Vol.1 Brooklyn’s June 2020 Book Preview

June 2020 books

So it’s June. We’ll be honest — this was unexpectedly delayed from earlier in the month and then delayed again. It’s an unsettling time out there, for so many reasons. Here are some books due out this month. We’re excited about them. Maybe you will be, too. Maybe you’ll find something in one of them to better understand the world; maybe you’ll find something in one of them to give you a moment of levity during a trying time.

Carlos Manuel Álvarez, The Fallen; translated by Frank Wynne
(June 2, Graywolf Press)

In his newly-translated novel The Fallen, Carlos Manuel Álvarez delves into intergenerational conflict within Cuba, tracking a shift in revolutionary ideals between generations of a family. The result is a multifaceted exploration of change and stagnation, told via a shifting perspective.

Marie-Helene Bertino, Parakeet
(June 2, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Many people feel a sense of anxiety before they get married. Not quite as many, however, are greeted by a reincarnated grandparent in the body of a parakeet. That’s the dilemma facing the protagonist of Marie-Helene Bertino’s new novel, which blends wry humor with a deepening foray into the surreal.

Andrzej Tichý, Wretchedness; translated by Nichola Smalley
(June 2, And Other Stories)

Beginning in Sweden and gradually moving across Europe, Andrzej Tichý’s novel Wretchedness takes its characters on a harrowing emotional journey, touching on questions of creativity and addiction along the way.

Zaina Arafat, You Exist Too Much
(June 9, Catapult)

The debut novel from Zaina Arafat tells the story of several years in the life of its protagonist, a young Palestinian-American woman wrestling with questions of creativity and desire. In a narrative that spans several continents, Arafat covers a wide thematic ground en route to the book’s finale.

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn, A Fish Growing Lungs
(June 9, Burrow Press)

In her debut, Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn explores questions of trauma, mental illness, and personal narratives across a group of linked essays. In early reviews, she’s been hailed for risk-taking prose and an affecting narrative voice — making this a debut to watch.

Dorothy Strachey, Olivia; introduction by André Aciman
(June 9, Penguin Classics)

Fans of Call Me By Your Name, take note: André Aciman has cited this 1949 novel as having had a significant influence on his own book. In telling the story of a young woman becoming slowly infatuated with her teacher, Strachey ventures into difficult and fraught emotional terrain, telling an enduring narrative along the way.

Lucie Britsch, Sad Janet
(June 16, Riverhead Books)

We’ve published a number of Lucie Britsch’s short stories over the years, and needless to say — we’re thrilled to see that she has a novel due out this month. What’s it about? Depression, dog shelters, and pharmaceuticals, you say? We’re decidedly intrigued.

Tara Isabella Burton, Strange Rites
(June 16, Public Affairs)

Tara Isabella Burton writes exceedingly well on the subject of religion, faith, and American culture. Strange Rites is her book-length foray into the subject — and, based on her shorter work on these themes, it promises to be a fascinating excavation of uncharted corners of society.

Machado de Assis, Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas; translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson
(June 16, Liveright)

This is one of two translation of the same novel due out this month — and, taken in tandem with the Machado de Assis collection that Liveright released not that long ago, part of what might well be a renaissance for the late Brazilian writer. Narrated by a ghost and utilizing a host of bold narrative flourishes, this novel explores one life in extraordinary style.

Katherine Hill, A Short Move
(June 23, Ig Publishing)

For readers of, say, Don DeLillo’s End Zone who might be craving another notable literary novel that also deals with the sport of football, look no further. Katherine Hill’s novel tells the story of a linebacker who achieves fame and fortune in a sport that’s slowly decimating his body and his spirit.

Spencer Wolff, The Fire in His Wake
(June 23, McSweeney’s)

Spencer Wolff’s debut novel focuses on the intersecting lives of two men who meet in Morocco under trying circumstances. Along the way, Wolff and his characters wrestle with the legacy of history and conflicts both national and internal.

Heather Lende, Of Bears and Ballots
(June 30, Algonquin Books)

In her memoir Of Bears and Ballots, Heather Lende explores how she successfully ran for office in her small Alaska town — and of the complex array of issues and personalities that she encountered as a result. All told, it’s a distinctive look at local politics.

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

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