New year? New books. January marks a strong beginning to what looks like another excellent literary year. You’ve got thought-provoking nonfiction, transportive fiction, and candid and enduring memoir all on the table. If you’re staying close to home due to cold weather or, er, other reasons this month, you’ve got plenty of new reading material to choose from.
Hawa Allan, Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship
(Jan. 4, W.W. Norton)
Looking for a thought-provoking read on history, sociopolitical matters, and the law? Look no further than this new book from Sunday Stories alumnus Hawa Allan. Allan brings a host of talents to this exploration of race and legal history in the United States; if you’ve read any of her nonfiction to date, you’ll know that she’s an astute and thoughtful reader and critic, and this ambitious book has a lot to offer.
Benjamin Percy, The Unfamiliar Garden
(Jan. 4, Mariner)
Benjamin Percy’s The Comet Cycle began with last year’s The Ninth Metal, which blended crime fiction with elements of science fiction and body horror, and teased the global effects of the arrival of alien metal on this planet. The Unfamiliar Garden takes things in a very different direction, including bizarre fungi and a series of strange killings. If The Ninth Metal was any indication, this should be a gripping read as well.
Leah Angstman, Out Front the Following Sea
(Jan. 11, Regal House)
Leah Angstman’s new novel ventures back in time to late in the 17th century, chronicling its protagonist’s escape from England after she is accused of witchcraft and her journey to New England. If that description intrigues you, it’s worth mentioning that we published an excerpt from it last fall.
Hannah Lillith Assadi, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells
(Jan. 11, Riverhead)
We were huge admirers of Hannah Lillith Assadi’s previous novel, Sonora — and we’ve been eager to sit down with this one ever since it was first announced. Her followup, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells, covers a span of many decades on an isolated island, and grapples with questions of memory and loss. Also in the mix? Strange lights appearing in the sky, which sounds suitably intriguing.
Jami Attenberg, I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home
(Jan. 11, Ecco)
Jami Attenberg’s works to date have blended compelling characters with subtle and effective structural choices, covering a range of subjects, times, and places along the way. With her latest book, she’s turned her focus on herself, chronicling her development and emergence as a writer. And if that has your attention, there’s also an excerpt up at The New Yorker.
Antoine Wilson, Mouth to Mouth
(Jan. 11, Avid Reader Press)
We’re always up for a thrilling novel set against the backdrop of the art world, and Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth certainly fits that bill. Wilson chronicles the aftermath of a lifesaving rescue of an art dealer — and the twisting corridors of power and identity that this novel’s protagonist ends up hurtling down in its wake.
Henry Hoke, Sticker
(Jan. 13, Bloomsbury)
We’re not entirely objective here, but we’re quite fond of the Object Lessons series — and Henry Hoke’s contribution might boast the most striking cover design the series has had to date. Hoke’s book uses stickers to chronicle everything from queer identity to the recent history of Charlottesville, Virginia — all of which should make this a book that sticks with you long after you’ve read it. (Pun intended, oh yes.)
Claire Messud, A Dream Life
(Jan. 15, Tablo Tales)
In his review of this book in these pages last month, Jason Rice noted that “A Dream Life is a comment on and an evisceration of privilege.” Messud writes some of the most complex characters you’re likely to encounter in fiction, and this short novel demonstrates that skill in abundance.
Sequoia Nagamatsu, How High We Go in the Dark
(Jan. 18, William Morrow)
In an interview about his new novel, Nagamatsu told The Bookseller about his new novel, and “how the re-emergence of an ancient virus might enable me to zoom in on families and on society, to look at how we navigate climate change, and the death and grief and loss that comes as its consequence.” That sounds all too resonant in early 2022 — and this novel sounds like an utterly gripping read.
V. Castro, Mestiza Blood
(Jan. 25, Flame Tree Press)
V. Castro’s recent fiction, including the novel Queen of the Cicadas, has drawn no small amount of praise, and her new collection looks poised to do the same. From folkloric influences to contemporary landscapes, Castro’s disquieting stories cover a lot of ground. It’s what you might expect from a writer equally at home referencing The Craft and Aztec deities.
Tochi Onyebuchi, Goliath
(Jan. 25, Tor.com)
After reading Tochi Onyebuchi’s stunning Riot Baby, we’ve been eager to read whatever he had in store next. Turns out the answer to that is Goliath, a novel set in the near future and using space exploration to ponder questions of gentrification. Goliath‘s publisher describes the book as an epic, and it seems certain to start a host of bold conversations.
Note: all cover artwork and release dates are subject to change.