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    26 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    August 15, 2023, 5:20am

    The middle of August is here, and, that means that we have at least two things to look forward to: a few more weeks of summer, and this week’s release of a veritable cornucopia of new, exciting books to read in these last bits of summer. (You may also be looking forward to the slightly cooler weather of fall, which will make curling up outside with a book even more delightful on those just-perfect days.) Below, you’ll find twenty-six books out today: striking debut novels, new releases from fiction favorites, poetry that speaks to the present moment, new biographies and critiques of literary giants, discussion-worthy nonfiction, and much, much more. I hope you’ll add some of these to your to-be-read lists today!

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    Under the Tamarind Tree - Alam, Nigar

    Nigar Alam, Under the Tamarind Tree
    (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)

    “A suspenseful story of friendship, loyalty, and resilience….Alam deftly explores lives ruptured and reshaped by Partition, how historical and personal traumas shape us for generations….A compelling and immersive debut.”
    –Marjan Kamali

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    The English Experience - Schumacher, Julie

    Julie Schumacher, The English Experience
    (Doubleday)

    The English Experience can be read as a very clever farce about shepherding clueless American students through their study abroad program, or as an careful dissection of the education system itself, depending on whether or not the reader has ever taught at a small liberal arts college. Either way, Julie Schumacher packs us in the suitcase and takes us along for the hilarious, harrowing ride.”
    –Ann Patchett

    Nobody Needs to Know: A Memoir - Pagonis, Pidgeon

    Pidgeon Pagonis, Nobody Needs to Know: A Memoir
    (Topple Books)

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    “For many years now Pagonis’s activism as an advocate for the intersex community has been indispensable, helping shine a much-needed light on an identity that is so often misunderstood and ignored. Now they’re bringing that enlivening energy to the page with their luminous memoir about the fight for selfhood.”
    Electric Literature

    The Romantic - Boyd, William

    William Boyd, The Romantic
    (Knopf)

    “As we have come to expect, here is exceptional storytelling—pristine, immersive, and intoxicating….As informative as it is entertaining….There’s a Dickensian warmth and verve, an epic scale, a spirited sense of chance and adventure….Bravura, high octane stuff.”
    Irish Times

    Forgive Me Not - Baker, Jennifer

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    Jennifer Baker, Forgive Me Not
    (Nancy Paulsen Books)

    “Brilliant, bold, and deeply moving, Forgive Me Not shines a necessary and dignifying light on the young people trapped in a broken system of justice. This novel radiates with the redemptive power of love and forgiveness.”
    –Brendan Kiely

    Vampires of El Norte - Cañas, Isabel

    Isabel Cañas, Vampires of El Norte
    (Berkley Books)

    “A wholly immersive, relentlessly tense, and deeply felt exploration of what it means to be a monster. Isabel Cañas writes with a historian’s eye and a storyteller’s heart, achieving both a haunting critique of colonialism and a riveting, star-crossed love story. With vampires! A generous, wildly entertaining novel that invites me further into my own history.”
    –Katie Gutierrez

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    The Border Simulator: Poems - Dozal, Gabriel

    Gabriel Dozal, The Border Simulator: Poems (trans. Natasha Tiniacos)
    (One World)

    “Word coyote Gabriel Dozal is crossing borders with this story. It’s his job: narrative poetry discovering a new language. We, the readers, are the customs agent. Will we let it cross? It’s the poet’s job to smuggle this story to us, to issue it papers, without us realizing it. ‘Language is expensive, / silence is expensive.’ In the end, Dozal’s poetry asks: Which side of the fence are you on?”
    –Sandra Cisneros

    Thin Skin: Essays - Shapland, Jenn

    Jenn Shapland, Thin Skin: Essays
    (Pantheon Books)

    “In her introduction, Shapland refers to the ability of the essay to do anything or go anywhere as a part of her love for the form–and in the essays that follow, she shows us she meant it. A wrenching, loving and trenchant examination of feminism, nuclear weapons production, healthcare, queerness and American life unlike any I can think of, in essays that give lessons in pushing this form to the limit…iconoclastic, electric, illuminating.”
    –Alexander Chee

    The Marriage Question: George Eliot's Double Life - Carlisle, Clare

    Clare Carlisle, The Marriage Question: George Eliot’s Double Life
    (FSG)

    “A highly illuminating portrait of the acclaimed writer’s evolution as a novelist and a wife….Fans of literary history will savor this book. Carlisle’s empathetic exploration of a unique relationship provides a clear lens through which to view Eliot’s life and work.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth - Rush, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Rush, The Quickening: Creation and Community at the End of the World
    (Milkweed)

    The Quickening is one part memoir, one part reporting from the edge.Rush, a journalist, joins a crew of scientists aboard a ship headed for a glacier in Antarctica that is, like much of the poles, rapidly disappearing. The book brings the environmental crisis into a personal sphere, asking what it means to have a child in the face of such catastrophic change….Rush writes with clarity and precision, giving a visceral sense of everything from the gear required to traverse an arctic landscape to the interior landscape of a woman facing change both global and immediate.”
    Vogue

    Lojman - Ojen, Ebru

    Ebru Ojen, Lojman (trans. Aron Ari and Selin Gökçesu
    (City Lights Books)

    Lojman is a feverish account of the thrashings of an imprisoned body and soul and a hallucinatory examination of motherhood, individuality, and romantic love. A dark, original, exciting novel.”
    –Ayşegül Savas

    In the Lobby of the Dream Hotel - Plunkett, Genevieve

    Genevieve Plunkett, In the Lobby of the Dream Hotel
    (Catapult)

    “Genevieve Plunkett’s In the Lobby of the Dream Hotel is an engrossing read that takes readers into the heart of what it means to be a mother, a wife, a creative being, a human with a heart that longs for more….Most importantly, her nuanced treatment of the decisions that people managing mental illness must make every day will comfort, inspire, entertain, and enlighten readers.”
    –Christie Tate

    Heaven, Hell and Paradise Lost - Simon, Ed

    Ed Simon, Heaven, Hell, and Paradise Lost
    (IG Publishing)

    “With verve and an abundance of erudition, Heaven, Hell and Paradise Lost manages to be all at once: a travelogue of a trip to Milton’s grave, an insightful return to the classic of all classics, and against all odds, a laugh-out-loud funny book. Simon’s light touch and depth of knowledge feels akin to what Geoff Dyer or Janet Malcolm do at their best–and yet his voice is entirely his own. Read this one! Savor it.”
    –Daniel Torday

    Information Desk: An Epic - Schiff, Robyn

    Robyn Schiff, Information Desk: An Epic
    (Penguin)

    “There is quiet humor, alongside a whiff of defiance, in Information Desk‘s subtitle: ‘An Epic.’ An epic poem, of course, calls to mind the Greeks, the Romans, all those illustrious examples….The journey portrayed in Information Desk may initially appear to be more inward, but it’s no less transformative….Schiff turns the oft-forgotten worker behind the counter into an opportunity to ask deeper questions about the historical relationship between creativity and economics….’Who says that the life of the woman behind the counter is not equally adventurous as an epic hero’s?”
    Poetry Foundation

    Chinese Prodigal: A Memoir in Eight Arguments - Shih, David

    David Shih, Chinese Prodigal: A Memoir in Eight Arguments
    (Atlantic Monthly Press)

    “Enlivened by a fearless intellect, candid personal reckonings, and its moving song of a wounded citizen heart, Chinese Prodigal is as provocative and illuminating as any recent memoir on what it has meant—and means to be—an Asian in America. This is essential reading for anyone keen to understand the unique narratives—both public and private—of the Asian American experience.”
    –Chang-rae Lee

    The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking about Race - Karim-Cooper, Farah

    Farah Karim-Cooper, The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking about Race
    (Viking)

    “The rigorous and nuanced analysis stimulates, and Karim-Cooper’s evenhanded approach refuses to excuse Shakespeare’s racism while insisting that his plays still have much to offer modern audiences. This is a vital contribution to the shelf on Shakespeare.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go - Qian, Cleo

    Cleo Qian, Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go
    (Tin House)

    “Cleo Qian’s Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go is an uncanny Asian American fantasia where fringe artist collectives, melancholy K-pop stars, anxious piano prodigies, disembodied digital ghosts, and lovelorn alchemists converge. Deeply psychological, these stories confront the bizarre horrors of modern life, finding surprising beauty and supernatural catharsis. I’ll be thinking about these characters for a long, long time.”
    –Jean Chen Ho

    Daughters of Latin America: An International Anthology of Writing by Latine Women - Guzman, Sandra

    Sandra Guzman, Daughters of Latin America: An International Anthology of Writing by Latine Women
    (Knopf)

    “A significant collection of Latine women voices across five centuries….Guzmán succeeds in her presentation of ‘a luminous universe of texts that navigate across time and space, genre, styles, and traditions,’  and the book does indeed contain ‘the wisdom, memory, and DNA, or oral traditions more ancient than time itself’….A fresh, indispensable look at the wide, multicultural world of Latine women writers.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    More Perfect - Oh, Temi

    Temi Oh, More Perfect
    (Gallery/Saga Press)

    “In a near-future Britain, a simple operation to insert a chip in the brain allows access to the Panopticon, a network enabling friends to share thoughts and see through each other’s eyes. The government is pushing to make it compulsory as a way to end social isolation and prevent crime….Drawing on ancient Greek myths and modern brain science, this is a plausible, complex vision of the future, a fascinating story that never shies away from the contradictions in human nature.”
    The Guardian

    The Bee Sting - Murray, Paul

    Paul Murray, The Bee Sting
    (FSG)

    “Murray’s latest is a comedy of errors, emphasis on both the comedy and the errors. The novel follows the reversal of fortunes of the Barnes family, a decline sparked by the Irish financial crash, yes, but perhaps set in motion by fateful moments in the family’s past.”
    The New York Times

    In Defense of Love: An Argument - Rosenbaum, Ron

    Ron Rosenbaum, In Defense of Love: An Argument
    (Doubleday)

    “Journalist Rosenbaum (Explaining Hitler) contends in this impassioned offering that ‘love is in trouble’ from those who reduce it to a mere scientific or literary object….Rosenbaum’s most convincing defense of love comes through earnest renderings of his own relationships and losses….Even staunch skeptics will have their heartstrings tugged.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Invisible Hour - Hoffman, Alice

    Alice Hoffman, The Invisible Hour
    (Atria Books)

    “What a thrill to discover Nathaniel Hawthorne in the pages of Alice Hoffman’s exquisite new novel, The Invisible Hour! And what delight to experience the melding, across the centuries, of two prodigious American literary imaginations—Hoffman’s and Hawthorne’s—in this redemptive tale of daughters and mothers and one true love for a man and his book.”
    –Megan Marshall

    The Great Transition - Fuller Googins, Nick

    Nick Fuller Googins, The Great Transition
    (Atria Books)

    The Great Transition asks what it means to start over—as a society and as individuals—and then answers with visionary scope. Offering readers thrilling glimpses into utopic possibilities born from collective mobilization, as well as an unflinching assessment of our climate crisis, Nick Fuller Googins brilliantly renders the personal political and the political personal.”
    –Allegra Hyde

    August Wilson: A Life - Hartigan, Patti

    Patti Hartigan, August Wilson: A Life
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “August Wilson was one of the greatest playwrights in the history of the American stage. Despite his major critical acclaim, a sophisticated biography is long overdue. Patti Hartigan has filled this void with a deeply researched, impressively insightful biography that reveals in riveting detail why Wilson will be recalled as one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. A must read for students of theatre and African American literature.”
    –Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

     

    Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health - Tabery, James

    James Tabery, Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health
    (Knopf)

    “An accessible narrative bolstered by prodigious research….An engaging, provocative study of a much-hyped aspect of American health care….Tabery succeeds in raising a compelling alarm about where things stand and making clear that the current situation could have been much different, all while laying the groundwork for an alternative future.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Rye Bread Marriage: How I Found Happiness with a Partner I'll Never Understand - Weissman, Michaele

    Michael Weissman, The Rye Bread Marriage: How I Found Happiness with a Partner I’ll Never Understand
    (Algonquin)

    “Weissman’s striking reverence, her bold humility, and her compassion for her brilliant and traumatized Latvian husband as she unearths his compulsion for his home country’s bread make this tale of food and love and life and war soar. I closed the last pages with tears in my eyes for the gift of these complex histories, this compelling love story—and a determination to find the best rye bread in town.”
    –Lauren Francis-Sharma

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