With sequels, prequels, and big names taking first leaps into new forms, this fall’s fiction has enough to keep you reading until the spring—at least. Links to reviews are provided when available.
Ann Patchett. Harper, Sept. 24, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-296367-3
A 1920s mansion overshadows the lives of the broken family that occupies it in Patchett’s latest, which traces acts of cruelty and kindness through three generations over 50 years.
Andre Aciman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 29, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-15501-8
Aciman revisits the characters of Call Me by Your Name two decades after their first meeting. Elio moves to Paris and has a life-changing affair, while Oliver, now a New England professor with a family, contemplates a trip back across the Atlantic.
Zadie Smith. Penguin Press, Oct. 8, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-55899-6
The 10 stories in Smith’s first collection range from historic to vividly current and slyly dystopian.
Elizabeth Strout. Random House, Oct. 15, $27, ISBN 978-0-8129-9654-8
Strout’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-winning Olive Kitteridge portrays the cantankerous retired math teacher in old age.
Jacqueline Woodson. Riverhead, Sept. 17, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-53527-0
Woodson’s first novel for adults since Another Brooklyn is about two families from different social classes that are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy.
Margaret Atwood. Doubleday/Talese, Sept. 10, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54378-1
In this sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood picks up 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown.
Philippa Gregory. Atria, Aug. 20, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-8715-5
In 1648, Alinor, suspected of harboring dark secrets in a time of panic about witches, catches the attention of people in her village, leading her down a dangerous path.
The Topeka School
Ben Lerner. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 1, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27778-9
In this prequel to Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04, high schooler Adam Gordon brings loner Darren Eberheart into his social circle with disastrous results. Meanwhile, Adam’s parents contend with marital transgressions and the difficulty of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity.
Ta-Nehisi Coates. One World, Sept. 24, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-59059-7
Coates’s first novel, set in mid-19th-century Virginia, is about a man born into bondage who develops a mysterious power after nearly drowning, joins an underground resistance, and plans his escape.
The World That We Knew
Alice Hoffman. Simon & Schuster, Sept. 24, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-3757-0
In 1941 Berlin, a mother takes her 12-year-old daughter, Lea, to a renowned rabbi to save her life; the rabbi’s daughter provides salvation by creating a golem, sworn to protect Lea.
A Tall History of Sugar by Curdella Forbes (Oct. 1, $28.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-751-8). Opening in the late 1950s in Jamaica, ending in the present, and tracing a mysterious love affair, this story follows Moshe Fisher, a man born with a unique skin condition, and his soul mate, Arrienne Christie, who makes it her duty to protect him.
Africaville by Jeffrey Colvin (Dec. 10, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-291372-2). This debut, set in a small town in Nova Scotia settled by former slaves, weaves together the stories of multiple generations in one family ripped apart by blood, time, and fate.
A Kitchen in the Corner of the House by Ambai, trans. by Lakshmi Holmstrom (Sept. 17, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-939810-44-1). Ambai’s 25 stories center on motherhood, sexuality, and the body, challenging the construction of gender in Tamil literature through the themes of self-liberation and confinement.
The Braid by Laetitia Colombani (Sept. 24, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-982130-03-9). In this international bestseller, three women around the globe—a mother fleeing her village in India seeking education for her daughter; a daughter trying to save her father’s wig workshop in Italy; a lawyer in Canada who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer—find their lives connected.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (Aug. 27, $27, ISBN 978-1-984821-21-8). In 2015, Nuri Ibrahim and his wife, Afra, who was blinded during the Syrian Civil War, decide to seek asylum in the U.K. after soldiers attempt to forcefully recruit Nuri. They travel through harsh conditions in Turkey and Greece, waiting in camps for the proper paperwork.
From the Shadows by Juan José Millás, trans. by Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn (Aug. 27, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-942658-66-5). In this surreal debut, starred by PW and called “a page-turner of the strangest order,” lonely Damian is trapped in a wardrobe and delivered to a family’s home. He becomes a ghostlike butler during the family’s daytime absence and returns to the wardrobe at night.
The Girl at the Door by Veronica Raimo, trans. by Stash Luczkiw (Oct. 8, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8021-4734-9). A philosophy professor and his pregnant girlfriend are newcomers to the egalitarian island society of Miden. When another woman, the professor’s former student and lover, declares that she had been raped during their affair, a commission investigates the allegations.
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (Oct. 8, $26, ISBN 978-1-63286-984-5). In 1988, historian Saul Adler is invited to Communist East Berlin for research on the condition that he publish a favorable piece about the German Democratic Republic. But a car accident leads to a story about reckless actions and real and imaginary betrayals, from the two-time Booker finalist. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Humiliation: Stories by Paulina Flores, trans. by Megan McDowell (Nov. 5, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-948226-24-0). In these stories, set in Chile, a father takes his two daughters to a house in Santiago where he faces his greatest humiliation; four teenage boys in a fishing town translate the Smiths lyrics into Spanish from a stolen dictionary en route to a devastating ending.
The Promise by Silvina Ocampo, trans. by Suzanne Jill Levine and Jessica Powell (Oct. 1, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-771-0). Ocampo’s final work, starred by PW, is a reflection of her struggle with dementia: a woman falls overboard while traveling on a transatlantic ship and reflects on her life, her mind giving way to imagination.
The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, trans. by Sophie Hughes (Aug. 6, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-56689-550-7). The body of a woman is lost in transit, sending three young friends in modern-day Santiago on a pisco-fueled trip in the long shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship. PW gave the novel a starred review.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Nov. 5, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54121-3). A grad student finds a mysterious book with a link to his own childhood that leads him to a secret club and an ancient library hidden underground; from the author of The Night Circus.
The Divers’ Game by Jesse Ball (Sept. 10, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267610-8). Doing away with the concept of equality, a society is divided between two groups, pats and quads. Pats are allowed to kill quads as they like, and do, and the pats have no recourse.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (Nov. 5, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-291346-3). Lillian is asked by her close friend Madison to be the caretaker for Madison’s twin stepchildren. The problem is the twins can spontaneously combust when agitated.
The Living Days by Ananda Devi, trans. by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Nov. 5, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-936932-70-2). In London, a powerful, disconcerting attraction develops between a 75-year-old British spinster and a 13-year-old Jamaican boy from Brixton after a chance encounter.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (Jan. 21, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-20976-4). Lydia Quixano Perez, who runs a bookstore in Acapulco, finds her family’s life changed when her husband publishes a tell-all about the head of a local cartel, and she is forced to flee with her eight-year-old son.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Sept. 3, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-20593-3). In 1965, Ana leaves the Dominican countryside for New York City to accept Juan’s marriage proposal. But when Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, Ana is left in New York with Cesar, Juan’s younger brother, leading her to a decision between her heart and her duty. PW gave the novel a starred review.
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton (Aug. 6, $27, ISBN 978-1-5387-4582-3). S.T., a domesticated crow, discovers his owner has contracted an illness that’s spreading and turns humans into unthinking zombies. S.T. ventures out into the world, searching for a healthy human with the help of a bloodhound named Dennis. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Suicide Woods: Stories by Benjamin Percy (Oct. 15, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-64445-006-2). In these stories, a boy who falls through the ice on a frozen-over pond emerges in an uncanny state; a body on a train and a blood-soaked carpet are clues to a small-town crime; explorers get trapped on a threatening island.
Animalia by Jean-Baptiste del Amo, trans. by Frank Wynne (Sept. 10, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-4757-8), follows the bleak fates of a cursed family and the pigs they rear in a small village in southwest France, starting in 1898 and continuing up to the 1980s, culminating with the escape of a giant breeding boar and the Ahab-like vigor with which family son Henri pursues it.
It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, trans. by Elizabeth Bryer (Oct. 15, $23.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293686-8). After Adelaida buries her mother in present-day Caracas, she must fight for survival in a country facing violence and upheaval, before being given a grim choice that might allow her to escape.
All the Forgiveness by Elizabeth Hardinger (Aug. 27, $26, ISBN 978-1-4967-2044-3). Set in Appalachia and the Midwest at the turn of the 20th century, Hardinger’s debut follows one farm family’s difficulties and hard-won triumphs—led by 15-year-old Bertie, who takes responsibility for her four younger siblings when her mother dies.
Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat (Aug. 27, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-525-52127-3). The American children of immigrants discover that their lives have been shaped by their parents’ Haitian pasts: a New York City high school teacher learns that her absent father is dying; a woman with dementia struggles to impart the lessons of motherhood to her own daughter. PW gave the collection a starred review. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Sept. 17, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65615-9). Inspired by a true story, Prescott’s debut, starred by PW, is about women tasked at the height of the Cold War with smuggling Doctor Zhivago out of the U.S.S.R., where its publication was blocked. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Akin by Emma Donoghue (Sept. 10, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-49199-0). A retired chemistry professor and widower journeys with his 11-year-old great-nephew from New York to the French Riviera, where his life is thrown into disarray when he tries to uncover his mother’s wartime secrets.
The World Doesn’t Require You by Rion Amilcar Scott (Aug. 20, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-63149-538-0). In this collection—starred by PW—intelligent robots fail to behave as programmed and the last (and least exalted) son of God tries to redeem himself by leading a gospel band at his elder brother’s church.
Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (Dec. 3, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27680-5). A time-traveling blue fox; a giant, ancient fish; and a homeless woman haunted by a demon are all involved in the fight for the future of Earth against the monolithic Company.
False Bingo: Stories by Jac Jemc (Oct. 8, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-374-53835-4). A father’s sudden spike in online shopping signifies a troubling development; a woman stays in the Georgia Lowcountry to clear her mind after leaving an abusive relationship, but finds signs of a ghost’s presence in her house; a woman is followed by a man in a garbage truck.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (Jan. 28, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-294150-3). In this debut, 15-year-old Vanessa becomes involved in an affair with her 42-year-old English teacher. Seventeen years later, the teacher is accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa.
The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs (Aug. 13, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242558-4). Caroline Shelby returns home to Oysterville, Wash., to take custody of the two children of her friend Angelique, who died of a drug overdose. Caroline starts the Oysterville Sewing Circle for women to find the will to move forward together after a trauma. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (Oct. 29, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293322-5). Jaya, daughter of an Indian diplomat, meets Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, at a London pub in 1988 and they have two children. After a tragedy befalls the family, all struggle to move forward, but daughter Karina’s departure for college forces the family to confront its past.
The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada, trans. by David Boyd (Oct. 29, trade paper, $13.95, ISBN 978-0-8112-2885-5978). Mundanity mutates into surreality for three employees at a monolithic factory in an unnamed Japanese city.
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Sept. 24, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-08356-9). In 1935, after Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia braces for Mussolini’s invasion, orphaned girl servant Hirut disguises a man as the emperor, and she becomes his guard to help keep the fight alive.
The Trojan War Museum by Ayse Papatya Bucak (Aug. 20, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00297-0). Starred by PW, Bucak’s debut features stories in which Apollo wanders the Earth, visiting different Trojan War museums and ruminating on the traumas of battle, and girls trapped in the rubble of a school explosion from a blown gas line are visited by the ghosts of their classmates.
Mary Toft; Or, the Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer (Nov. 19, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-101-87193-5). Based on a true story, the author of Version Controlwrites of a young woman in small-town England who in 1726 perplexes the medical community by giving birth to dead rabbits.
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, trans. by Stephen Snyder (Aug. 13, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-101-87060-0). Ogawa’s novel, starred by PW, follows an orphaned novelist living on an unnamed island that is in the process of disappearing, item by item.
The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor (Aug. 27, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-0815-7). In Nazi-occupied Belgium, journalists at the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, are forced to publish only Nazi propaganda. They decide to make one final resistance effort: publish a fake edition that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin.
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Jan. 7, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-54190-5) is a debut about a young black babysitter, her well-meaning employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Inland by Téa Obreht (Aug. 13, $27, ISBN 978-0-8129-9286-1). In this novel from the author of The Tiger’s Wife, two storylines converge: homesteader Nora Lark waits with her son and niece for her husband’s return with badly needed water for their home in the Arizona Territory in 1893; meanwhile, outlaw Lurie Mattie flees a warrant for murder.
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Sept. 3, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-13298-2). In this modern reimagining of Don Quixote, a mediocre spy thriller writer creates a character who sets off across the country to meet the TV star he’s in love with.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, trans. by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Aug. 13, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-54133-2). Tokarczuk’s mystical detective novel (following Flights, winner of the Man Booker International Prize) is narrated by a woman who lives in an isolated Polish hamlet, where bodies keep turning up. PW gave the book a starred review.
Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah (Sept. 10, $27, ISBN 978-1-982110-33-8). Set in the 19th century, this novel follows a group of men and women who transport the body of an explorer and missionary across Africa so his remains can be returned home.
Simon & Schuster
A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin (Aug. 6, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-7181-9). Folarin’s debut begins as the realistic story of a boy, whose parents emigrated from Nigeria, coming-of-age in small-town Utah in the 1980s, then slides into a subtle meditation on the unreliability of memory.
Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon (Jan. 28, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-5404-1). Yoon’s decades-spanning novel follows three kids orphaned in 1960s Laos—Alisak, Prany, and Noi—whose lives are set onto different paths when they’re evacuated on one of the last helicopters leaving the country.
Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict (Jan. 7, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-6690-5). This historical novel follows Clementine Churchill, the force behind her husband, Winston Churchill. 125,000-copy announced first printing.
Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris (Oct. 1, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-26570-8). At Auschwitz-Birkenau, 16-year-old Cilka survives because the commandant is attracted to her. After liberation, Cilka is charged with collaboration for sleeping with the enemy and must again fight for survival. Morris is the author of the 2018 bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Divide Me by Zero by Lara Vapnyar (Oct. 15, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-947793-42-2). Katya Geller, approaching 40, is in the middle of a divorce and has just discovered her mother, a renowned mathematician, is dying. For solace she turns to her mother’s notes for an unfinished book and is transported back to her life’s trajectory, beginning with her childhood in Soviet Russia.
Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth, trans. by Charlotte Barslund (Sept. 10, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-78873-310-6). Two summer cabins in Norway are at the center of an inheritance dispute among four siblings. During their heated discussion, a secret emerges that draws violent forces into play.
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier (Sept. 17, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-55824-8). At the dawn of WWII, Violet Speedwell moves to Winchester and is pulled into the community of women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, but the approaching war threatens the new life she’s found
The Sweetest Fruits by Monique Truong (Sept. 3, $26, ISBN 978-0-7352-2101-7). This story of the migratory life of celebrated writer Lafcadio Hearn is told through the voices of the three women who knew him best, and who tell their own stories as well.
Black Light: Stories by Kimberly King Parsons (Aug. 13, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-525-56350-1). In this debut collection, starred by PW, two women’s pursuit of beauty becomes a vortex of self-inflicted violence, control, and mistrust; a young woman watches as her former lover evolves into someone she never knew, while she navigates the breakup in a way that doesn’t out her sexuality.
Welcome to America by Linda Bostrom Knausgård, trans. by Martin Aitken (Sept. 3, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-64286-041-2), centers on a girl named Ellen who has stopped talking—and believes she may be responsible for her father’s death. While her brother holes up in his room, her mother acts as if everything is normal.