Drawn from the 14,000+ titles in PW's Spring Announcements issue, we asked our reviews editors to pick the most notable books publishing in Spring 2017. Links to reviews are included when available. And be sure to check out our picks for most-anticipated children's and young adult books for spring 2017, as well.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Random House, Feb.) - A Dantesque tour through a Georgetown cemetery teeming with spirits, the book takes place on a February night in 1862, when Abraham Lincoln visits the grave of his recently interred 11-year-old son, Willie.
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove, Feb.) - Pulitzer-winner Nguyen’s story collection features a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, and a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover.
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (Dial, Mar.) - A young girl moves back to the New England fishing village where her father, Hawley, finds work on the docks. But lurking over this family are mysteries, including the mother who died and the ghosts of Hawley’s past.
Ill Will by Dan Chaon (Ballantine, Mar.) - A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his 40s when he hears the news: his adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thanks in part to Dustin’s testimony, 30 years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD, Apr.) - In a future strewn with the cast-off experiments of an industrial laboratory known only as the Company, a scavenger named Rachel survives alongside her lover, Wick, a dealer of memory-altering beetles with whom she takes shelter from the periodic ravages of a giant mutant bear named Mord. One day, caught in Mord’s fur, Rachel finds the bizarre, shape-shifting creature “like a hybrid of sea anemone and squid” she calls Borne.
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles (Morrow, Mar.) - Iles concludes his crime trilogy that began with 2014’s Natchez Burning, a Thriller Award finalist for best novel.
The Child by Fiona Barton (Berkley, June) - British author Barton follows her bestselling debut, The Widow, with a psychological thriller that examines the impact of a secret on three women who have never met.
The Force by Don Winslow (Morrow, June) - “Ever since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a big, New York City cop book,” says Edgar Award-finalist Winslow. This is it.
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor, Feb.) - Donnelly’s debut, a fast-moving tale of desperate love and intrigue in a created world that recalls Europe on the brink of WWII, is emotionally wrenching and shockingly timely.
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn (Gallery, Feb.) - Ahlborn is at the top of her game with this intimate horror novel, which focuses on the relationship between overwhelmed mothers and the sons they can’t save.
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley (Saga, Feb.) - Hurley, who’s earned increasing acclaim for both her fiction and her essays, sets this intricate and morally complex novel in a universe of warring world ships populated entirely by women.
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (Orbit, Feb.) - In this brilliant debut novel, Eames combines rock band culture with high-energy epic fantasy adventure in a tale of retired mercenaries literally getting the band back together for a desperate attempt to save their frontman's besieged daughter.
The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus (Rosarium, Feb.) - This evocative and moving collection from Broaddus (the Knights of Breton Court series) spans the extremes of African and diasporic experiences, from hunting villages and slaver ships to interstellar religious warfare in the near future.
Unstrung by Laura Spinella (Montlake Romance, Feb.) - In Spinella’s gripping contemporary, a symphony violinist and her financier husband must find a way to repair their marriage after he uses her mother’s home as collateral in a business deal.
Perfect for You by Candis Terry (Avon, Feb.) - Endearing, outspoken, quick-witted characters are the highlights of Terry's sweet, seductive second Sunshine Creek Vineyard novel, in which a longtime smoldering attraction between a CEO and his assistant bursts into flames.
The Undateable by Sarah Title (Zebra Shout, Feb.) - Title opens her Librarians in Love contemporary series with a funny, engrossing, and delightfully witty tale of a snarky librarian and a reporter desperate for the story that will make his career.
Hard Rhythm by Cecilia Tan (Forever, Jan.) - Tan's third Secrets of a Rock Star novel, a wildly creative, enthusiastic, immersive, and incredibly hot romance between experienced kinksters, does double duty as a public service announcement that clearly illustrates the difference between BSDM and domestic abuse.
Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn (Diversion, Mar.) - Galenorn (the Otherworld series) launches the Lily Bound paranormal romance series with a crackling murder mystery and a sizzling connection between a succubus and a chaos demon.
Afterland by Mai Der Vang (Graywolf, Apr.) - Vang, the 2016 Walt Whitman Award winner, tells the story of Hmong diaspora forced out of Laos and into exile as a result of the U.S.’s secret war. Vang’s unflinching poems address the status of refugees, including her family, and Hmong resilience in exile.
Nature Poem by Tommy Pico (Tin House, May) - Pico’s complementary follow-up to his stellar debut turns from a young, queer, American Indian’s considerations of his urban life to a confrontation with white, colonial, assimilationist ideas that conflate NDN people with nature.
Simulacra by Airea Matthews (Yale Univ., Mar.) - Matthews, winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, contemplates want and rebellion in her imaginative, shape-shifting debut. She employs an array of personas and forms—including texts and tweets—to meet her needs in addressing these concepts.
Boundless by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly, June) - Tamaki’s last two books--This One Summer and Super Mutant Magic Academy--showed she is one of the world’s best cartoonists, and this collection of her evocative short stories will just cement her reputation.
Sunburning by Keiler Roberts (Koyama Press, May) - A wry but honest look at life as an artist, wife, and mother while dealing with bipolar disorder, Roberts pulls no punches with a disarming directness.
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire (Gallery, Apr.) - Lemire has been red hot with his mainstream work (Black Hammer, Plutona) but he returns to Essex County territory with this standalone graphic novel about violence, family, and hockey.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (Harper, June) - In her popular essays and Tumblr blog, Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body. She takes readers along on her journey to understand herself in a memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner (Grand Central, Apr.) - The anticipated story of the most famous transgender woman in the world, from her childhood as Bruce and Olympian Gold to her transition and her life today.
This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression by Daphne Merkin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Feb.) - A personal account of a life afflicted with depression, from an affluent but neglected childhood to the present day.
More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers by Jonathan Lethem, edited by Christopher Boucher (Melville House, Mar.) - Lethem embraces both cult and canon in this collection of his writing on writers, including Chester Brown, Herman Melville, and Lorrie Moore.
The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Mar.) - Bellos (Is That a Fish in Your Ear?), a translator of French literature, proves that the story of how Victor Hugo’s classic novel came to life is a complex and engrossing epic all its own.
Somebody with a Little Hammer by Mary Gaitskill (Pantheon, Apr.) - PW gave a starred review to Gaitskill’s new collection of essays written over the past two decades, praising her “surprising, nimble prose” and “candid, unflinching self-assessment.”
South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion (Knopf, Mar.) - A diligent notebook keeper throughout her career, Didion shares her entries from a 1970 road trip through the South and a 1976 stint covering the Patty Hearst trial for Rolling Stone.
Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard (Harper Perennial, Apr.) - Brave, keenly observational, and compassionate, Gerard’s (Binary Star) collection of essays illuminates the stark realities of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny by Michael Wallis (Liveright, Apr.) - The author of Route 66 provides a cautionary tale of America’s westward expansion with this account of the infamous saga of the Donner party.
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker (Norton, Mar.) - Tucker vividly brings to life a slice of Parisian history in this rigorously researched true-crime epic, set during the reign of Louis XIV.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday, Apr.) - The author of The Lost City of Z burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping account of a spree of murders in Oklahoma during the 1920s.
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville (Verso, May) - To commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution, acclaimed fantasy author Miéville chronicles the events leading up to Red October.
The Water Kingdom: A Secret History of China by Philip Ball (Univ. of Chicago, Mar.) - Drawing on stories from travelers and explorers, poets and painters, bureaucrats and activists, Ball explores how the relationship of the Chinese people to water has made it an enduring metaphor for philosophical thought and artistic expression.
Democracy: The Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, May) - The former secretary of state shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen to put democracy’s challenges into perspective.
Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power by Howard W. French (Knopf, Mar.) The New York Times’s former Asia correspondent tracks China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.
Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr.) - Former public defender Forman offers a complex look at the part played by African-Americans in shaping criminal justice policy.
Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus by Laura Kipnis (Harper, Apr.) - The feminist cultural critic argues that the growing sense of sexual danger sweeping American campuses doesn’t empower women, but impedes the fight for gender equality.
The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince by Mayte Garcia (Hachette, Apr.) - The first wife of the popular musician takes a candid, intimate, and revelatory look at his personal and professional life.
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life by Jonathan Gould (Crown Archetype, May) - A definitive biography, timed to the 50th anniversary of Redding’s memorable performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, of Redding’s short life, it explores race and music in America in the 1960s.
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe (FSG/Crichton, June) - A biography, with dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from her youth on the Canadian prairie, the child she gave up for adoption, through her albums and love affairs, to the present.
Inferno: A Doctor’s Ebola Story by Steven Hatch (St. Martin’s, Mar.) - Immunologist Hatch chronicles his work in Liberia during the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2015, delivering a story of courageous medical care amid devastating human tragedy. It’s a tale of great loss that is tempered by optimism that such epidemics can be handled with compassion.
The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls (Crown, Feb.) - Writer and translator Searles delivers the story of the Swiss psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who, despite his short life, transformed psychology with his visual test. Searles traces the ebb and flow of the test’s popularity, and examines its synthesis of art and science.
Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them by Gina Kolata (St. Martin’s, Apr.) - New York Times science reporter Kolata follows a South Carolina family through their reckoning with genetic illness and one courageous daughter’s determination to disrupt her destiny. Kolata surveys a host of intractable ethical issues and offers insight into the experiences of doctors and patients alike.
Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (Da Capo, Apr.) - Celebrating the scientific process and the wonders of the universe, Cox and Forshaw introduce readers to cutting-edge astrophysics and cosmology. They use basic questions to dig into increasingly complex topics, yet manage to keep the material fun and accessible.
Martin: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper (Random House, Feb.) - Timed to coincide with the anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses, Roper’s book is a tightly focused look at Luther's intellectual work over the course of his life.
Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik (Other Press, Mar.) - Prochnik effectively, and movingly, combines a nuanced biography of Scholem, who nearly single-handedly created academic study of the Kabbalah, with a warts-and-all autobiography that recounts Prochnik’s search for meaning in his own life.
Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, Apr.) - Casting a fresh eye on well-known biblical stories such as Jonah, the Good Samaritan, and Lazarus, Lamott drolly attests to the subversive, yet sustaining power of simple acts of kindness in the face of life’s inevitable devastations.
Taking My Life Back: My Story of Faith, Determination, and Surviving the Boston Marathon Bombing by Rebekah Gregory with Anthony Flacco (Revell, Apr.) - Gregory's memoir is her unflinching account of surviving the Boston Bombing, including the self-reflection and path to grace she found following the devastating event.