Two featured novels are set just after the 2016 election, while a few others look back on the material excess of the 1980s, suggesting that the decade of Trump’s invention is much on writers’ minds.
Viet Thanh Nguyen. Grove, Mar. 2 ($27, ISBN 978-0-8021-5706-5)
Nguyen follows his Pulitzer-winning The Sympathizer with a sequel about a Vietnamese refugee in 1980s Paris who becomes a drug dealer on his path to assimilation.
Dear Miss Metropolitan
Carolyn Ferrell. Holt, June 22 ($26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-79361-4)
In this novel based on a true story, two women are discovered in a dilapidated Queens, N.Y., house a decade after their abduction. Ferrell employs multiple narrators and forms of media to explore how the women’s identities were shaped by their ordeal. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch
Rivka Galchen. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 8 ($26, ISBN 978-0-374-28046-8)
Widow herbalist Katharina gets slapped with an accusation of witchcraft in 1618 Germany by a neighbor whom she calls “the Werewolf” in Galchen’s novel of a small town feverish with fear.
Klara and the Sun
Kazuo Ishiguro. Knopf, Mar. 2 ($27.95, ISBN 978-0-593-31817-1)
Nobel laureate Ishiguro conceives an AI narrator in Klara, who spends her days in a store, observing shoppers and passersby, and waiting for someone to choose her. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Long Island Compromise
Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Random House, June 1 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-13349-1)
An upscale part of Long Island becomes the scene of businessman Carl Fletcher’s 1982 kidnapping. Though the Fletchers soldier on after Carl’s return to his family following a ransom payment, the crime reverberates well into the present day.
Melissa Broder. Scribner, Feb. 2 ($26, ISBN 978-1-9821-4249-0)
Rachel struggles with an eating disorder until she takes a communication detox from her overbearing mother, which leads her to appreciate food and explore her sexuality and spirituality.
Marisa Silver. Bloomsbury, May 4 ($26, ISBN 978-1-63557-644-3)
Filmmaker-turned-novelist Silver returns after Mary Coin with the story of two seven-year-old girls growing up in 1973 St. Louis and their friendship that’s cut short by a mysterious accident.
My Year Abroad
Chang-Rae Lee. Riverhead, Feb. 2 ($28, ISBN 978-1-59463-457-4)
A New Jersey college kid learns more from a year traveling through China with a shady entrepreneur than he did in school, in Lee’s sprawling picaresque, starred by PW.
Brandon Hobson. Ecco, Feb. 16 ($26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-299754-8)
Hobson returns with a portrait of a resilient Cherokee family whose middle child was unjustly killed by a cop. The novel earned a starred review from PW.
Secrets of Happiness
Joan Silber. Counterpoint, May 4 ($27, ISBN 978-1-64009-445-1)
Silber’s Improvement won the NBCC and PEN/Faulkner awards. Here she follows lawyer Ethan’s discovery of his father’s secret second family. The plot thickens when Ethan’s half brothers run into trouble in Bangkok.
Literary Fiction Listings
Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley (Apr. 20, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-64375-155-9). The Booker Finalist portrays a cross-section of London in a story following a Soho building’s residents—including two women employed by a brothel on the premises—and the wealthy owner who wants them all out.
The Great Mrs. Elias by Barbara Chase-Riboud (May 25, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-301990-4). Credited for legitimizing the story of Sally Hemings’s relationship with Thomas Jefferson, Chase-Riboud sets her sights on another historical Black woman: Hannah Elias, a millionaire whose gains in the stock market brought her suspicion from white society at the turn of the 20th century.
If You Kept a Record of Sins by Andrea Bajani, trans. by Elizabeth Harris (Mar. 2, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-939810-96-0). An Italian man confronts his painful past and the ugly realities of contemporary Europe while visiting Romania to attend the funeral for his mother, who abandoned him when he was a boy.
Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford (Apr. 6, $26, ISBN 978-1-9821-5365-6) visits a time in New York City when “downtown” meant an artistic sensibility and way of life. In 1984, 20-something best friends Phoebe and Carmen seek thrills in the East Village, until their loyalty to each other is tested.
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel (Feb. 23, $26, ISBN 978-1-9821-5946-7). A Colombian couple meet as teenagers and travel to the U.S. after having a child. As the years pass, their tourist visas long expired and their family expanding, they struggle to negotiate their undocumented status.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (May 25, $28, ISBN 978-1-5247-9865-9). In 1983, a Malibu, Calif., supermodel and her siblings, themselves famous in their own rights, throw an ill-fated party. Secrets emerge, and by morning, their storied family mansion is ablaze.
Alien Stories by E.C. Osondu (May 11, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950774-31-9). Nigerian writer Osondu’s collection employs science fiction references to explore encounters with immigrants and invaders. “How to Raise an Alien Baby” offers guidelines to American parents for adopting a child from another country, while “Spaceship” describes an occupying force in Africa.
Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler (Feb. 2, $26, ISBN 978-1-948226-92-9). Oyler’s debut novel, starred by PW,
follows a young blogger’s reinvention in the first year of the Trump presidency after she learns her boyfriend is an online conspiracy theorist.
Trafik by Rikki Ducornet (Apr. 13, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-56689-606-1). Subtitled A Novel in Warp Drive, avant-garde writer Ducornet’s vision of existence after Earth’s destruction centers on an astronaut and her robot, both tasked with mining asteroids for minerals until an accident sets them on a hope-filled journey to a new land.
China: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd (May 11, $35, ISBN 978-0-385-53893-0) adds to the author’s series of epic historicals (Paris and New York) with a narrative of China’s development from the First Opium War in 1839 to the present.
Foregone by Russell Banks (Mar. 2, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-303675-8). Leonard Fife, an Errol Morrisesque filmmaker, looks back on his life for a documentary project arranged by a former student, but can Fife’s memories be trusted? In a series of digressions and deflections, a portrait emerges of a man defined by evasion, perhaps most notably as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War.
The Souvenir Museum: Stories by Elizabeth McCracken (Apr. 13, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-297128-9). McCracken’s collection, which earned a starred review from PW, makes familiar settings appear deeply strange—a Texas wave pool, a European ferry—during her protagonists’ quests for fulfillment.
Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, trans. by Sam Bett and David Boyd (May 11, $23, ISBN 978-1-60945-621-4). A 14-year-old boy with a lazy eye bonds with a female classmate as victims of bullying in Kawakami’s novel about violence in contemporary Japan.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn (June 1, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-28219-6). The author of the Patrick Melrose novels returns to themes of inheritance and determinism for a story about two friends, a new lover, and the complications caused by others in their orbit.
Second Place by Rachel Cusk (May 4, $25, ISBN 978-0-374-27922-6) explores the impact of male privilege on a woman living in a remote coastal area in the U.K., where she invites a famous artist to visit.
What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster (Mar. 2, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-0234-5). Coster’s sophomore novel concerns a contemporary North Carolina community in an uproar following a school district’s integration reform, and two students—one Black, one half-Latina—whose parents have very different ideas for their children.
Walking on Cowrie Shells: Stories by Nana Nkweti (June 1, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64445-054-3). Cameroonian American writer Nkweti’s debut collection tackles a variety of forms, including mystery and horror genres, myth, and conventional short fiction realism. There are zombies, a mermaid, a pastor’s wife trying to square her mother’s Cameroonian beliefs with Christianity, and more.
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin (Apr. 6, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-303508-9). Lynette, a 20-something, is poised to buy the house she rents in Portland, Ore., until Lynette’s mother backs out of a deal to lend her the money. Lynette then sets out into Portland’s seedy underbelly to make her dream of stability come true.
The Vixen by Francine Prose (June 29, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-301214-1). Prose turns her gaze to 1950s New York publishing. A young Jewish editor lands his dream job, but his first assignment—a sensational novel based on the Rosenbergs—forces him to decide whether he will sacrifice his principles.
Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane (May 18, $26, ISBN 978-0-593-22911-8) imagines a romantic yet unforgiving American West, which plays host to a young couple on the run after a violent episode.
Ridgeline by Michael Punke (July 13, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-31046-0). The Revenant author Punke offers a story of white settlers on Lakota land, and the battle between Crazy Horse and U.S. Army Col. Harry B. Carrington. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett (June 8, $25, ISBN 978-0-358-54011-3). A Brooklyn furniture designer starts up a relationship with her charismatic boss, then finds out she’s a victim of deception, in Gleichman and Blackett’s debut.
Wayward by Dana Spiotta (July 6, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-593-31873-7). The latest from NBCC and NBA finalist Spiotta concerns a woman who, in the aftermath of the 2016 election, faces “the Mids”—her term for the existential dread that comes on in the middle of the night.
Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (May 4, $23, ISBN 978-0-593-31831-7). Pulitzer winner Lahiri’s latest, published in Italy in 2018 and now translated by the author into English, follows a woman wandering through an unnamed city over the course of a year, culminating in a transformative moment during a visit to the coast.
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (June 1, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-54215-9). A Chinese orphan turned California mob enforcer takes off with a railroad boss’s daughter, in Lin’s revisionist western.
Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen (Feb. 2, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-358-27255-7). Journalist Chen draws on her experience working as a Beijing correspondent in this debut collection of stories that mix realist depictions of contemporary China with magical realist moments of reckoning with the past.
The Recent East by Thomas Grattan (Mar. 9, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-24793-5) transplants a German American family from upstate New York to a German mansion inherited shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in a story of freedom and fascination with the horrors of history.
Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams (June 1, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-302078-8). An American diplomat and his family disappear from London in 1948. When the diplomat’s sister-in-law receives a postcard from her vanished sister four years later, she ends up in Moscow, embroiled in a plot involving Soviet spies.
Antonio by Beatriz Bracher, trans. by Adam Morris (Mar. 2, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8112-2738-4). Brazilian writer Bracher crafts a kaleidoscopic narrative through the distorted lens of three interlocutors who tell the protagonist different versions of a painful family story.
The Impudent Ones by Marguerite Duras, trans. by Kelsey L. Haskett (Mar. 9, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-651-7). A young woman faces the consequences of her seduction in postwar France in Duras’s debut novel, translated into English for the first time, contains the seeds of such well-known works as The Lover.
The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade (Apr. 6, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24283-6). Quade’s story of a New Mexico family turns on the reunion of a 33-year-old unemployed man with his pregnant 15-year-old daughter.
Angel & Hannah by Ishle Park (May 11, $24, ISBN 978-0-593-13432-0) retells Romeo and Juliet in verse in a story of a Korean American girl and a Puerto Rican boy growing up in 1993 New York City.
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin, trans. by Aneesa Abbas Higgins (Apr. 27, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-948830-41-6). A South Korean woman living in a tourist town agrees to show a French cartoonist around, but he’s more interested in crossing over into the north.
In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo (Feb. 23, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63542-095-1) recounts the West African ebola crisis of the mid-2010s in a lyrical novel that traces the spread of the disease while offering insights on the history of the landscape through the perspective of a baobab tree.
My Old Home: A Novel of Exile by Orville Schell (Mar. 9, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-593-31581-1). Drawn by the utopian promises of Mao Zedong, an American-educated Chinese pianist returns to China in 1950 with his Chinese American fiancée, only to find a nightmare of oppression and upheaval.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (Mar. 2, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-1101-0). Penner’s debut bridges the gothic tale of a group of vengeful London women in the 18th century with a contemporary story line involving unsolved murders. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian (Apr. 6, $27, ISBN 978-1-9848-8203-5) explores an Indian immigrant family’s effort to achieve the American dream and its children’s questions of identity.
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline (Mar. 23, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-53976-6). The bonds of three Roman teens, best friends embroiled in a love triangle, are further tested by Mussolini’s alignment with the Nazis in 1937.
In the Quick by Kate Hope Day (Mar. 2, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-51125-0) follows astronaut June as she searches for a spacecraft that went missing when she was 12. June’s uncle engineered the shuttle’s fuel cells, and her work alongside his protégé becomes complicated by their love affair.
Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašic´ (June 1, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63206-289-5). The European Union Prize–winning debut references Alice in Wonderland for a story about a Bosnian woman who returns to her home country from Dublin after 12 years to help find a childhood friend’s brother, who was exiled during the war.
No One Is Talking about This by Patricia Lockwood (Feb. 16, $25, ISBN 978-0-593-18958-0). In poet and memoirist Lockwood’s debut novel, which earned a starred review from PW, a young internet pundit leaves a conference in Vienna to spend time with her sister in Ohio during a family crisis.
Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (Apr. 6, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-19233-7). A “non-honeymoon honeymoon” gift for a gay British couple turns into a surreal nightmare aboard a sleeper train.
Simon & Schuster
Revival Season by Monica West (June 15, $26, ISBN 978-1-9821-3330-6). Fifteen-year-old Miriam, whose father is a faith healer, grew up believing women can’t posses the powers harnessed by her father. But then Miriam begins to wonder if her father is a charlatan and she’s the one with a special power.
Cosmogony: Stories by Lucy Ives (Mar. 9, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-59376-599-6). The poet and comic novelist riffs on memes, Wikipedia entries, and the Craigslist gig economy, in a collection framed by philosophical questions about human existence and the world’s creation.
Lurkers by Sandi Tan (Mar. 30, $27, ISBN 978-1-64129-255-9). Tan, director of the documentary Shirkers, about the making of her unreleased film in her native Singapore, turns her lens on a colorful group of characters inhabiting a suburban Los Angeles neighborhood.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (Feb. 9, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-17860-2). This novel of the Great Depression, starred by PW, tells the story of a Texas woman who relocates to California, where the promise of a better life leads to disenchantment followed by a Tom Joad–like fight for justice.
The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks (Mar. 16, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951142-36-0). In British writer Brooks’s novel, 23-year-old Freya discovers a portrait in a seaside manor house that reminds her of her dead sister. Thus begins Freya’s extended stay in the house, where she’s magnetized by the painting and by the mother and son who live there.
Rabbit Island by Elvira Navarro, trans. by Christina MacSweeney (Feb. 9, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-949641-09-7). Present-day Madrid consistently gives way to more surreal terrain in Spanish writer Navarro’s collection, such as an island uninhabited except for one man and a colony of cannibalistic rabbits.
Tomorrow They Won’t Dare to Murder Us by Joseph Andras, trans. by Simon Leser (Feb. 23, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78873-871-2). The French writer won the Prix Goncourt for First Novel with this account of a real-life pied noir who planted a bomb outside Algiers in support of Algerian independence in 1950.
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota (July 13, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-29814-5). British novelist Sahota deploys parallel narratives of two characters who must overcome adversities determined by expectations for women in 1929 Punjab and racism against Sikhs in contemporary England.