We canvassed booksellers around the country to bring you 35 forthcoming small press titles with huge potential.


The Last September by Nina de Gramont (Sept., $25.95)

Seven-city tour; advertising; online reading group guide

De Gramont’s book is a “brilliant rendering of love story, murder mystery, pitch-perfect study of horrific ordinary mental illness, and that rare coming-of-age novel that deals with adults, who actually do come of age in the most difficult ways. I was hooked by the first paragraph,” says Brad Watson, author of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives.


(dist. by PRH)

The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club by Eileen Pollack (Sept., $25)

Author appearances; advertising; 6,000-copy first printing

In 2005, Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences; Pollack, who had abandoned her own ambition to become a physicist, set out to find an answer.

The Point of Vanishing: A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude by Howard Axelrod (Sept., $16 trade paper)

Author appearances, including Miami Book Fair; excerpt in the Virginia Quarterly Review; 5,000-copy first printing

During Alexrod’s junior year at Harvard, a basketball injury left him permanently blinded in his right eye. Afterward, he felt a widening gulf between how people saw him and how he saw, and he retreated to a house in the Vermont woods. This memoir describes his experiences living there, largely without human contact, for two years.

Bellevue Literary

(dist. by Consortium)

Good People by Robert Lopez (Jan. 2016, $16.95 trade paper)

“Lopez’s strange, incantatory, visionary stories reveal the mysteries behind the ordinary world. You lift your head from this book and it’s as if a third eye has been opened,” says writer Dan Chaon. This is Lopez’s first collection in six years.

John F. Blair

Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment by Sybil Haydel Morial (Oct., $26.95)

Events in New York and New Orleans, including launch party with Octavia Books, Garden District Bookshop, the Community Bookstore, and the Faulkner House

“Teacher, civil rights leader, former first lady of New Orleans, Sybil Morial has given us... an elegantly written, deeply moving memoir of one of America’s most beloved political families,” says Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. Foreword by Andrew Young.


(dist. by PGW)

Mrs. Engles by Gavin McCrea (Oct., $16.95 trade paper with French flaps)

In a starred review, PW praised this “richly imagined debut novel” about Lizzie Burns, the longtime lover of Frederick Engels, coauthor of The Communist Manifesto. According to the review, McCrea offers “a human perspective on historical icons.”

Cinco Puntos

(dist. by Consortium)

The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin (Oct., $16.95 paperback)

Five-city tour, including the Texas Book Festival in Austin; 5,000-copy first printing

This novel grew from Sandlin’s much-anthologized story “Tom Phelan’s First Case,” about a woman who lands a job with a neophyte PI, after spending 14 years in “the do-right” for killing a man who raped her. Consortium sales rep John Mesjak compares it to “a good old-fashioned Nero Wolfe mystery with a Gulf Coast accent.”

City Lights

(dist. by Consortium)

Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization by Roy Scranton (Sept., $13.95 trade paper)

19-city tour

This book expands on Scranton’s New York Times essay in which he responds to the existential problem of global warming by arguing that in order to survive we must come to terms with death.

Coffee House

(dist. by Consortium)

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, trans. by Christina MacSweeney (Sept., $16.95 trade paper)

Six-city tour; 10,000-copy first printing

In its starred and boxed review, PW wrote: “One of the most unforgettable images in any book this year is that of Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez, the protagonist of Luiselli’s delightfully unclassifiable novel, walking around the streets of Mexico City, smiling at people with the teeth of Marilyn Monroe installed in his mouth.”


(dist. by PGW)

Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow of Mark Lombardi by Patricia Goldstone (Oct., $28)

This biography explores the life and work of the conceptual artist who created intricate drawings, known as “interlocks,” which linked shadow banking, organized crime, intelligence agencies, and oil companies. At the time of his death, his growing success drew the attention of art museums as well as the FBI and CIA.

Counterpoint/Soft Skull

Calf by Andrea Kleine (Oct., $25)

Six-city tour

“Dread stalks every page, and the result is unsettling scary, and often brilliant. For readers looking for a sharp, twisted narrative, this is a keeper,” wrote PW, in a starred review of this debut novel in which John Hinckley Jr.’s attempt to assassinate President Reagan converges with socialite Leslie DeVeau’s murder of her 10-year-old daughter.

Drawn & Quarterly

(dist. by FSG)

Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine (Oct., $22.95)

In its starred review, PW wrote that "these half-dozen stories are drawn with a cool, dry, Chris Ware-like style that heightens the emotions packed within their rigidly uniform blocks rather than muffling it. . . . Tomine has created a deft, deadpan masterpiece filled with heartache interspresed with the shock of beauty,”


(dist. by PGW)

Little Sister Death by William Gay (Oct., $26.95)

“David Binder finds more than inspiration for his next thriller when he moves his family into the notoriously evil Beale home.... A sensual reimagining of the infamous Bell Witch haunting... the images are eerie and transcendent, the sentences fine-tuned,” writes Square Books staffer Carla Fulgham of Gay’s final book.


White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine by Janet Sternburg (Sept., $18.95)

This is the story of a close-knit working-class Jewish family in Boston and what they endured due to the popularization of lobotomy during the 20th century.


(dist. by Legato)

Clockwork Lives by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart (Sept., $24.95 faux leather cover)

Author tour with Anderson; 14 color illustrations; 30,000-copy first printing

Anderson and Rush drummer and lyricist Peart return to the steampunk world of Clockwork Angels. When Marinda Peake’s father dies, he gives her a blank book that she must fill with other people’s stories—and her own.


(dist. by PRH)

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein (Sept., $18)

40,000-copy first printing

“This stunning conclusion further solidifies the Neapolitan novels as Ferrante’s masterpiece and guarantees that this reclusive author will remain far from obscure for years to come,” wrote PW in a starred review.


Store Front II: The Disappearing Face of New York by James T. and Karla L. Murray (Nov., $65)

The Murrays examine bodegas, candy shops, record stores, bars, and cafes and other mom-and-pop businesses. PW wrote that the first book in the series, which came out in 2008, “will make non–New Yorkers want to skip Times Square on their next visit in favor of catching some of these neighborhood spots before they’re gone for good.” With 250 illustrations.


Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom by Steven Salaita (Oct., $22.95)

Two-week tour

In the summer of 2014, Salaita had his appointment to a tenured professorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revoked by the board of trustees and his employment terminated in response to tweets critical of the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Here, he combines personal reflection and political critique to provide a thorough analysis of his controversial termination.

KO Kids/Blue Dot

Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten (Sept., $17.99)

This story is based on a question Baumgarten, who died in 2014, asked his children daily, “What will your beautiful hands do today?” PW’s reviewer called it, “an inspiring reminder of all the intangible things that our bodies, hearts, and minds have the capacity to do.” Ages 3 and up.

Melville House

The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken (Sept., $25.95)

In this noir novel, set in late-1940s New York, psychiatrist David Manne is asked by the police to consult on a case involving a suspect who claims to be the victim of mistaken identity. Manne begins to suspect that he’s caught up in a secret government medical testing program.


(dist. by IPG)

Serpentine by Cindy Pon (Sept., $23.99)

Author appearances, including book launch at Mysterious Galaxy

This is the first book in a new fantasy series inspired by ancient China, from the author of the Silver Phoenix duology. In it Skybright, a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a wealthy family, experiences a growing otherness so troubling, she will risk everything to conceal her secret. Ages 14 and up.

New York Review Books

Abducting a General by Patrick Leigh Fermor (Oct., $19.95)

8,000-copy first printing

Before Fermor became famous for his travel books about walking from Holland to Istanbul, he kidnapped the German commander of Crete, General Kreipe, during World War II and escorted him off the island through more than 20 checkpoints, bringing him back to England as a prisoner.

Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by William Sloane (Oct., $15.95 trade paper)

8,000-copy first printing

This book brings together two famous cosmic novels from the influential editor, publisher, and sci-fi horror writer: “To Walk the Night” and “The Edge of Running Water.” With an introduction by Stephen King.

New Directions

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, trans. by Annie Tucker (Sept., $19.95 trade paper)

Three-city tour, including the Brooklyn Book Festival

Indonesian writer Kurniawan makes his U.S. debut with two novels, which both received starred PW reviews. Our review noted that Beauty Is a Wound is “an unforgettable, all-encompassing epic.... Upon finishing the book, the reader will have the sense of encountering not just the history of Indonesia but its soul and spirit.” Verso will release Kurniawan’s Man Tiger, also in September (see below for details).

New York Univ.

This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror by Moustafa Baymoui (Sept., $19.95 trade paper)

In this collection of 17 essays, Baymoui writes about the post-9/11 world from the vantage point of Muslim Americans. He describes how contemporary politics, movies, novels, and media experts have produced a culture of fear and suspicion that threatens all of our civil liberties.

OR Books

Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture, edited by Elissa Shevinsky (Sept., $18 trade paper)

Author appearances at readings and tech conferences

This book gathers 25 stories from women as well as transgendered and nonbinary people working in the tech industry and serves as a counterpoint to the narrative pushed by Sheryl Sandberg that underrepresented groups must “lean in.”

Other Press

(dist. by PRH)

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson (Oct., $16.95 trade paper)

Author appearances, including the Boston Book Festival

In Thomson’s latest novel, a young woman conceived through IVF has an identity crisis, and her misguided fantasies take her on a mysterious journey to the end of the world. Jonathan Lethem calls Thomson “so undervalued, such a pure novelist.”

Princeton Univ.

Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller (Oct., $24.95)

National and international author tour; advertising

“In an entertaining and lively account, Akerlof and Shiller show that while the pursuit of profits may lead to products that enrich our lives, it may also lead to manipulation and deception. Much of recent innovation has led to products that make cheating the public easier. The implications are complex and profound,” comments Nobel economist Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Rowman & Littlefield/Lyons

American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple (Sept., $26.95 hardcover)

Social media campaign timed with International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31); book launch rally with FedUPRally.org at West Virginia University

This book describes how several young men from a wealthy Florida suburb who were trying to make a quick buck ended up leading a massive drug cartel of legal painkillers. Warner Bros. optioned the rights and retained Melissa Wallack (who wrote Dallas Buyers Club) to write the screenplay.


(dist. by Univ. of Chicago)

Destruction and Sorrow Beneath the Heavens: Reportage by László Krasznahorkai, trans. by Ottilie Mulzet (Jan. 2016, $30)

Author appearances in New York City

The winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize offers a travel memoir of China at the dawn of the new millennium and the precipice of its emergence as a global power.

Seven Stories

(dist. by PRH)

Snowden by Ted Rall (Sept., $16.95 trade paper)

Nine-city tour; advertising; 25,000-copy first printing

“Ted Rall’s Snowden is a dramatic, evocative, thoughtful, and very accessible account of one of the most important stories of the century—and one of the most ominous, unless citizens are roused to action to rein in abusive state power,” comments Noam Chomsky. And earlier this month, Seven Stories signed Rall for a graphic biography of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (Bernie, due in January 2016).

Tin House

(dist. by Norton)

Dryland by Sara Jaffe (Sept., $14.95 trade paper)

In its starred review, PW wrote that Jaffe’s “heartfelt coming-of-age story set in Portland, Ore., in 1992, exquisitely captures the nostalgia and heartbreak of youth. Teenage Julie Winter tries to make meaningful connections as she navigates the tricky world of high school cliques, while living in the shadow of her older brother, Jordan, a former Olympic hopeful now living in Germany.”

Univ. of Chicago

The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries by Jessa Crispin (Oct., $16 trade paper)

Social media campaign; simultaneous publication in the U.K.

Traveling in the footsteps of her favorite writers (including Rebecca West, William James, Jean Rhys, W.S. Maugham), Bookslut founder Crispin asks what their experiences of work and exile, life and love, and success and failure might teach her.

Univ. of Nebraska

How Winter Began by Joy Castro (Oct., $19.95 trade paper)

ABA white-box mailing

These thematically linked stories concern female and Latina experience, as well as poverty and violence in a white-dominant, wealth-obsessed culture. Writer Sandra Cisneros compares Castro’s writing to “watching an Acapulco cliff diver. It takes my breath away every time.”


Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, trans. by Labodalih Sembiring (Sept., $18.95 trade paper)

Three-city author tour, including the Brooklyn Book Festival

PW’s starred review called Man Tiger by Indonesian author Kurniawan a “wild and enthralling novel [that] manages to entertain while offering readers insight into the traditions of a little-known South East Asian culture. Kurniawan has officially put the West on notice.” Also in September, New Directions will release Kurniawan’s Beauty Is a Wound (see above for details).


(dist. by Consortium)

Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners, ed. by Joshua Beckman, CAConrad, and Robert Dewhurst (Oct., $22)

Readings by the editors and notable poets in San Francisco; Cambridge, Mass.; and New York City

Wieners (1934–2002) hasn’t had a collection since 1988. This book was named one of PW’s 10 most highly anticipated poetry collections of the fall.

Compiled with assistance from Louisa Ermelino and Gabe Habash in PW’s reviews department, with suggestions from Cody Morrison of Square Books in Oxford, Miss.; Mark LaFramboise of Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.; Adam Sonderberg and Jeff Deutsch of Seminary Coop in Chicago; and Kevin Elliott at 57th Street Books (Seminary Coop’s sister store), also in Chicago.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Serpentine by Cindy Pon (Month9Books) is set in ancient China; in fact, it was inspired by ancient China.