What does the month of July have to offer? Fireworks, rising temperatures, and an increased likelihood of humidity. In terms of books, the outlook is better: everything from debut fiction to reissues of cult novels, along with eagerly awaited books from some of our longtime favorites. Whether you’re headed to the beach or holing up inside with the air conditioning, this month’s new books offer plenty to delight and impress you.
Donald Newlove, The Wolf Who Swallowed the Sun
(July 1, Tough Poets Press)
“A Jungian Fable of Family and Finance Across the Twentieth Century,” reads the subtitle for this newly-published novel by cult writer Donald Newlove. And that’s before we get to the fact that the protagonist is from a species of highly advanced humanoid wolves. Think Lives of the Monster Dogs meets The Wolf of Wall Street, maybe?
Selva Almada, The Wind That Lays Waste; translated by Chris Andrews
(July 9, Graywolf Press)
The debut novel from Selva Almada, now available in translation, sets a conflict among four characters against a backdrop of extreme weather. The Wind That Lays Waste grapples with questions of faith and belief while also exploring the dynamic among a group of people who might not ever have met under different circumstances.
Wayne Koestenbaum, Circus; introduction by Rachel Kushner
(July 9, Soft Skull Press)
You probably know Wayne Koestenbaum for his incisive nonfiction or his surreal poetry, but that’s not all he’s done. This new edition of Circus: Or, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes: A Novel brings his novel back into print, complete with introduction by Rachel Kushner. It’s about a reclusive pianist planning his comeback in the most surreal manner possible — a welcome reminder of Koestenbaum’s breadth as an author.
Lydia Lunch, So Real It Hurts; foreword by Anthony Bourdain
(July 9, Seven Stories Press)
Lydia Lunch has connected punk rock and the literary world for decades now, constantly pushing at the edges of both forms and taking readers and listeners alike into unexpected and challenging realms. This new collection of her nonfiction, including an introduction by Anthony Bourdain, serves as a fine reminder of her strengths as a writer.
Helen Phillips, The Need
(July 9, Simon and Schuster)
Helen Phillips’s new novel, a followup to her acclaimed 2017 collection Some Possible Solutions, blends psychological realism with an immersive foray into the surreal. Here, a young mother encounters something impossible — and must grapple with the difficult decisions that ensue.
Sarah Rose Etter, The Book of X
(July 16, Two Dollar Radio)
We’ve been eager to read something new from Sarah Rose Etter ever since we first encountered her work in the visceral chapbook Tongue Party. Her debut novel tells the story of a woman whose stomach is knotted; this isn’t the only foray into the weird that Etter makes, a maneuver balanced by a psychologically resonant tale of coming of age and the search for identity. Plus, there’s a cavern made of meat. What’s not to like?
Jaime Fountaine, Manhunt
(July 16, Mason Jar)
The debut novella from Jaime Fountaine, Manhunt, follows its narrator as she explores her own identity, her body, and comes to understand what she wants from life. We’ve published Fountaine’s writing before, and are excited to see it on a grander scale — as well as to see what comes next.
Norman Lock, Feast Day of the Cannibals
(July 16, Bellevue Literary Press)
The latest installment of Norman Lock’s ongoing American Novels project draws inspiration from Herman Melville’s life and work, as well as the history of 19th-century New York City. It’s a slow-burning tale of repression and sublimation, a work that tells a tale of obsession and the violence that ensues.
Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys
(July 16, Doubleday)
What do you do after you’ve ventured to alternate histories, told the stories of surreal elevator operators, and depicted New York in the throes of a zombie outbreak? If you’re Colson Whitehead, you take on a chilling moment in history head-on. Whitehead draws on harrowing true events for this story of a young man grappling with a changing world and the horrors he must endure at a sinister reformatory.
Sigrún Pálsdóttir, History. A Mess.; translated by Lytton Smith
(July 23, Open Letter Books)
What happens when an academic makes a bold discovery that might change the course of her discipline’s history forever — and then realizes that it’s due to an error she’s made? Ethical and historical questions come to the forefront in this unpredictable and intellectually-charged novel.
Kate Zambreno, Screen Tests
(July 23, Harper Perennial)
Kate Zambreno’s work has encompassed both comprehensive examinations of the lives of artists and blistering forays into fiction. With Screen Tests, she juxtaposes the two, offering readers both autobiographical stories and essays inspired by fiction and art — and, in the process, demonstrating how different windows on some of the same themes can be revelatory.
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