10 Books We’re Looking Forward To This Summer

July 6, 2018

Summer is in full swing and there are still a lot of wonderful books to come. As usual, our emphasis is on debuts and small press titles. This roundup only scratches the surface of the exciting new works out this summer, including books by our old, established pals Lauren Groff, A. M. Homes, Ottessa Mosfegh and Laura van den Berg. So kick up your feet, relax on the screen porch, in the pool, or just on your favorite comfy chair, and enjoy one of these refreshing summer reads.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 

We are so pumped about The Great Believers that we’ve just gotta include a shoutout to our Volume VII judge Rebecca Makkai, whose outstanding novel The Great Believers hit the shelves in June. Don’t take our word for it, though. The New York Times had this to say: “It’s a pleasure, as well, when a narrative opens up worlds not familiar to most readers, when it offers actual information along with the momentum of its story and its characters.”

Publication date: June 19

How to Love a Jamaican: Stories by Alexia Arthurs

The literary world is abuzz in anticipation of Alexia Arthurs’s debut collection. Zadie Smith has this to say: “In these kaleidoscopic stories of Jamaica and its diaspora we hear many voices at once: some cultivated, some simple, some wickedly funny, some deeply melancholic. All of them shine.”

Publication date: July 24


I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux

The world really needs Michael Arceneaux’s debut collection of essays and, luckily for us, we only have to wait until the end of the month. Arceneaux’s essays have appeared in publications such as The Guardian, The Root, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. His essays describe, among other things, what it means to be a gay black man in America today.

Publication date: July 24

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

There are just so many wonderful debuts coming out in July. Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s first novel, is set in Colombia during the time of Pablo Escobar and told from the point of view of a seven-year-old girl.

Publication date: July 31


Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry

The debut novel for Perry, who was longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate in 2013, relies on a budding friendship between a heartbroken girl and a retired magician. Don’t miss her book, out from Melville House in the dog days of August.

Publication date: August 14


Severance: A Novel by Ling Ma

Severence is an apocalyptic novel set in the Big Apple, where Shen Fever has hit. This terrifying epidemic takes people’s minds first, before it defeats their bodies. The protagonist, Candence Chen, who remains unaffected, chronicles the emptying city.

Publication date: August 14


True Ash by Carol Guess and Elizabeth J. Colen

This is a short story collection from Black Lawrence Press, combining magical realism, experimental forms, and a connected storyline that focuses on discovering the emotional reality rather than the truth of the mystery. Guess won the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement by Columbia University in 2014. Colen is the nonfiction editor at Tupelo Press and teaches at Western Washington University.

Publication date: August 15

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road by Kate Harris

Harris’ debut book is a travelogue and memoir of her bicycle journey along the silk road, in between her studying at Oxford and MIT, and how she came to understand the importance of breaking barriers and exploring oneself. She is a highly awarded nature and travel writer, and was at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.

Publication date: August 21


Ohio: A Novel by Stephen Markley

Stephen Markley’s debut chronicles the reunion of four old classmates who grew up together in a small Ohio town. It covers a lot of ground: the recession, the opoid crisis, war and politics.

Publication date: August 21


The Wonder That Was Ours by Alice Hatcher

Winner of the 2017 Dzanc Prize for Fiction, this is a book about racial and class divides told through the eyes of insects. Hatcher has been previously published in Chautauqua, Notre Dame Review, Lascaux Review, and others.

Publication date: September 4



by Kimberly Guerin and Sadye Teiser


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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