This spring’s fiction is headlined by family stories, debuts, and highly anticipated novels from the likes of Hilary Mantel and Elena Ferrante.
Julia Alvarez. Algonquin, Apr. 7 ($25.95, ISBN 978-1-64375-025-5)
From the author of In the Time of the Butterflies: Antonia Vega has just retired as an English professor when her unstable sister disappears and a pregnant, undocumented migrant teenager shows up on her doorstep. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Glass Hotel
Emily St. John Mandel. Knopf, Mar. 24 ($26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-52114-3)
Mandel’s first novel since Station Eleven has earned a starred review and tells the story of a brother and sister as they navigate heartache, loneliness, wealth, corruption, drugs, ghosts, and guilt. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
How Much of These Hills Is Gold
C Pam Zhang. Riverhead, Apr. 7 ($26, ISBN 978-0-525-53720-5)
Zhang’s debut, which received a starred PW review, is set during the American gold rush and follows two orphaned siblings, 11 and 12, who resolve to bury their father.
It’s Not All Downhill from Here
Terry McMillan. Ballantine, Mar. 31 ($28, ISBN 978-1-984823-74-8)
The latest from McMillan is about 68-year-old Loretha Curry, whose happy life is upended following an unexpected loss and the strength she must summon to heal old wounds and move forward.
The Lying Life of Adults
Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein. Europa, June 9 ($26, ISBN 978-1-60945-591-0)
This is Ferrante’s first novel since finishing her four-book Neapolitan series. Saying it’s eagerly awaited is an understatement.
The Mirror and the Light
Hilary Mantel. Holt, Mar. 10 ($30, ISBN 978-0-8050-9660-6)
The conclusion to Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy, after Booker winners Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, a boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power in Tudor England.
The Night Watchman
Louise Erdrich. Harper, Mar. 3 ($28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267118-9)
Erdrich returns to North Dakota’s Turtle Mountain Reservation for this novel about a young Chippewa woman and her uncle, the chairman of the Turtle Mountain Advisory Committee, the tribe’s lead defender against the Termination Act of 1953.
Yaa Gyasi. Knopf, July 14 ($26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65818-4)
Gyasi’s follow-up to her bestselling debut, Homegoing, follows a Ghanaian family in Alabama affected by addiction, grief, and depression, and explores how they turn to faith, science, and love for support. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
David Mitchell. Random House, June 2 ($30, ISBN 978-0-8129-9743-9)
Mitchell charts the steep price of fame in this novel that follows the travails of fictional British band Utopia Avenue, which emerged from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967.
Writers & Lovers
Lily King. Grove, Mar. 3 ($27, ISBN 978-0-8021-4853-7)
King tells the story of 31-year-old Casey Peabody, former child golf prodigy turned waitress and aspiring writer, who falls for two very different men at the same time.
Literary Fiction Listings
The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri (Feb. 4, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-61775-792-1). In Okri’s novel, starred by PW, a young woman called Amalantis, living in a world eerily like this one, is arrested for asking a question. When she disappears, her lover, Karnak, searches for her, which takes him into a place of lies, oppression, and fear, at the heart of which lies the Prison.
The Society of Reluctant Dreamers by Jose Eduardo Agualusa, trans. by Daniel Hahn (Mar. 10, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-939810-48-9). In this novel set against the tangled web of Angola’s political history, Daniel Benchimol finds a camera that leads him to a mysterious project with a Brazilian neuroscientist, who’s creating a machine to photograph people’s dreams.
The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Feb. 11, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-942658-70-2). In a postapocalyptic world, a father and daughter are the only remaining humans on Earth. The father teaches his daughter how to survive, skills she must use after he dies and she sets out to inter his bones on the mountaintop where her mother’s remains are buried.
Red Letter Days by Sarah-Jane Stratford (Feb. 25, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-451-47557-2). Two women flee blacklisting in 1950s Hollywood for new lives and careers in postwar London’s nascent television world, from the author of Radio Girls.
Godshot by Chelsea Bieker (Apr. 7, $26, ISBN 978-1-948226-48-6). The once-vibrant California town where 14-year-old Lacey May lives is now environmentally ravaged. The town turns to a cult leader named Pastor Vern for guidance, and he promises the rain they pray for if they perform the tasks he sets forth, leading to an irrevocable shift in Lacey’s life.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Feb. 18, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-21959-6). Seven-year-old Claire’s college-age sister, Alison, disappears when their family is on vacation at a Caribbean resort. After Alison’s body is found, the story becomes national tabloid news. Years later, Claire crosses paths with one of the men originally suspected of Alison’s murder, leading her on a path to finding the truth about her sister.
Sansei and Sensibility by Karen Tei Yamashita (May 5, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-56689-578-1). In Yamashita’s collection, Japanese-Americans shift the boundaries of the classic tales of Jane Austen: a woman explores the contents of her deceased uncle’s freezer; Mr. Darcy is the captain of a football team; a dentist gathers a community’s gossip while tending to his neighbors’ teeth.
This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples (Mar. 3, $26, ISBN 978-1-64009-284-6). On an Ojibwe reservation, Marion Lafournier, a young gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a closeted white man obsessed with his image as a northern Minnesotan. Meanwhile, Marion discovers the story of a murder on the reservation and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he’s found himself in.
After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry (Mar. 17, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-266640-6). From the author of The Essex Serpent: a London bookshop owner drives out to visit his brother. When his car breaks down on a remote road, he finds a dilapidated house, where a woman he’s never met says she’s been waiting for him.
The Anthill by Julianne Pachico (May 12, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54589-1). In this literary ghost story, a young woman named Lina returns home to Colombia after being sent away to England 20 years earlier, following her mother’s death. She rejoins her old friend Matty and finds strange occurrences at the day care Matty runs.
The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams (Feb. 11, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54466-5). Beams’s debut novel is set at an all-girls school in 19th-century Massachusetts, where students manifest bizarre symptoms, like rashes and night wanderings. In response, the treatments of a sinister physician cause an irrevocable confrontation at the school.
All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad (May 26, $27, ISBN 978-1-5247-4597-4). Maggie Krause, 27, goes to her parents’ home after her mother dies in a car accident, only to discover five sealed envelopes addressed to five men she’s never heard of. Maggie is determined to hand-deliver the letters, and finds out her mother’s secret, sending her own life further into disarray.
Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang (Mar. 31, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-295180-9). The narrator of Chang’s debut moves with her longtime boyfriend to a quiet upstate New York town for his grad school, soon questions her role in their interracial relationship, and considers how to shape her own sense of self.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Natural History by Carlos Fonseca, trans. by Megan McDowell (May 5, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-21630-6). A curator undertakes a search from Haifa, Israel, to bohemian 1970s New York City, and on to the Latin American jungle for the true story of a famous fashion designer’s family in this strange puzzle of a novel.
The Town by Shaun Prescott (Feb. 4, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27852-6). Prescott’s debut is set in a nowhere town in the middle of the Australian outback, as a writer arrives to chronicle the lives of locals, only to find that the town is literally disappearing.
You Will Never Be Forgotten: Stories by Mary South (Mar. 10, $15 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-374-53836-1). In South’s playful, astute collection, starred by PW, a nurse goes against regulations by becoming attached to a clone that’s harvested for body parts; elderly men at an assisted living center begin calling phone sex lines, affecting the lives of the staff.
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (Feb. 25, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-23660-9). On New Year’s Eve, 1982, Oona Lockhart is about to turn 19 and has her whole life ahead of her. But as the midnight countdown begins, she faints and wakes up in her 51-year-old body. Oona gradually realizes that with each passing year, she jumps back and forward to another age at random. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John (May 5, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-3363-9). Struggling actor Belle goes on a girls’ getaway to the Mediterranean with her best friend, Summer, aboard Summer’s billionaire boyfriend’s yacht. But the vacation turns into a nightmare as Belle and a group of other women are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
So We Can Glow: Stories by Leesa Cross-Smith (Mar. 10, $27, ISBN 978-1-5387-1533-8). In these 42 short stories, teenage girls sneak out on a summer night to meet their boyfriends by the train tracks; a woman escapes grief through a fantasy life; members of a cult form an unsettling chorus as they extol their passion for the same man; and a love story begins over cabbages in a grocery store.
The Fallen by Carlos Manuel Alvarez (June 2, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64445-025-3). In this debut, a family in Cuba—including a son bitter about limited freedoms as he endures compulsory military service and a mother who is prone to mysterious seizures—grow increasingly unmoored from their place in their country.
Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma (May 12, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2936-9). In 1796 Trinidad, young, strong-willed Rosa desires to run the farm she views as her birthright, but when her homeland changes from Spanish to British rule, it becomes increasingly unclear whether its free black property owners—Rosa’s family among them—will be allowed to keep their assets, their land, and their freedom.
Braised Pork by An Yu (Apr. 14, $25, ISBN 978-0-8021-4871-1). One morning, Jia Jia finds her husband dead in the bathtub of their lavish Beijing apartment, a mysterious pencil sketch next to him. The drawing launches her on a search across contemporary Beijing to the plains of Tibet.
True Love by Sarah Gerard (July 7, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293743-8). Nina searches for love through a series of unstable and unfulfilling relationships with emotionally unavailable young men, including Mission, who has a pet rat; Seth, an artist who uses trash-filled Tupperware in his work; and Aaron, who won’t close the bathroom door.
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (Apr. 7, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-291326-5). In 1976, Odessa, Tex., on the edge of the next great oil boom, 14-year-old Gloria Ramírez is raped. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women resolve to take matters into her own hands.
The Margot Affair by Sanae Lemoine (June 16, $27, ISBN 978-1-984854-43-8). The secret daughter of a French politician and a famous actress drops a bombshell revelation that ruptures her family.
A Burning by Megha Majumdar (June 2, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65869-6). In this debut, three characters are entangled after a terrorist bombing in contemporary India: Jivan, a woman looking for a way out of the slums; PT Sir, a gym teacher who falls in with the rising right-wing party; and Lovely, a hijra who has dreams of being a Bollywood star. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (Apr. 7, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65841-2). Tech expert Micah Mortimer, tightly wound and overly cautious, sees his life upended when his girlfriend gets evicted and a teenager shows up claiming to be his son. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Weather by Jenny Offill (Feb. 11, $23.95, ISBN 978-0-385-35110-2). In Offill’s follow-up to Dept. of Speculation and sporting her characteristically arresting voice, a librarian becomes increasingly obsessed with doomsday preparations. The novel received a starred PW review. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons (Feb. 4, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-51616-7). Bonnaffons’s debut novel, which was starred by PW, is about a man named Thomas who dies; in order to reach the afterlife, he must complete a 90-day stint on Earth, during which he falls for a librarian named Rachel.
The Dominant Animal: Stories by Kathryn Scanlan (Apr. 7, $15 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-374-53829-3). In this delightful and mysterious collection, starred by PW, a daughter goes through the objects left behind by her recently deceased parents, who were indifferent to her when living; a couple’s stay in a foreign city is interrupted by their digestive troubles; a man’s fortunes expand after he comes home from a war before, over time, shrinking back.
The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei Chung (Mar. 17, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293112-2). In this psychological suspense novel, Alexa Wú, a young woman with multiple personalities, is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she enters the inner circle of the high-end gentlemen’s club where she works.
The Lightness by Emily Temple (June 16, $23.99, ISBN 978-0-06-290532-1). Olivia follows her father’s path to a meditation retreat in the mountains, from which he hasn’t returned. There, she enrolls in the summer program for troubled teens and finds herself drawn closer to a group of three girls.
Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles (Apr. 14, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-296674-2) is about an itinerant fiddle player, the ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the young Irish woman who steals his heart, in 1865 Texas.
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, trans. by Sophie Hughes (Mar. 31, $22.95, ISBN 978-0-8112-2803-9). Melchor’s English-language debut is a furious vortex of voices in a provincial Mexican town that swirl around a murder—and a figure known as the Witch—that reveals resentments, secrets, and hidden and not-so-hidden desires.
New York Review Books
Temptation by Janos Szekely, trans. by Mark Baczoni (Feb. 11, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68137-437-6). This Dickensian coming-of-age epic about the dark side of human nature is told through the eyes of a lobby boy named Béla in a Budapest hotel between the wars as the country becomes poisoned by fascism.
Actress by Anne Enright (Mar. 3, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00562-9). The daughter of an Irish theater legend thinks back on her mother’s career and bohemian life, dredging up long-kept secrets, both her mother’s and her own.
New Waves by Kevin Nguyen (Mar. 10, $27, ISBN 978-1-984855-23-7). In this debut, starred by PW, two disenchanted tech employees, Lucas and Margo, decide to get revenge on their start-up by stealing its user database. But when the heist takes a turn, Lucas finds that not everything is as it seems.
Four by Four by Sara Mesa, trans. by Katie Whittemore (May 5, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-948830-14-0). Mesa’s novel is set at Wybrany College, a school where the wealthy keep their kids safe from the chaos erupting in the cities. Then a scholarship student disappears, revealing that something sordid lurks beneath the school’s surface.
Serenade for Nadia by Zulfu Livaneli, trans. by Brendan Freely (Mar. 3, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63542-016-6), is based on the 1942 Struma disaster, in which nearly 800 Jewish refugees died after the ship carrying them from Romania to Palestine was torpedoed off the coast of Turkey. 60,000-copy announced first printing.
Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, trans. by Ross Benjamin (Feb. 11, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-5247-4746-6). Starred by PW, this rollicking historical picaresque follows the legendary trickster, acrobat, juggler, and jack-of-all-trades Tyll Ulenspiegel as he and his company make their way through a 17th-century German countryside gutted by the Thirty Years’ War.
Antkind by Charlie Kaufman (May 12, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-399-58968-3). The debut novel from the Oscar-winning screenwriter for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Feb. 25, $28, ISBN 978-1-4000-6960-6) explores the Israeli-Palestine conflict through the lives of two men—Palestinian Bassam Aramin and Israeli Rami Elhanan—who work toward peace after each loses a daughter in the violence.
Deacon King Kong by James McBride (Mar. 3, $28, ISBN 978-0-7352-1672-3). Set in 1960s New York City, McBride’s first novel since his National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird depicts the reverberations of a shooting by a church deacon of a drug dealer: the story follows the victim, the black and Hispanic residents who witnessed the violence, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, and the shooter himself.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (June 2, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-53629-1). Bennett’s second novel (after The Mothers) follows twin sisters who grew up inseparable in a small, Southern black community; as adults, one sister still lives in her hometown with her daughter, while the other sister secretly passes for white in California, her husband ignorant of his wife’s past.
Simon & Schuster
These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card (Mar. 3, $24, ISBN 978-1-982117-43-6). Stanford Solomon has a 30-year-old secret: he is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and took the identity of his best friend. Stretching from colonial Jamaica to present-day Harlem, Card’s debut portrays the fallout from Solomon’s secret on one Jamaican family.
Quotients by Tracy O’Neill (May 12, $27, ISBN 978-1-64129-111-8). Spanning decades and continents, two people try to make a life for themselves, but find their pasts—including involvement with intelligence during the Troubles in Northern Ireland—catching up with them in a pervasively surveilled world. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Hideaway by Nora Roberts (May 26, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-20710-4). A family ranch in Big Sur country is the setting for this story about Hollywood royalty from bestselling Roberts.
Mansour’s Eyes by Ryad Girod, trans. by Chris Clarke (June 23, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-945492-36-5). Mansour El Djezairi is on his way to his public execution. While the crowd calls for his head, his friend Hussein looks on. Set over a single day in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Girod’s novel depicts the post–Arab Spring world as its march toward modernity threatens to sever its relationship with the ethos of Sufi thought and mysticism.
Lake Like a Mirror by Sok Fong Ho, trans. by Natascha Bruce (Mar. 10, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-931883-98-6). This collection explores the lives of women buffeted by powers beyond their control, squeezed between the gaps of rabid urbanization, patriarchal structures, and a theocratic government. Stories feature a rehabilitation center for wayward Muslims populated by naked sleepwalkers, an unlicensed hairdresser salon filled with gossip, and a hotel with amnesiac guests.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (Apr. 28, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-42976-0). Imagining the life of the woman who married Jesus, this novel is set in the first century as rebellious and ambitious Ana makes a home with Jesus while her adopted brother, Judas, helps lead the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation in Nazareth.
The Lucky Star by William T. Vollmann (Feb. 18, $35, ISBN 978-0-399-56352-2) enters the gritty underbelly of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district with characters like ineffectual, alcoholic narrator Richard, transgender street worker Shantelle, and barmaid Francine—all of whom love Neva, a woman with magical powers who will have lasting effects on their lives.
This article has been updated with new bibliographic information for some titles.