Every month there is a flood of new books from major publishers, indie houses and self-publishing platforms. Each month, The AV Club narrows the endless possibilities to five of the books we look forward to the most.
We would be on board even if it were just a reprint of Damballah. John Edgar Wideman’s 1981 short story collection, a third of the writer’s Homewood trilogy that follows a family through slavery to her later life in Pittsburgh, spoke in a variety of voices and often explored the nature of storytelling itself in the United States related stories. You made me love you, the writer’s selected short stories start here and include pieces from his latest collection, the famous American Stories of 2018. “Stories are letters,” writes Wideman. “Letters to anyone or everyone.” You made me love you Finally, the best of Wideman has been put together – rich, strange, and heartfelt – for anyone or everyone to read.
Yes, this is Richard Wright – writer of Native Son and Black Boy and one of the most influential writers of the last century. Originally rejected by Wright’s publisher in 1942, possibly because of his bold views on racial injustice, the previously unpublished short novel is being revived this month by The Library Of America. The underground man follows Fred Daniels, a black man in an unnamed American town who was arrested, beaten and forced to confess to a crime he did not commit. While Fred is being held by the police, he escapes into a manhole and embarks on a surreal, allegorical journey through the city’s sewers. In an essay accompanying the book, Wright writes: “I have never in my life written anything that is more inspired by pure inspiration, or performed a piece in a deeper sense of freedom of imagination, or expressed myself in a way that flows more naturally from mine personal background, reading, experiences and feelings as The Man Who Lived Underground. “
The story goes on
Jeff VanderMeer’s latest novel has a damn good catch. After a short intro, the mysterious narrator Jane ends her greeting with a promise: “I’m here to show you how the world is going to end.” From there, the readers rush down the rabbit hole while the extermination author pulls out trick by trick to guessing the readers as he sends them on an adrenaline-fueled race against time (although how much time and for what purpose anyone can guess). in search of an explanation for a strange, taxidermy bird that was left in the possession of digital security advisor Jane Smith – one that may hold the key to that end of the world promise. To say more would spoil the fun of this inventive and surprising page turner, perhaps the purest demonstration yet of VanderMeer’s talent at dressing intriguing philosophical puzzles in the clothes of a tight, breakneck thriller.
The anniversary isn’t the only full-length Michelle Zauner will bring out this year. Before the woman behind the indie pop outfit releases her third album as Japanese Breakfast in June, she will publish her first book, Crying In H Mart. The book expands on many of the topics Zauner explored in her viral New York essay of the same name, in which she extensively describes how her favorite Asian market and foods relate to both her Korean identity and her grief over losing her mother to cancer brought in connection. A reminder of self-exploration and becoming, Crying In H Mart traces Zauner’s life from Seoul to Eugene, Oregon to Pennsylvania, from a struggling youth to a mighty musician on the rise.
There is nothing boring about the short stories in Terminal Boredom. While these seven dystopian science fiction stories may have certain features of the genre – surveillance states, totalitarian governments, overpopulation, pollution – and their compilations are also well known, they never quite go where you expect them to. In one case, a girl who lives in a strange matriarchal society where men have been all but exterminated sees a boy outside her window. In another instance, two idle, television-obsessed teenagers become violent with blasé ease. Terminal Boredom is nihilistic as well as humorous and the first English-language publication by the Japanese cult writer Izumi Suzuki, who began her career as an actress and model and appeared in “Pink Films” and classics of Japanese cinema of the 1970s before turning to writing. She died of suicide in 1986, and in 1995 she and her husband, jazz musician Karou Abe, were the subjects of the 1995 biopic Endless Waltz. A second collection, Love
More in April: I’m waiting for you by Kim Bo-Young (April 6th, Harper Voyager); The Hard Crowd by Rachel Kushner (April 6, Scribner); Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (April 6, Riverhead); Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins (April 6, Harper); Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour by Rickie Lee Jones (April 6, Grove); Haruki Murakami’s first person singular (April 6, button); Philip Roth: The Biography of Blake Bailey (April 6, WW Norton); Subdivision by J. Robert Lennon (April 6, Graywolf); Let Me Think by J. Robert Lennon (April 6, Graywolf); Permafrost by Eva Baltasar (April 6 and other stories); A perfect cemetery by Federico Falco (April 6th, Charco); Blow Your House Down: A Story About Family, Feminism, and Treason by Gina Frangello (April 6, counterpoint); Something Incredible by Maria Kuznetsova (April 13, Random House); Elizabeth McCracken’s Souvenir Museum (April 13, Ecco); Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (April 13, Black Cat); Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s Passenger (April 13, Metropolitan); Tobacco shop by Rikki Ducornet (April 13, coffee house); Natalia Ginzburg’s Family and Borghesia (April 13, NYRB Classics); Death And So Forth by Gordon Lish (April 13, Dzanc); A Teaching or Book of Delights by Clarice Lispector (April 13, New Directions); The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Tension by Edward White (April 13, WW Norton); Yaara Shehori Aquarium (April 13, Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR by Lisa Napoli (April 13, Abrams); Leaving isn’t the hardest part by Lauren Hough (April 13, vintage); Popisho by Leone Ross (April 20, Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Meal by Maylis de Kerangal (April 20, Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz: The Rebellion by Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton by Gail Crowther (April 20, gallery); Do you have fun? by Mira Sethi (April 20, button); I’m an African girl by Elizabeth Nyamayaro (April 20th, Scribner); We Are Bridges by Cassandra Lane (April 20, The Feminist Press at CUNY); Why Solange Matters by Stephanie Phillips (April 20, University of Texas Press); Don’t Call It A Sarah Berman Cult (April 20, Steerforth Press); Why didn’t you just do what you were told? by Jenny Diski (April 21, Bloomsbury); Start by telling Meg Remy (April 21, Big Hug); Whereabouts of Jhumpa Lahiri (April 27, button); The Life She Wanted To Live: A Biography by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of Ann McCutchan’s Yearling (April 27, WW Norton); A Natural History of the Transition by Callum Angus (April 27, metonymy); White Magic by Elissa Washuta (April 27, Tin House); Worst of all from Garielle Lutz (April, long flight / short trip); Exit, careful of Elizabeth Ellen (April, Long Flight / Short Drive); Her minor work by Elizabeth Ellen (April, Long Flight / Short Drive); Elle Nash Nudes (April, Long Flight / Short Drive)