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20 new paperbacks hitting shelves this September.

Katie Yee

September 1, 2022, 10:20am

Even though I’ve been out of school for years, there’s just something about September that inspires a renewed studiousness in me. That first whiff of fall air brings back all my fond memories of Lisa Frank folders and scented erasers, trips to Staples with my family, and (later) the sheen of new syllabi and the thrill of add/drop period. It’s that time of year when buying a new planner or notebook can make you a whole new person! An even more bookish person who can get through their TBR pile—for real this time. Here are 20 books coming out in paperback this month to get you going. Bring on the bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.

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Lauren Groff, Matrix
(Riverhead, September 6)

“With masterful wordplay and pacing, Groff builds what could have been a mundane storyline into something quite impossible to put down. The writing itself is a demonstration of power.”
–NPR

Pik-Shuen Fung, Ghost Forest
(One World, September 6)

“In between, the narrator fills the empty spaces with what the living are willing to share. Seemingly spare yet undeniably dense with so much unsaid, Fung’s polyphonic first novel is a magnificent literary triumph.”
–Booklist

Maggie Nelson, On Freedom

Maggie Nelson, On Freedom
(Graywolf, September 6)

“[A] sustained, uncompromisingly even-handed meditation … Through twists and turns and idiosyncratic forays, Nelson pursues the ways in which care and constraint impact on any lived experience of freedom.”
–4Columns

medusa's ankles_as byatt

A.S. Byatt, Medusa’s Ankles
(Vintage, September 6)

“Each story showcases Byatt’s exquisite prose and her wide-ranging mastery of the short story form. For the uninitiated, this makes for a perfect entry point.”
–Publishers Weekly

fault lines

Emily Itami, Fault Lines
(Mariner, September 6)

Fault Lines is full of laugh-out-loud, irreverent humor, as well as heartstoppingly poignant, yet seemingly incidental, wisdom.”
–Bookreporter

the wrong end of the telescope

Rabih Alameddine, The Wrong End of the Telescope
(Grove Press, September 6)

“The story is a shape-shifting kaleidoscope, a collection of moments—funny, devastating, absurd—that bear witness to the violence of war and displacement without sensationalizing it.”
–BookPage

Emily Ratajkowski_My Body

Emily Ratajkowski, My Body
(Metropolitan Books, September 13)

My Body is well written, introspective, and deep. It offers an interesting lens through which to view a toxic industry.”
–Manhattan Book Review

Landslide_Michael Wolff

Michael Wolff, Landslide
(Holt McDougal, September 13)

“Wolff tells a broad, jumpy, event-laden story about Trump’s shambolic final year … a smart, vivid and intrepid book.”
–The New York Times

Inseparable

Simone de Beauvoir, tr. Sandra Smith, Inseparable
(Ecco, September 13)

“Brief and exuberant, Inseparable amplifies the canon of a titan of twentieth-century feminism, and reveals her in an unexpectedly tender, unguarded mode.”
–Harper’s

Things-I-have-Withheld-FC-340x509

Kei Miller, Things I Have Withheld 
(Grove Press, September 20)

“Kei Miller probes these silent places: what it means to be silent, to break that silence; what it means to risk one’s words and, in turn, the truth.”
–Chicago Review of Books

Colm Tóibín, The Magician

Colm Tóibín, The Magician
(Scribner, September 20)

“Tóibín uses a novelist’s tools to present a picture of Mann as a full human figure with darkness and depth.”
–Chicago Review of Books

A Play for the End of the World

Jai Chakrabarti, A Play for the End of the World
(Vintage, September 20)

“Chakrabarti’s novel is realistic and tentative and breathtakingly poignant, with a payoff that’s more than worth the trip if you have the heart to withstand it.”
–BookPage

Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century

Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex
(Picador, September 20)

“[A] quietly dazzling new essay collection … This is, needless to say, fraught terrain, and Srinivasan treads it with determination and skill.”
–The New York Times

several people are typing_calvin kalsulke

Calvin Kasulke, Several People Are Typing
(Anchor, September 27)

“In this gloriously inventive debut, Kasulke has constructed a funny, tender, and compelling novel that consists entirely of messages on the workplace app Slack … This is a workplace comedy that brilliantly captures the era of remote work.”
–Booklist

Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land
(Scribner, September 27)

“It’s a wildly inventive novel that teems with life, straddles an enormous range of experience and learning, and embodies the storytelling gifts that it celebrates.”
–The New York Times Book Review

Jelani Cobb and David Remnick_The Matter of Black Lives

Jelani Cobb and David Remnick (ed.), The Matter of Black Lives
(Ecco, September 27)

“An essential volume for readers interested in the Black past and present, as all readers should be.”
–Kirkus

beautiful country_qian julie wang

Qian Julie Wang, Beautiful Country
(Anchor, September 27)

“Full of keen emotional insight, gorgeous, heartrendingly lyrical prose, and the humbling story of a girl coming of age in an impossible situation, Beautiful Country is an astonishingly poignant and unforgettable book.”
–Bookreporter

believing_anita hill

Anita Hill, Believing
(Penguin, September 27)

“Altogether, Believing is an elegant, impassioned demand that America see gender-based violence as a cultural and structural problem that hurts everyone, not just victims and survivors.”
–NPR

sarah ruhl_smile

Sarah Ruhl, Smile
(Scribner, September 27)

“In her thoughtful and moving memoir Smile, Ruhl reminds us that a smile is not just a smile but a vital form of communication, of bonding, of what makes us human.”
–The Washington Post

Karl Ove Knausgaard, tr. Martin Aitken, The Morning Star

Karl Ove Knausgaard, The Morning Star
(Penguin, September 27)

“The discursive sprawl of the story is trussed up by the matrix of interpersonal connections, giving it form even as the characters rationalize away how spooked they feel by the events that unfold across the two strange days … The Morning Star is attuned to the uncanny.”
–The New Yorker

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