Books of the Month: March 2023 Edition

March 2023 books

Well, it’s March. Seasonal adjustments and clock adjustments, all in the same month. And hey, there are some books due out this month, too! We’ve got our eye on a few new titles in translation, along with some new books on indie presses we like by writers we like. Maybe one of these books will change the way you see the world this month.

"The Whore"

Márcia Barbieri, The Whore; translated by Adrian Minckley
(Mar. 7, Sublunary Editions)

We don’t normally quote the publisher’s description of books here, but this one begins in a particularly enticing way: “In a long, delirious monologue driven by bile and cocaine, a prostitute named Anúncia recounts the story of her life…” We have a soft spot for the subgenre of unhinged/terrifying first-person novels, and this certainly sounds like a fine addition to that category.

"The Gospel According to the New World"

Maryse Condé, The Gospel According to the New World; translated by Richard Philcox
(Mar. 7, World Editions)

The latest novel to appear in translation from Maryse Condé is set in Martinique, where a series of events reminiscent of certain other events that took place around 2,000 years ago seem to be happening again. It is entirely possible that the author of this book could one day become the first writer to win both the Alternative Nobel Prize and the Nobel Prize, which would be amazing.

"Dog on Fire"

Terese Svoboda, Dog on Fire
(Mar. 7, University of Nebraska Press)

Where do you go once you’ve riffed on Willa Cather and deconstructed pirate stories? If you’re Terese Svoboda, you set a course for the dustiest parts of the Midwest and turn the gothic vibes up to 11. We’re big admirers of Svoboda’s work for a reason, and this looks like another excellent entry in a strong bibliography.

"Dispatches From Puerto Nowhere"

Robert Lopez, Dispatches From Puerto Nowhere
(Mar. 14, Two Dollar Radio)

While we’re on the subject of writers we like with strong bibliographies: hello, Robert Lopez. After a host of formally bold works of fiction, Lopez here shifts perspectives, venturing into nonfiction with a trip into his own family’s history. Specifically, Lopez chronicles his grandfather’s decision to leave Puerto Rico and the impact that had on his family, then and now.

"As It Falls"

Donald Breckenridge, As It Falls
(Mar. 21, Ellipsis Press)

Speaking of writers revisiting their family history: Donald Breckenridge has a new novel due out this month, and it’s both a riff on his biological parents and Greek tragedy. All of which suggests that it’s deeply high-concept and wholly heartfelt, which is a combination we support. Throw some early-80s NYC into the mix and you have a compelling combination.


Michael Cisco, Pest
(Mar. 21, CLASH Books)

Michael Cisco has messed with our heads in countless ways, from self-devouring fantasy stories to epic accounts of sentient money. His new novel is about a man who turns into a yak. Are we reading it? You’re damn right we’re reading it.

"Ten Planets"

Yuri Herrera, Ten Planets; translated by Lisa Dillman
(Mar. 21, Graywolf Press)

Yuri Herrera’s given us novels about plagues, gang violence, and the afterlife. Now he’s venturing into science fictional territory? We’re here for it.

"Abnormal Statistics"

Max Booth III, Abnormal Statistics
(Mar. 23, Apocalypse Party)

Max Booth III gets how group dynamics function, and how those dynamics can turn horrifically frayed in the midst of adversity. Like, say, horrific events or apocalyptic happenings. This new collection brings together a host of his shorter works and gives a fine sense of his range — and it may well unnerve the hell out of you.

"Seventy Times Seven"

Alex Mar, Seventy Times Seven
(Mar. 28, Penguin Press)

Alex Mar’s new work of nonfiction is a tale of crime and punishment — and what comes afterwards. In this case, the narrative covers a lot of thematically powerful topics, from capital punishment to the nature of forgiveness. It’s a tautly written, wholly empathic work that will stay with you long after you’ve read it.

"The Formation of Calcium"

M.S. Coe, The Formation of Calcium
(Mar. 29, Spurl Editions)

We quite enjoyed M.S. Coe’s previous novel New Veronia, about the ways in which a refuge from the outside world curdled into something far more ominous. Coe’s new novel is centered around a woman who attempts to escape a suffocating life — and the challenges and horrors she encounters along the way.

Note: All release dates and cover artwork are subject to change.

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