging the release date a bit. We’ve been looking forward to this ever since it was first announced; Maud Newton’s writings on both genealogy and her own family history have been riveting, and the prospect of a full-length work exploring these interwoven subjects is absolute catnip, as far as we’re concerned.
Katya Kazbek, Little Foxes Took Up Matches
(Apr. 5, Tin House)
What’s it like to come of age during a tumultuous time in history? Katya Kazbek’s new novel answers that question, following the novel’s protagonist as they ponder questions of gender and identity during the fall of the Soviet Union. Juxtaposed with this narrative is a more mythic one, which adds another layer to the work as a whole.
Rachel Mannheimer, Earth Room
(April 5, Changes Pub.)
We’re not sure what it is about land art that’s inspired multiple writers to create books inspired by it, but we’re here for it. Rachel Mannheimer’s new poem explores art, history, and geography — using the possibilities of one form of creative expression to delve into the substance of others.
Daniel H. Turtel, Greetings From Asbury Park
(Apr. 5, Blackstone Publishing)
In recent years, the revitalization of Asbury Park, New Jersey has abounded with unexpected historical resonances, class conflict, and political debates — all things that also make for memorable fiction. Daniel H. Turtel’s new novel ventures into some of these clashes, following the children of a now-deceased man who face an uncertain future.
Ocean Vuong, Time is a Mother
(Apr. 5, Penguin Press)
Whether writing poetry or nonfiction, Ocean Vuong has won awards and drawn copious praise for his work. Now, he’s returned with a new collection of poetry featuring the evocative title Time is a Mother. This new work finds Vuong pushing his style in new directions and taking more formal risks. We’re eager to see the result.
Rebecca van Laer, How to Adjust to the Dark
(Apr. 12, Long Day Press)
You may be familiar with the phrase “a poet’s novel,” but what about a novel (or novella) about a poet? How to Adjust to the Dark blends the two forms, focusing on the life of a writer and incorporating some of their work into the body of the text. The result is a memorable look at how memory art do and don’t converge.
Chloe Caldwell, The Red Zone
(Apr. 19, Soft Skull)
We’re always thrilled to see a new book out from Chloe Caldwell, and this memoir — following Caldwell’s reckoning with medical issues and, more broadly, societal takes on menstruation — looks to be both frank and emotionally resonant. It’s a welcome return for an assured and compelling literary voice.
Nicola Griffith, Spear
(Apr. 19, Tor.com)
Whether she’s digging into English history or taking her characters into space, Nicola Griffith accomplishes the impressive feat of juxtaposing emotional realism with a precise attention to detail. Her new novella Spear offers a distinctive take on Arthurian mythology, taking familiar narrative bones and transforming them into something new.
Marisa Siegel, Fixed Stars
(Apr. 22, Burrow Press)
Working in collaboration with artist Trisha Previte, Marisa Siegel’s new book Fixed Stars uses poetry to chronicle the legacy of trauma and the process of recovering from it. It’s a singular blend of text and art, and one that takes both to unexpected places.
Tea Hacic-Vlahovic, The Life of the Party
(Apr. 26, CLASH Books)
The lives of expats is a theme many writers find entrancing, and it isn’t hard to see why. With her new novel, Tea Hacic-Vlahovic joins that camp, telling the story of a young woman recently arrived in Milan who find the city’s social circles enticing. What happens when a city feels both enriching and imposing? This novel offers one answer.
Note: all artwork and release dates are subject to change.