Vol.1 Brooklyn’s April 2021 Book Preview

April 2021 books

What does April have in store for avid readers? Mind-expanding fiction, incisive nonfiction, and emotionally affecting poetry — and that’s just the beginning. What is perhaps most notable about this month’s intriguing books is how wide a range they cover, from traditional to experimental. Regardless of where your own tastes fall, there’s likely something due out this month that will get your attention. Here’s a look at some of the April  books that have piqued ours.

Kelly Ann Jacobson, An Inventory of Abandoned Things
(Apr. 1, Split Lip Press)

Kelly Ann Jacobson’s An Inventory of Abandoned Things won publisher Split Lip Press’s 2020 Chapbook Context, which sounds promising. Equally promising is the publisher’s description, which refers to the book as “[a]t once the story of a pregnant graduate student separated from her wife and an inventory of the Florida panhandle.” Are we living through a renaissance of Florida lit? We might indeed.

Elle Nash, Nudes
(Apr. 2, Short Flight/Long Drive Books)

Elle Nash’s 2018 debut Animals Eat Each Other was the sort of visceral, unnerving fiction that made a stunning first impression. Since then, Nash has been publishing a host of fiction and nonfiction and has established a reputation as a sterling interviewer. And now, we’re getting a new book from her — in this case, her short fiction. It’s a new dispatch from an essential literary voice.

Sari Botton, ed., Goodbye to All That (Revised Edition)
(Apr. 2, Seal Press)

It’s been eight years since the first edition of Goodbye to All That, editor Sari Botton’s anthology on leaving New York, hit bookstores. Now, the anthology is back in an expanded edition, adding a group of new writers to what was already a strong lineup. Looking for an array of impressive essays on a topic that’s become even more relevant in the last year? This might just do the trick.

Joshua Chaplinsky, The Paradox Twins
(Apr. 6, CLASH Books)

Joshua Chaplinsky’s fiction blends the cerebral and the pulpy in equal measure, which makes for a fine combination. In an interview with 3:AM, Chaplinsky described it as “an experimental sci-fi ghost story masquerading as a family drama.” As descriptions go, that’s an eminently compelling one.

Kate Lebo, The Book of Difficult Fruit
(Apr. 6, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Kate Lebo knows a thing or two about pies, books, and the places they converge. Her latest, The Book Of Difficult Fruit: Arguments For The Tart, Tender, And Unruly (With Recipes), offers a blend of personal reflection and forays into the world of food writing. Lebo also draws on 26 fruits to give the book its structure. Will reading this make you hungry? It just might.

J. Robert Lennon, Let Me Think
(Apr. 6, Graywolf)

That the cover artwork for J. Robert Lennon’s new collection features a series of dots just waiting to be connected feels like a symbol for his work as a whole, which abounds with moments of transformation and revelation. This is being released simultaneously with Subdivision, a new novel by Lennon; if you’re looking to get into his work, this is a fine time to start.

Sanjena Sathian, Gold Diggers
(Apr. 6, Penguin Press)

What happens when you blend a coming-of-age story set during the Bush administration, a riff on alchemy, and a plot that explores questions of identity and the suburbs? The result might look something like Sanjena Sathian’s highly-anticipated debut novel Gold Diggers, which might have a television adaptation in the works before too long.

"Old Style" cover

Dmitry Samarov, Old Style
(Apr. 8, self-released)

Frequent Vol.1 Brooklyn contributor Dmitry Samarov, equally comfortable describing something in words or pictures, returns with Old Style, a deep dive into the world of bars in and around Chicago in the 21st century. Sound intriguing? We’ve got an excerpt from it here.

Desiree C. Bailey, What Noise Against the Cane
(Apr. 13, Yale University Press)

Looking for some award-winning poetry for your April reading? Desiree C. Bailey’s What Noise Against the Cane won the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize in 2020. In an interview last year with the Washington Square Review, Bailey mentioned that the book would deal with “my engagement with spirituality and religion.” Carl Phillips contributed this edition’s introduction.

Gabriel Blackwell, Correction
(Apr. 20, Rescue Press)

Formally inventive, unpredictable, and frequently haunting, Gabriel Blackwell’s fiction moves in unexpected ways. Correction is his second book released in the span of a year, after last fall’s Babel; for longtime enthusiasts of Blackwell’s work, it’s a fine time to get caught up, in all senses of the phrase.

Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart
(Apr. 20, Knopf)

We’re always especially impressed with talented writers who are also talented musicians. Michelle Zauner has repeatedly demonstrated her penchant for nonfiction; on the musical side, you’re probably aware of her work in Japanese Breakfast. Her new memoir Crying in H Mart explores questions of grief and offers a candid look at one artist’s life.

Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho; translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
(Apr. 27, Open Letter)

Elisa Shua Dusapin’s debut novel, which tells the story of a fraught encounter between a man and a woman near the border between North and South Korea, won the Prix Robert Walser when it was first released in 2016. Upon its release in the UK last year, the New Statesman noted that “the language in this masterful short novel is to the point, written in sharp first-person and full of indirect speech.”

Henry Hoke, The Groundhog Forever
(Apr. 27, WTAW Press)

There’s been a lot of great fiction written over the years about filmmaking. Henry Hoke’s new novel The Groundhog Forever treads down a tributary of that subgenre, telling the story of a pair of film students in the early 2000s. Earlier this year, Entropy published an excerpt and described the novel as “a queer sequel to the movie Groundhog Day.” That’s a heck of an elevator pitch right there.

Elissa Washuta, White Magic
(Apr. 27, Tin House)

We’re continuing to live through an excellent time for essays, and Elissa Washuta’s new collection White Magic serves as further proof of that. “I think the way the lyric essay often works is to imbue research or objects or details with metaphorical resonance,” Washuta recently told The Believer. “So that’s something that was already in my toolbox.” A wide-ranging collection written with deftness and skill? Sign us up.


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

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