It is officially fall. Along with a rush of pumpkin-spice flavored products comes an impressive new slew of books. Of course, there are many novels and collections we are excited about this fall (including a ton of promising debuts), but here are seven of them.
Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down by Anne Valente
Fans of Anne Valente’s work have been anxiously awaiting her debut novel, out in October. Let us tell you: you will not be disappointed. Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down is a powerful book that chronicles the aftermath of a school shooting in a St. Louis suburb, as the houses of the victims’ families mysteriously begin to burn down one by one. Told in the first person plural, this novel does not shy away from its weighty content. An important book for our times.
Publication date: October 4
The Mortifications by Derek Palacio
October brings many promising debuts, The Mortifications by Derek Palacio among them. Palacio’s novel, out from Tim Duggan Books, begins in Cuba in 1980, during the Mariel boatlift, when a woman, Soledad, decides to go to America with her two children—leaving her husband behind. A highly anticipated book from a talented new voice.
Publication date: October 4
Him, Me, Muhammad Ali by Randa Jarrar
The first short story collection from acclaimed novelist Randa Jarrar comes out from Sarabande soon. In the words of the publisher: “Bouncing between Cairo, New York, Palestine, Sydney, and Istanbul, these stories explore the worlds of ‘accidental transients’ or displaced people.” The characters in this book include: an Egyptian feminist and her friend, an emerging writer; the women of a matriarchal society; and a woman who is part ibex.
Publication date: October 11
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
Correa’s first novel, based on a true story, chronicles the experience of twelve-year-old Hannah Rosenthal as she attempts to escape from Nazi-occupied Germany. This one is not to be missed.
Publication date: October 18
We Show What We Have Learned & Other Stories by Clare Beams
We love Lookout Books, and we love a good debut collection. These two come together in We Show What We have Learned & Other Stories by Clare Beams. Joyce Carol Oates calls it: “A dazzling story collection—as if, by a rare sort of magic, Alice Munro and Shirley Jackson had conspired together to imagine a female/feminist voice for the twenty-first century that is wickedly sharp-eyed, wholly unpredictable, and wholly engaging.” High praise, indeed.
Publication date: October 25
Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce
Pull Me Under, Kelly Luce’s first novel, comes out from FSG this fall. Laura van den Berg says of the book: “Pull Me Under is a fierce and suspenseful exploration of the profoundly mysterious nature of identity, written with precise and spectacular beauty. Kelly Luce is one of our most thrilling new talents.” Red the Publisher’s Weekly blurb here.
Publication date: November 1
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Get excited for another novel from the wonderful Zadie Smith, out from Penguin Press just before the holidays. Kirkus says of the book: “Smith, who wowed the world at 24 with her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), once again crafts quicksilver fiction around intense friendship, race, and class.”
Publication date: November 15
by Sadye Teiser