Welcome to the heart of autumn. This November, if you’re looking for a new book to read you’ll be able to choose from a stylistically vast array of literary works. Hoping for an engaging psychological thriller or a great writer’s unorthodox exploration of a great musician? This month, both have gotten our attention — along with incisive literary commentary, a novel told entirely in verse, and a high-profile zine anthology.
Hilton Als, My Pinup
(Nov. 1, New Directions)
Do you want to read Hilton Als musing on Prince and desire? Because we sure do.
Graeme Macrae Burnet, Case Study
(Nov. 1, Biblioasis)
In his latest novel, Graeme Macrae Burnet weaves together “found” documents and the biography of a controversial psychologist to create an indelible portrait of a power struggle in 1960s London. Or perhaps “power struggles” would be more apt, as this novel’s narrator attempts to discover if her late sister’s therapist was responsible for her death — and finds herself making unexpected life decisions along the way.
Katherine Dunn, Toad
(Nov. 1, MCD)
Katherine Dunn is best known for her towering novel Geek Love, but it’s not the only book of hers that saw publication over the course of her life. Now, with the publication of this previously-unpublished novel, there’s a new entry to add to a haunting and memorable bibliography. It also finds her in character-study mode, exploring one woman’s life on the outskirts of society.
Cat Fitzpatrick, The Call-Out: A Novel in Rhyme
(Nov. 1, Seven Stories Press)
Discuss: is a novel written in verse the precise opposite of a prose poem? In her debut novel The Call-Out, Cat Fitzpatrick uses a literary approach often associated with literary history to address very contemporary questions via a cast of six queer women. Is the novel in verse ready for social media? Perhaps the better question is whether social media is ready for novels in verse.
Caroline Hagood, Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster
(Nov. 1, Spuyten Duyvil)
In recent years, numerous writers have wrestled with the concept of the “art monster” — and what, in turn, it says about a society that alternately embraces and shuns figures who meet that description. In her new book, Caroline Hagood explores how this concept intersects with perceptions of gender and family — making for a resonant a insightful read.
Robert Perišić, A Cat at the End of the World; translated by Vesna Maric
(Nov. 1, Sandorf Passage)
Do you want to read a novel that spans millennia and is centered around an ancient cat? Because that certainly has our attention. The Brooklyn Rail has published an excerpt which explores the ways in which carefully observed behavior — both human and feline — factors into the novel.
Maria Teresa Hart, Doll
(Nov. 3, Bloomsbury Academic)
What do dolls represent in popular culture? How do dolls relate to the way people experience gender? And what’s the deal, exactly, with haunted dolls in horror movies? Maria Teresa Hart’s new book — the latest in the Object Lessons series — reckons with all of these questions, as well as numerous others.
Zein El-Amine, Is This How You Eat a Watermelon?
(Nov. 8, Radix Media)
The new collection from Zein El-Amine encompasses seven stories, with a focus on everything from life during wartime to the nightmarish scenario of being wrongly detained. With settings in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, El-Amine’s work juxtaposes the unsettling and the familiar in revelatory ways.
Christy Lorio, Cold Comfort
(Nov. 15, Belle Point Press)
Cold Comfort, a blend of nonfiction writing and photography, finds author Christy Lorio chronicling her own experience living with cancer. The book is also acting as a benefit for Lorio and her family; and, if you’d like to know more about the book’s origins, Jami Attenberg has written a bit about it here.
Eileen Myles, editor, Pathetic Literature
(Nov. 15, Grove Press)
First and foremost, this anthology’s title isn’t necessarily as barbed as you might initially assume. Instead, Myles has gathered an array of writing that ponders the nature of pathos — which means that it include work by the likes of Samuel R. Delany, Jorge Luis Borges, and Djuna Barnes. And that’s just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
Alice Kaltman, Almost Deadly, Almost Good
(Nov. 22, Word West)
We’re big admirers of the writings of Alice Kaltman, who’s had a number of intriguing projects released in recent years. Her latest book is a collection subtitled “A Collection of Sins and Virtues” — a description that seems designed to pique your interest as a way of structuring short fiction. Seven sins and seven virtues; who will win out?
Osa Atoe, Shotgun Seamtress: The Complete Zine Collection
(Nov. 29, Soft Skull)
Over the course of nine years, Osa Atoe released eight issues of Shotgun Seamstress, a zine that explored the Black experience in the world of punk rock. Along the way, Shotgun Seamstress encompassed musical greats like Mick Collins and Rachel Aggs — and if you’re curious to read the zine in its entirety, this new collected edition allows exactly that.
Note: all artwork and release dates are subject to change.