Sixteen Books We’re Looking Forward To This Year

January 11, 2016

There are so many great books coming out this year, it was hard to pick  just sixteen that we are especially excited to read. We present our annual list of upcoming releases: from traditional short story collections to sci-fi novels to memoir. While the majority of the books on this list are from emerging authors, some are by old, established favorites. Mark your literary calendars, and enjoy. 

AND AGAINAnd Again by Jessica Chiarella

In this novel, four people who are terminally ill are given the chance to start again in new bodies, which are exactly like their old ones, except for the fact that they are free of flaws. Chiarella plumbs the emotional and psychological repercussions of this premise in her inventive, literary debut.

Publication date: January 12

THE UNFINISHED WORLDThe Unfinished World: And Other Stories by Amber Sparks

The Unfinished World is Sparks’ second collection of stories, out at the end of the month from Liveright. In one story, a janitor cleans floating debris—flakes of dead skin, liquid salt—from a space station while she thinks about her troubled past on earth. In another, siblings practice the family art of taxidermy. Sparks’ sentences are dense, dark wonders, capable of holding worlds in themselves.

Publication date: January 25

DOG RUN MOONDog Run Moon by Callan Wink

The majority of stories in this debut collection are set in Montana and Wyoming, orbiting Yellowstone National Park. Wink’s stories have already garnered wide acclaim. Joy Williams says: “Callan Wink seems to know well the stratagems and delusions of men’s hearts. He also seems born and bred to short-story mastery.” You can read the title story, originally published in The New Yorker, here.

Publication date: February 9

PRIVATE CITIZENSPrivate Citizens: A Novel by Tony Tulathimutte

This witty, satirical debut novel is told from the point of view of four different San Francisco millennials as they sort out their post-college lives. Alexandra Kleeman says of Private Citizens: “This book will leave you raw with feeling and aching at the ribs.”

Publication date: February 9

CITIES I'VE NEVER LIVED INCities I’ve Never Lived In by Sara Majka

We can’t wait to get our hands on Sara Majka’s debut collection of linked stories, which is the product of collaboration between Graywolf and A Public Space. The collection centers on stories told by the same narrator, a recently divorced woman reflecting on her past relationships and desires. You can read a preview here.

Publication date: February 16

SHELTERShelter by Jung Yun

In Jung Yun’s novel Shelter, a professor whose family is in financial trouble is forced to revisit his feelings about his own affectionless childhood when his parents, in need of care, move in with him. Yun’s work has appeared in Tin House and The Massachusetts Review; this is her debut novel.

Publication date: March 15

RELIEF MAPRelief Map by Rosalie Knecht

Knecht’s first novel, out from Tin House Books, follows Livy Marko, a teenage girl whose life is upended one summer when her small town is put on lockdown because a fugitive is in their midst. Dan Choan says: “Beautifully written, heart-felt and mesmerizing, this book puts Rosalie Knecht on the map as a major talent.”

Publication date: March 28

TUESDAY NIGHTS IN 1980Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

Tuesday Nights in 1980 is Prentiss’ first novel, out from Gallery/Scout Press, set in the SoHo of the the ’80s. In the words of the publisher: “An intoxicating and transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and their shared muse as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980s.”

Publication date : April 5

The Regional Office Is Under Attack!The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales

As huge fans of Gonzales’ story collection The Miniature Wife & Other Stories, we are anxiously awaiting his debut novel The Regional Office is Under Attack! It includes a kickass team of female assassins who work for the Regional Office. Their goal: to prevent global destruction. Kelly Link says: “Delightfully weird, weirdly delightful! Manuel Gonzales clearly has a labyrinth of a brain—all stuffed with monsters, trapdoors, and complicated heroes.”

Publication date: April 12

ALLEGHENY FRONTAllegheny Front by Matthew Neill Null

We loved Matthew Neill Null’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, which came out this past fall from Lookout Books, and we are excited to read his first short story collection from Sarabande. These stories, set in West Virginia, span two hundred years and focus on the people and animals of the changing region.

Publication date: May 10

WORTHYWorthy by Lisa Birnbaum

Worthy, Lisa Brinbaum’s debut novel from Dzanc, arrives this spring. In the publisher’s words: “With the linguistic acrobatics of Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing and the confessional force of The Fall, Lisa Birnbaum weaves a lively tale of elusive truth about finding our way in the world, as love is inevitably lost and left behind.”

Publication date: May 10

BOY ERASEDBoy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley

Boy Erased, Garrard Conley’s debut memoir out from Riverhead this spring, tells the story of the author’s time in ex-gay therapy, and the effects it has had on his life. In the words of the publisher: “By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.”

Publication date: May 10

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EASESons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel

As Ramona Ausubel devotees, we are excited for the arrival of her third book, which tells the story of a once-wealthy family in 1970s New England going broke. It follows both the parents and their three children as their carefully constructed world unravels. Riverhead’s promotional materials bear no hint that the novel contains the magical realism of much of Ausubel’s previous work, but we are expecting to see her usual emotionally sharp, graceful prose.

Publication date: June 14

PROBLEMSProblems by Jade Sharma

Problems is Jade Sharma’s debut novel, published by Coffee House in partnership with Emily Books. In the words of the publisher: “Dark, raw, and very funny, Problems introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill, and a heroin habit that isn’t much fun anymore.”

Publication date: July 5

FOERHere I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

There is already a lot of buzz surrounding Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in over ten years: Here I Am, which will be published this fall. The novel centers on a Jewish family in Washington, DC, and it also tackles political events in the Middle East.

Publication date: September 6

Kelly_001Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce

We adored Kelly Luce’s debut collection Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail and we were proud to publish her story “Lookout”  in our Featured Fiction section. Needless to say, we are pumped about the release of her debut novel, out from FSG this fall.

Publication date: November 1

by Sadye Teiser

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