It is November. The mercury is dropping and the nights are lengthening; in better news, we’ll always have books. November’s upcoming releases have an appealing esotericism to them, from a longform essay to a collaboration between two writers we’ve long admired to a collections of poems dealing in part with the storied space that is the mosh pit. Read on for a glimpse at what we’re reading this month.
Lexi Kent-Monning, The Burden of Joy
(Nov. 1, Rejection Letters)
Communes, exploding relationships, and recreational drugs all converge in Lexi Kent-Monning’s debut novel. A recent review in JAKE hailed the book for “a grief so palpable it permeates every page, intensifying as the narrator casts menstrual blood spells that backfire, catalogs dead animals with her camera, bleaches her hair, sustains herself on alcohol.” We’re intrigued.
Jazmina Barrera, Cross-Stitch; translated by Christina Macsweeney
(Nov. 7, Two Lines Press)
One of our editors was a big admirer of Jazmina Barrera’s previously-translated book Linea Nigra. Cross-Stitch finds Barrera working in a different vein — this is a novel in which a road trip looms large years after its conclusion, and one of the participants wrestles with the loss of a close friend. Also notable: cross-stitch itself does play a role here.
Jonathan Evison, Again and Again
(Nov. 7, Dutton)
Jonathan Evison has been in the news in recent years for two things: his acclaimed fiction, and the fact that his acclaimed fiction has been the target of book bans. With Again and Again, Evison tells the story of a man who seems to be at the end of his life — but who may, in fact, have lived for a thousand years. That’s not the only mystery at the core of this sprawling yet intimate work.
Stacy Hardy, An Archaeology of Holes
(Nov. 7, Bridge Books)
Stacy Hardy’s new book bridges a host of genres and styles, staking out territory for a bold literary voice. Danielle Pafunda’s blurb for this collection cites the work of “Clarice Lispector, Leonora Carrington, Rikki Ducornet, Kathryn Davis, [and] Carmen Maria Machado” and recommends it for readers who savor rediscovering themselves after despair, heartbreak, and loneliness.” We’re on board.
Ed Park, Same Bed Different Dreams
(Nov. 7, Random House)
Any book whose plot involves, as per the publisher, “an alternate secret history of Korea” is definitely going to pique our interest. Throw in the fact that Park is prodigiously talented as a writer, editor, and cultural historian and you have a work of fiction we can’t wait to explore.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Touching the Art
(Nov. 7, Soft Skull)
In Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s new book, she explores her sometimes-fraught relationship to her artist grandmother on both an artistic and a personal level. “I want to expose the silences, the silencing,” Sycamore said in a recent interview. “I know I write on my own terms, and I think this is the best way to connect with the world, or I hope so. ”
Erik Bitsui, Mosh Pit Etiquette Volume One: Secrets of a 21st Century Navajo Headbanger
(Nov. 14, Tolsun Books)
Look, based on the title alone, we’re suitably intrigued by a book titled Mosh Pit Etiquette Volume One: Secrets of a 21st Century Navajo Headbanger. But the promise of a uniquely-structured series of essays — plus, you know, metal — has us especially curious about this one.
Nina MacLaughlin, Winter Solstice
(Nov.21, Black Sparrow Press)
The last time Nina MacLaughlin wrote a book inspired by seasons it was the immersive, hypnotic Summer Solstice, and we quite enjoyed that one. Now, MacLaughlin has returned with a new book that promises a similar treatment, but for winter; we’re very much here for it.
Sofia Samatar and Kate Zambreno, Tone
(Nov. 21, Columbia University Press)
We’re tremendous fans of the work of both Sofia Samatar and Kate Zambreno on their own. Needless to say, the idea of these two writers collaborating on a new book got our attention; the fact that that book enfolds everything from literary discourse to the experience of urban spaces sounds even more appealing.
Bhanu Kapil, Incubation: A Space For Monsters
(Nov. 27, Kelsey Street Press)
Serendipitously, one of the first times we encountered Samatar and Zambreno in conversation was in a roundtable discussion hosted by The Believer on the work of Bhanu Kapil. Wouldn’t you know it — this month also brings with it a new edition of this book by Kapil, which does transformative things when it comes to form, style, and genre.
Note: all cover art and release dates are subject to change.