• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    23 new books to check out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    June 20, 2023, 4:39am

    Somehow, it is the 20th of June; I find myself amazed that we’re here already, that so much time has quickly and quietly rushed by. What is equally amazing—and far less funereal—is that there are so many fascinating new books out today, both from debut authors and a few well-established favorites. Below, you’ll find a rich collection of brand-new novels, translations, essay collections, short stories, memoirs, poetry, and discussion-worthy nonfiction. As June nears its end, I invite you to begin one—or many more—of these intriguing new offerings.


    I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home - Moore, Lorrie

    Lorrie Moore, I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home

    “A wry, shape-shifting meditation on how we might continue to commune with the dead… Both playful and poignant, this story of siblings and mental health slips the bonds of time and mortality. It bears Moore’s s trademark psychological depth and humor. At the sentence level, the work is never less than a revelation.”
    Shelf Awareness

    The Brightest Star - Tsukiyama, Gail

    Gail Tsukiyama, The Brightest Star

    “I can think of no better author than the incomparable Gail Tsukiyama to introduce readers to Anna May Wong. For all of her remarkable life, Wong struggled against the racism of Hollywood and the conservatism of her family. For every triumph there was a disappointment, but for every disappointment, there was also a triumph. Through it all, the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, Tsukiyama keeps her focus on Wong’s bright, resilient spirit. A beautiful, haunting book.”
    –Karen Joy Fowler

    Adult Drama: And Other Essays (Original) - Beach, Natalie

    Natalie Beach, Adult Drama: And Other Essays
    (Hanover Square Press)

    “Natalie Beach is a writer whose work feels like it contains the force of a revelation. These essays both delighted and astonished me, often within the same sentence, for their ribald and vulnerable intimacy, the canny insight with which she examines how we shape ourselves within friendships, within clothes—from low-rise jeans to soccer shorts—within the various pressures and structures of modern life.”
    –Mary South

    The Glow - Gaynor, Jessie

    Jessie Gaynor, The Glow
    (Random House)

    “Jessie Gaynor’s writing is wickedly funny and sly in its observations, pairing human truths with a setting that can only belong to our present moment. The Glow manages to be both savvy in its sendup of the social-media-influencing world and empathic in its portrayal of the millions who flock to it. I tore through the book in a state of pure delight, pining to return to it whenever trivialities like ‘work’ or ‘sleep’ so rudely interrupted.”
    –Julie Pierpoint

    Holding Pattern - Xie, Jenny

    Jenny Xie, Holding Pattern

    “Xie is a deft chronicler of the ways power shifts between people. What emerges is a novel offering a lucid examination of a range of relationships: those between a mother and daughter, old friends, and more passing acquaintances. An engaging and heartwarming story.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Old Enough - Jakobson, Haley

    Haley Jakobson, Old Enough

    “Haley Jakobson’s Old Enough evokes the stormy early years of college with such tenderness and honesty I was transported right back to campus. This pitch-perfect story about queer coming-of-age is brilliantly observed, wildly funny, and full of insights into the way the past can snake through the present… I loved every word and can’t wait for what Jakobson writes next.”
    –Julie Buntin

    Mrs. S - Patrick, K.

    K. Patrick, Mrs. S

    “Patrick’s deft manipulation of narrative time and use of interior monologue to describe the tensions among thought, intention, and action recall the work of Virginia Woolf… The drama of the forbidden affair keeps the reader voraciously turning the pages, but on a deeper level, the novel also offers an incisive and nuanced reflection on self-evolution as the narrator navigates the complexities of gender identity, social power, and the dynamic tension between private and public selves.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune - Stille, Alexander

    Alexander Stille, The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune

    “An intimate and engrossing look at the Sullivan Institute, a radical polygamous therapy group that emerged in 1950s New York… Doggedly researched and thoroughly compassionate, this is a page-turning exposé.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Lucky Red - Cravens, Claudia

    Claudia Cravens, Lucky Red
    (Dial Press)

    Lucky Red is the Western I never knew I needed—where all the most fascinating misfit characters usually pushed to the fringes take their rightful places center stage. Claudia Cravens strikes the perfect balance here—queer, feminist, subversive, and a good old-fashioned freight train of an adventure story.”
    –Sara Nović

    Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad - Walker, Tamara J.

    Tamara J. Walker, Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad
    (Crown Publishing Group)

    “An absorbing and vibrant group biography. By exploring the life of Black expats, creatives, and activists, Walker enhances the stories of migration to reveal how race is lived in the US and abroad. Beautifully researched, this book blends history and autobiography seamlessly in order to tell several American stories.”
    –Marcia Chatelain

    In Light-Years There's No Hurry: Cosmic Perspectives on Everyday Life - Van Heemstra, Marjolijn

    Marjolijn Van Heemstra, In Light-Years, There’s No Hurry: Cosmic Perspectives on Everyday Life (trans. Jonathan Reeder)

    “A lovely, lyrical book about the search for signs of life in these perilous times. Van Heemstra gracefully illuminates the difficulties and delights of connection in our increasingly chaotic world.”
    –Jenny Offill

    I Do Everything I'm Told - Fernandes, Megan

    Megan Fernandes, I Do Everything I’m Told: Poems
    (Tin House)

    “Beautiful, provocative pleasures, these poems apply a sophisticated intelligence to the most vulnerable and insatiable yearnings. Fernandes degloves traditions of love poetry through her radically adventurous poetry, baring the muscle beneath the skin. Each poem, ungovernable and alive to the contemporary moment, carries forward an original and compelling vision.”
    —Lee Upton

    Watch Us Dance - Slimani, Leila

    Leila Slimani, Watch Us Dance

    “Engrossing… Watch Us Dance brings the complexity of the post-colonial period in Morocco vividly to life.”
    Elle (UK)

    We Hold Our Breath: A Journey to Texas Between Storms - Fields, Micah

    Micah Fields, We Hold Our Breath: A Journey to Texas Between Storms

    “A life can be found in the grid of a city, among its habits, and through its history. Houston—a city of mud and hubris—may not be the natural subject of a lyrical memoir, but Micah Fields truly makes it so. His story—deeply personal and often harrowing—makes this place and his place in it matter intensely and beautifully.”
    –D. J. Waldie

    Fat Time and Other Stories - Allen, Jeffery Renard

    Jeffery Renard Allen, Fat Time and Other Stories
    (Graywolf Press)

    Fat Time and Other Stories, Jeffery Renard Allen’s impressive new collection, takes the reader on a series of journeys spanning time, place, and souls… Allen’s array of storytelling gifts and his skill at bringing characters to life never fail to amaze. Luxuriate in these masterful sentences, lose yourself in these Black stories.”
    –John Keene

    Through the Groves: A Memoir - Hull, Anne

    Anne Hull, Through the Groves: A Memoir
    (Henry Holt)

    Through the Groves joins a growing body of powerful queer Florida lit. This coming-out and coming-of-age memoir from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Hull is a moving portrait of queer adolescence in 1960s Florida.”

    Tar Hollow Trans: Essays - Grover, Stacy Jane

    Stacy Jane Grover, Tar Hollow Trans
    (University Press of Kentucky)

    “Grover debuts with a stirring exploration of Appalachian queer identity. Writing about her transness and experience of living in the region, Grover rejects the portraits of Appalachia that have been put forth by writers such as J.D. Vance. Her version, rooted in the aughts, comes alive with anecdotes about mall goths and Evanescence fan pages, laid against careful analysis of what made that early virtual world sacred… [A] unique, fascinating collection.”
    Publishers Weekly

    To the Forest - Barbeau-Lavalette, Anaïs

    Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, To the Forest (trans. Rhonda Mullins)
    (Coach House Books)

    “Anaïs, with extraordinary delicacy and a flawless sense of observation, offers up words on love, death, great adventures, passing along knowledge and values, finding roots, beauty, and the resilience of nature.”
    Journal de Québec

    Poland, a Green Land - Appelfeld, Aharon

    Aaharon Appelfeld, Poland, a Green Land (trans. Stuart Schoffman)
    (Schocken Books)

    “Appelfeld (1932-2018), who didn’t often make explicit references to the Holocaust in his fiction and uses that word only once here, attains raw emotion with his account of horrific violence. The book has a fuzzy, dreamlike quality, leading to a more detached ending than in masterpieces such as The Age of Wonders and The Conversion. But this work, being published in English for the first time, still haunts… A powerful and timely addition to Appelfeld’s great body of work.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Animal Spirits: The American Pursuit of Vitality from Camp Meeting to Wall Street - Lears, Jackson

    Jackson Lears, Animal Spirits: The American Pursuit of Vitality from Camp Meeting to Wall Street

    “As Lears memorably demonstrates, the belief in the significance of pulsing flows of energy that move through minds and objects has played a profound, if not often well-acknowledged, role in American philosophy and lived experience… A notable strength of the book is the richness of the author’s commentary on the context in which vitalist ideas emerged… Well-informed [and] engrossing.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Fisherman and His Son - Livaneli, Zülfü

    Zülfü Livaneli, The Fisherman and His Son (trans. Brendan Freely)
    (Other Press)

    “Gracefully, masterfully, Zülfü Livaneli does not force the reader into trying—and failing—to fathom the unfathomable. Instead, this novel, which is thrumming with Keatsian negative capability, intertwines human misery and nonhuman mystery… Brendan Freely’s translation is stark, elegant, and fluid; the story that unfolds is propulsive and dramatic, harrowing and multilayered.”
    –Moriel Rothman-Zecher

    Rich White Men: What It Takes to Uproot the Old Boys' Club and Transform America - Neiman, Garrett

    Garrett Neiman, Rich White Men: What It Takes to Uproot the Boys’ Club and Transform America
    (Legacy Lit)

    “In this tell-all based on years of first-hand witnessing and dozens of interviews, Neiman exposes unflinchingly and unsparingly the logic of structural inequalities… [T]he heart of this passionate and compelling book—which everyone should read—is the path Neiman charts to transform society.”
    –Khalil Gibran Muhammad

    Kindness Separates Night from Day - Dejanovic, Marija

    Marija Dejanovic, Kindness Separates Night from Day (trans. Vesna Maric)
    (Sandorf Passage)

    “Marija Dejanovic’s poems are chapters of an unwritten novel. Or chapters of life. Written with great talent, but also with an equally great stake in life, these poems send an important message and lesson to the distant galaxy: there are no bigger differences than small differences, we are truly different only from those who are very close to us. Gentle, scary, and universal poetry.”
    –Miljenko Jergovic

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

    %d bloggers like this: