Vol.1 Brooklyn’s November 2015 Books Preview


This month looks to be a decidedly interesting month for books. There’s surreal fiction that carves out its own space in which to thrive,  reissues of compelling work from the first half of the 20th century, an unexpected look at science fiction favorites, and a return from one of the best nonfiction writers out there. There’s plenty due out this month to capture a reader’s attention. Here are several of the books that have caught our eye for the month of November.


Zero Saints, Gabino Iglesias
(November 1, Broken River Books)

The new novel from regular Vol.1 Brooklyn contributor Gabino Iglesias is a surreal, supernatural-tinged crime novel in which the paranormal, hitmen, and pop stars converge.


The Other Paris, Luc Sante
(November 1, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Luc Sante is an expert at uncovering unanticipated corners of history, whether it’s the New York of years past or the secret stories behind vintage postcards. This is his book about Paris. Hopefully that’s enticement enough.


DC Trip, Sara Benincasa
(November 3, Adaptive Books)

As the title suggests, the new novel from Sara Benincasa–who keeps a foot in both the literary and comedic worlds–is about a trip to Washington, DC. Specifically, it’s about a high school class trip there, a setup ripe with comic possibilities.


The Mare, Mary Gaitskill
(November 3, Pantheon)

Mary Gaitskill’s fiction is often haunting and unsettling in equal measure. The Mare, her first novel since 2005’s deeply powerful Veronica, follows a young woman’s relationship with a family living in upstate New York over several years, and her bond with a horse living nearby.


Censorship Now!!, Ian F. Svenonius
(November 3, Akashic Books)

Svenonius’s third book is a collection of essays, featuring distinctive takes on all sorts of matters cultural and political. (You can read one at The New Republic.) As the title suggests, there’s a contrarian streak here, which befits a guy who’s been challenging expectations since the mid-1980s.


Our Spoons Came From Woolworths, Barbara Comyns
(November 10, NYRB Classics)

In recent years, Barbara Comyns’s fiction has been receiving a host of renewed attention. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths is less surreal than some of her other fiction, but no less haunting–it follows a young woman through a bad marriage, economic devastation, and more, and amasses abundant power through a distinctive narrative voice.


Not Dark Yet, Berit Ellingsen
(November 10, Two Dollar Radio)

Berit Ellingsen’s new novel is a surreal, unpredictable work bringing together environmental devastation, a nuanced portrayal of a relationship, and questions of space exploration. Does it get under your skin? Oh yes.


Target in the Night, Ricardo Piglia
(November 10, Deep Vellum)

Do you like politically-charged detective stories? Then Target in the Night may hit a number of sweet spots for you, with a plot that encompasses everything from Argentina’s Dirty War to King Lear.


The Voiceover Artist, Dave Reidy
(November 10, Curbside Splendor)

Dave Reidy’s 2009 collection Captive Audience left us impressed with its take on comedy and its impressive emotional range. Reidy’s new book examines the relationship between two brothers: one a comedian, and one a recluse turned (as the title suggests) voiceover artist.


Tales of Accidental Genius, Simon Van Booy
(November 10, Harper Perennial)

Last year, we were floored by Simon Van Booy’s novel The Illusion of Separateness, an elegantly-structured work that spanned continents and decades. Needless to say, we’re eager to read this new collection of his short stories.


Bright Scythe, Tomas Tranströmer
(November 17, Sarabande Books)

We will happily read a collection featuring newly-translated poems by Tranströmer, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. That these translations come from Patty Crane, who knew the Tranströmer family when she lived in Sweden, makes this collection even more intriguing.


Private Life, Josep Maria de Sagarra
(November 24, Archipelago Editions)

This 1932 novel, a critique of Catalonia’s aristocracy intended by its author to be a landmark of Catalan literature, was heavily censored by Franco’s government in the 1960s. This edition marks its first translation into English.


Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths, Ryan Britt
(November 24, Plume)

Do you enjoy smart explorations of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and pop culture? Ryan Britt’s essay collection takes on topics from Doctor Who to Dracula from unexpected angles, providing a knowing take on subjects we might have taken for granted.

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