Fall usually means the literary heavyweights hit shelves, and this year is no exception. Prize winners, bestsellers, and even a $2 million debut are the highlights of this season’s offerings. The trend? More is more. The top 10 books in literary fiction average nearly 500 pages each, so there’s plenty of reading to last until next year.
Avenue of Mysteries
John Irving. Simon & Schuster, Nov. 3
Irving’s 14th novel relates what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, and how his past in Mexico collides with his future.
Garth Risk Hallberg. Knopf, Oct. 13
A panoramic epic set in 1970s New York centering on a shooting in Central Park. Hallberg’s debut has been highly anticipated since news broke that it sold for $2 million.
The Japanese Lover
Isabel Allende. Atria, Nov. 3
A love story and multigenerational epic encompassing WWII-era Poland and the United States and present-day San Francisco.
Mary Gaitskill. Pantheon, Nov. 3
Gaitskill’s third novel is the story of a Dominican girl on a Fresh Air Fund vacation; her host mother, the white woman who introduces her to riding; and a horse who is a revelation for the girl.
Umberto Eco, trans. by Richard Dixon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov. 3
A novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder.
Jonathan Franzen. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 1
In Franzen’s first novel since Freedom, a young woman follows a German peace activist to South America to intern for his WikiLeaks-like organization.
Geraldine Brooks. Viking, Oct. 6
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author takes on the life of King David.
David Mitchell. Random, Oct. 27
Five “guests,” each separated by nine years, enter Slade House for a brief visit—only to vanish from the outside world.
Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein. Europa, Sept. 1
The fourth and final Neapolitan novel solidifies the masterpiece status of Ferrante’s series.
A Strangeness in My Mind
Orhan Pamuk, trans. by Ekin Oklap. Knopf, Oct. 20
The latest from the Nobel Prize winner is the tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life, told from the perspectives of several characters.
Literary Fiction Listings
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison (Sept. 8, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-261-3). Harriet Chance embarks alone on the Alaskan voyage her late husband booked before his death. Evison plumbs the messy but beautiful depths of her marriage, her family, and her life.
The Double Life of Liliane by Lily Tuck (Sept. 8, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2402-9). From National Book Award–winner Tuck comes the story of a young girl’s life caught between two vividly different, cosmopolitan parents.
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende (Nov. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-1697-1). A love story and multigenerational epic sweeps from Poland and the United States during WWII to San Francisco in the present-day.
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Mrs. Engels by Gavin McCrea (Oct. 13, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-936787-29-6). In this debut novel, which received a starred PW review, Lizzie Burns, the illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Frederick Engels (coauthor of The Communist Manifesto), is finally given a voice.
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The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, trans. by Christina MacSweeney (Sept. 15, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-56689-409-8). Bon vivant, world traveler, auctioneer—the story of Highway and his teeth is like Johnny Cash meets Robert Walser in Mexico.
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Ball: Stories by Tara Ison (Nov. 10, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-59376-622-1). This debut collection of stories, set mostly in contemporary Los Angeles, explores the darker edges of love and sex and death, and how they are intimately and often violently connected.
Calf by Andrea Kleine (Oct. 13, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-59376-619-1) comprises dual narratives told over the course of one year. A fictionalized John Hinckley Jr. stalks a young actress in the lead-up to his assassination attempt, and 11-year-old Tammy’s friend is murdered in her sleep (a crime based on a real-life murder).
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Mieville (Aug. 4, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-88472-0). More literary yet still containing genre elements, Mieville’s story collection is by turns speculative, satirical, emotional, and spooky.
Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (Nov. 17, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54029-2). It’s 1978, and John Lennon has escaped New York City for the island he bought off the west coast of Ireland. When he puts himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver full of Irish charm and dark whimsy, what ensues can only be termed a magical mystery tour.
Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin (Aug. 25, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-95521-4). When a buttoned-up professor and her unbuttoned daughter fall for the same irresistible man, this subversive comedy begins.
Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser (Jan. 19, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-240082-6) is a debut novel about a fearless, whip-smart 16-year-old girl whose search for her missing mother leads to a fight for survival in northern Michigan.
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt (Sept. 15, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-228120-3). From the bestselling, Man Booker–shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers comes a novel that reimagines the folk tale, rife with thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and murder.
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The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein (Sept. 1, paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-60945-233-9). The fourth and final Neapolitan novel, centering on the tumultuous relationship between writer Elena and indomitable spirit Lila, solidifies Ferrante’s series as a masterpiece.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin, edited by Stephen Emerson, foreword by Lydia Davis (Aug. 18, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-20239-2). The women of Berlin’s stories navigate a world of jockeys, doctors, and switchboard operators who laugh, mourn, and drink. Berlin is a highly influential writer despite having published little in her lifetime.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen (Sept. 1, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-23921-3). A young woman follows a German peace activist to South America to intern for his WikiLeaks-like organization.
Submission by Michel Houellebecq, trans. by Lorin Stein (Oct. 20, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-374-27157-2). Paris, 2022. In an alliance with the socialists, France’s new Islamic party sweeps to power, and Islamic law is enforced. Women are veiled, and polygamy is encouraged.
Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos (Nov. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4555-6149-0). The final novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist follows famed 19th-century journalist-explorer Henry Stanley; his wife, the painter Dorothy Tennant; and Stanley’s long friendship with Mark Twain, as the couple venture to Cuba in search of Stanley’s father.
The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (Sept. 1, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55597-717-7). This Man Booker–longlisted novel is a postapocalyptic story set a thousand years in the past. Written in a “shadow tongue” of Old English, it follows Buccmaster, a proud landowner bearing witness to the end of his world.
Death by Water by Kenzaburo Oe (Oct. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8021-2401-2). Nobel Prize–winner Oe’s new novel is a metafictional story about a writer who searches for the truth behind his father’s death during WWII and discovers a new family legacy to impart to his own son.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (Nov. 10, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-229441-8) is the story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings.
All That Followed by Gabriel Urza (Aug. 4, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-62779-243-1). It’s 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain’s northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician, everyone knows who pulled the trigger, but is the convicted man the only one to blame?
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Numero Zero by Umberto Eco, trans. by Richard Dixon (Nov. 3, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-544-63508-1). The bestselling author of The Name of the Rose and The Prague Cemetery offers a novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder.
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor (Oct. 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-547-48585-0). A centennial retrospective showcases representative stories in the series as well as literary moments in time, from Edna Ferber to George Saunders, including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Cheever, Munro, Lahiri, Alexie, Diaz, among many others.
So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood by Patrick Modiano, trans. by Euan Cameron (Sept. 15, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-544-63506-7). A haunting suspense novel from the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. In his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of solitude, but a surprising phone call and threatening voice leave him wary but curious.
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Oct. 13, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-385-35377-9). A panoramic epic set in 1970s New York centers on a shooting in Central Park. 200,000 copies announced first printing.
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, trans. by Ekin Oklap (Oct. 20, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-307-70029-2). From the Nobel Prize winner and bestselling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, the tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life, told from the perspectives of several characters. 75,000 copies announced first printing.
Wind/Pinball: Two Novels by Haruki Murakami, trans. by Ted Goossen (Aug. 4, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-385-35212-3). The debut short novels—nearly 30 years out of print—by the internationally acclaimed writer are newly translated and in one English-language volume for the first time, with a new introduction by the author. 200,000 copies announced first printing.
Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa (Jan. 12, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-38653-1). The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests.
The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Müller, trans. by Philip Boehm (Dec. 1, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-8050-9302-5). The Nobel Prize winner’s latest: Romania at the end of the Ceausescu regime, and one of these four—schoolteacher Adina, musician Paul; factory worker Clara, and Pavel, Clara’s lover—works for the secret police and is reporting on the others.
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Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan (Sept. 15, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-57131-111-5) is about a smalltown school teacher surviving the inevitable turmoil of life with poise and dignity, thanks in large part to her lifelong love affair with novels, particularly the playful works of P.G. Wodehouse.
Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, trans. by Annie Tucker (Sept. 8, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-8112-2363-8). The English-language debut of Indonesia’s rising star, which received a starred review from PW, traces Indonesia’s history from Dutch colonization through the 1965 mass murders, centering on prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters.
Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult by Bohumil Hrabal, trans. by Paul Wilson (Oct. 6, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-8112-2480-2). Never before published in English, the stories in this collection were written mostly in the 1950s and present the Czech master at the height of his powers.
New York Review Books
Dear Illusion: Selected Stories by Kingsley Amis (Aug. 4, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59017-824-9). A writer long lauded for his comic genius in the novel form, Amis is far less known for his short stories—this original collection features science fiction, spy stories, and ghost stories.
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Oct. 5, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24845-6). The National Book Award finalist and author of Once Upon a River submits a story collection featuring ferocious mothers and scrappy daughters.
The Complete Works of Primo Levi by Primo Levi, edited by Ann Goldstein (Sept. 28, hardcover, $100, ISBN 978-0-87140-456-5) includes seminal works like If This Is a Man and The Periodic Table, and gathers all 14 of Levi’s books—memoirs, essays, poetry, commentary, and fiction—into three slipcased volumes.
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt, trans. by K. E. Semmel (Aug. 11, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-940953-16-8). While trying to fix a toaster, Thomas discovers a secret, setting into motion a series of events leading to the dissolution of his life, and plunging him into a dark, shadowy underworld of violence and betrayal. Aidt’s novel received a starred PW review.
Memory Theater by Simon Critchley (Nov. 17, hardcover, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-59051-740-6). In the philosopher’s debut novel, the unpublished papers of a recently deceased French philosopher arrive in Simon Critchley’s office. Critchley discovers in them a brilliant text on the ancient art of memory and a cache of astrological charts predicting the deaths of various philosophers, among them a chart for Critchley himself.
The Mare by Mary Gaitskill (Nov. 3, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-307-37974-0). The author’s first novel since the National Book Award–nominated Veronica tells the story of a Dominican girl on a Fresh Air Fund vacation; her host mother, who introduces her to riding; and a horse who is a revelation for the girl.
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (Aug. 18, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-59420-662-7). In this debut novel—a BEA Buzz Panel pick—a lonely young woman working in a boys’ prison outside Boston in the early 1960s is pulled into a very strange crime.
A Clue to the Exit by Edward St. Aubyn (Sept. 1, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-250-04603-1). Charlie Fairburn, successful screenwriter, ex-husband, and absent father, has been given six months to live. He resolves to stake half his fortune on a couple of turns of the roulette wheel and, to his agent’s disgust, to write a novel—about death.
Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson (Aug. 18, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-8129-9747-7). Johnson’s first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Orphan Master’s Son is a collection of stories that delve deeply into love, loss, the decisions we make for ourselves, and the decisions we make for others.
Slade House by David Mitchell (Oct. 27, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8129-9868-9). Every nine years between 1979 and 2015, one of five “guests” enters Slade House—only to vanish without a trace in the latest from the bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas.
Thirteen Ways of Looking: Fiction by Colum McCann (Oct. 13, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8129-9672-2). A new short story collection, McCann’s first in 12 years, includes the title novella: a retired judge in his 80s spends a morning remembering his past, his thoughts interrupted by updates from a police investigation into his murder that will take place later that afternoon.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (Sept. 8, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-9891-7). In Rushdie’s latest, a modern fairy tale, a simple gardener begins to levitate, and a powerful djinn—also known as the Princess of Fairyland—raises an army composed entirely of her semimagical great-great-great-grandchildren.
The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra (Oct. 13, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-7704-3643-8). Marra, bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, returns with a short story collection of interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Sept. 15, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-59463-447-5). At age 22, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but now things are far more complicated than they seem.
Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes (Aug. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-59463-378-2). In the title story of Holmes’s debut collection, a young woman with a Princeton acceptance letter and a love of sex navigates her high school’s slut-shaming culture. In another story, a woman takes a job selling sex toys in San Francisco rather than become a lawyer for the sake of her father.
The State We’re In: Maine Stories by Ann Beattie (Aug. 11, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-5011-0781-8). From prize-winning author Beattie comes a collection of brand-new linked stories that capture the zeitgeist through the voices of women from adolescence to old age.
Simon & Schuster
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving (Nov. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4516-6416-4). In the Philippines, what happened to Juan Diego in his past in Mexico collides with his future.
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (Aug. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-4516-9359-1). Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 19th century, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story.
The Incarnations by Susan Barker (Aug. 18, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-0678-1). Strange letters tell the stories of a Beijing taxi driver’s previous lives—escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—and bind him to his mysterious soul mate, spanning 1,000 years of betrayal and intrigue.
Into the Valley by Ruth Galm (Aug., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-61695-509-0). Galm’s spare debut novel, set in the American West, traces the drifting path of a young woman as she skirts the law and her own oppressive anxiety. It received a starred PW review.
House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-1789-1). Gangs of New York meets Ocean’s Eleven in this historical thriller in which a society architect in 1890s Manhattan is forced to join a gritty crime ring.
Fear of Dying by Erica Jong (Sept. 8, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-06591-9). The bestselling author delivers her first book in 10 years—a sequel to her groundbreaking novel, Fear of Flying.
Two Dollar Radio
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Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen (Nov. 11, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-937512-35-4). Brandon leaves his boyfriend in the city for life in the mountains after an affair with a professor ends with Brandon killing a research animal. His new neighbors are staging an ambitious agricultural project thanks to changes in the climate, and Brandon gets swept along with their plans.
(dist. by Random)
Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, trans. by Labodalih Sembiring (Sept. 11, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-78168-859-5). Along with Beauty Is a Wound (New Directions, Sept. 8), Man Tiger is the first novel of Indonesian literary sensation Kurniawan. The story interlinks two tormented families and Margio, an ordinary youngster who also happens to be half-supernatural female white tiger.
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Oct. 6, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-670-02577-0). A novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March.