Eighteen Books We’re Looking Forward to In Early 2022

January 21, 2022

A new year means new books, and new books mean new most-anticipated lists! We’ve collected (some) of our most anticipated forthcoming releases in the first half of 2022 here. What’s on your radar?

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

This debut novel from 2021 O. Henry prize recipient Daphne Palasi Andreades dives into stories of a group of young women of color and their immigrant families in Queens, New York. According to Penguin Random House, the novel is “a striking exploration of female friendship” and “powerful depiction of women of color attempting to forge their place in the world today.”

Publication date: January 4

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga is a wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, family, and Puerto Rican roots in the months surrounding Hurricane Maria. Ordinary Girls author Jaquira Díaz describes the novel as “an unflinching examination of capitalism, corruption, gentrification, colonialism, and their effects on marginalized people.” This is the debut of Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Xochitl Gonzalez and Hulu has already ordered a pilot for a one-hour drama based on the novel.

Publication date: January 4

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

A whopping 720 pages, this book from A Little Life author Hanya Yanagihara is a multi-generational family saga set in New York City in 1893, 1993, and 2093. The three sections provide interconnected versions of the American experiment and explore lovers, family, loss, and the elusive promise of utopia. The Guardian believes that the novel asks readers “to move beyond binary configurations of sexuality, race and health to challenge any political movement that seeks to privilege one group or another based on narrow definitions of identity.”

Publication date: January 11

You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston and edited by Henry Louis Gates, and Genevieve West

Spanning more than 35 years of work, this novel is the first comprehensive collection of essays, criticism, and articles by the acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston. The book is organized thematically into sections focusing on “the Folk,” race, gender, art, politics, and a specific scandalous trial of a Black woman accused of killing her White lover. Zora Neale Hurston’s voice shines with stunning clarity in each essay (some unpublished until now) and gives us _____________________ invaluable window into her world and mind.

Publication date: January 18

Real Easy by Marie Rutkosk

Real Easy is a thriller set in a midwestern strip and, according to Booker finalist Neel Mukherjee, “very possibly the best crime fiction book since Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.” Drawing on her personal experiences as well as interviews with police, the author immerses us in a gripping, deeply feminist, and character-driven story that gets to the heart of this timeless question: How do women live out their lives knowing that men can hurt them?

Publication date: January 18

Violeta (English Edition) by Isabel Allende

Violeta tells the epic story of a woman whose life spans one hundred years and bears witness to the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century. She tells her story in the form of a letter and her life is shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women’s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and two pandemics. It is already being featured as one of the most anticipated books of 2022 by Oprah Daily, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, Ms. magazine, Lit Hub, and more.

Publication date: January 25

The Books of Jacob: A Novel By Olga Tokarczuk and translated by Jennifer Croft

Nobel Prize Winner Olga Tokarcuzk returns with a story that follows the rise and fall of a mysterious and messianic religious leader as he blazes his way across 18th century Europe. In a nod to books written in Hebrew, the book is paginated in reverse, beginning on p. 955 and ending on p. 1 – but read traditionally, front cover to back.

Publication date: February 1

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

This suspenseful novel follows a Black classical musician who is desperately searching for his great-great-grandfather’s violin after it is stolen on the eve of a prestigious music competition. With the descendants of the man who enslaved his great-great-grandfather asserting that the instrument is rightfully theirs and his family staking their own claim, he doesn’t know who to trust and whether he will see his beloved violin again. According to Booklist, this debut novel from musical educator Brendan Slocumb “will do for classical music what The Queen’s _____________________ Gambit did for chess.”

Publication date: February 1

Other People’s Clothes by Calla Henkel

In Other People’s Clothes, two American ex-pats obsessed with the Amanda Knox trial find themselves at the nexus of murder and celebrity in Berlin after subletting an apartment owned by famous thriller writer Beatrice Becks. Convinced that Beatrice intends to use their lives as inspiration for her next novel, they vow to craft main-character-worthy personas by hosting a weekly nightclub in the apartment. As things spiral out of control, they begin to wonder whose story they are living—and how it will end.

Publication date: February 1

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Claudia Lin, a lifelong mystery reader who loves Jane Austen, verifies people’s online lives for a dating detective agency. After a client mysteriously disappears, she breaks protocol to investigate and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. This is the debut novel of Jane Pek, a lawyer at a global investment company whose short fiction has appeared in The Brooklyn Review, Literary Hub, The Best American Short Stories, and more.

Publication date: February 22

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

This poetry collection explores migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience and comes from Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King. Drawing from her own life, pop culture, and news headlines, Shire depicts the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women, and teenage girls. Roxane Gay describes these poems as “beautifully crafted” and “fiercely tender gifts.”

Publication date: March 1

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

Glory is the author’s long-awaited sophomore novel following her 2013 Booker finalist debut We Need More Names. Inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm and the fall of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe in 2017, the book grapples with political upheaval in a fictional African country. According to Viking, the book’s chorus of animal voices and satire “calls out the dangerous absurdity of contemporary global politics, and helps us see our human world more clearly.”

Publication date: March 8

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Following the massive success of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong returns with a deeply intimate poetry collection that explores life in the aftermath of his mother’s death. Shifting through fragmented lives and memories, Vuong innovatively experiments with language and form as he contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America.

Publication date: April 5

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

This debut novel is set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act and steeped in untold history and Chinese folklore. As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the American West during the 1880s, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been—including the ones she most wants to leave behind—in order to fight to claim her own name and story. Ann Patchett, the author of The Dutch House, describes this book as “an engulfing, bighearted, and heartbreaking novel.”

Publication date: April 5

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne is an epic feminist retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur from the perspective of the Minotaur’s sisters Ariadne and Phaedra. According to BuzzFeed, Ariadne explores the bonds between women and their epic quest for agency in patriarchal Greek society.” This debut novel is perfect for fans of Madeline Miller’s Circle, and the author is already working on another retelling of the myth of Clytemnestra and her daughter Electra.

Publication date: April 5

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, Take My Hand is a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients. A book that Celeste Ng has described as “an unforgettable exploration of responsibility and redemption,” Take My Hand has already been named a most anticipated book of 2022 by San Francisco Chronicle, Electric Literature, and more.

Publication date: April 12

The Miraculous Flight of Owen Leach by Jennifer Dupree

What happens when a 19-year-old girl, alone and exhausted, follows a fleeting impulse and tosses her screaming infant son out a window? What happens if that baby is caught by a woman who—standing below—looks up and reaches out? And what if the catcher’s own fragile pregnancy ends, causing her to believe that the baby she caught is meant to be hers? The Miraculous Flight of Owen Leach is the debut novel from longtime TMR reader Jennifer Dupree!

Publication date: May 3

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss. Not only is the title credited to the Florence + The Machine song “Hunger,” but Amazon Studios and Michael B. Jordan’s production company is developing it into a film.

Publication date: May 24

by Mariya Khan


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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