• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    28 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    September 12, 2023, 5:00am

    September is slowly turning its pages, and, if you’d like do the same, you’re in for luck. Today, you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of exciting new books to consider, including new fiction from famed writers, attention-grabbing debuts, a brilliant range of memoirs, urgent arguments and explorations, poetry, and more. My to-be-read pile has grown quite high, and today’s new books will only add to it. I hope you’ll find something to add to your own reading lists below!


    The Vaster Wilds - Groff, Lauren

    Lauren Groff, The Vaster Wilds

    “Groff’s seventh book, a captivating survival story, starts off running….this wholly enveloping book has…deep examinations of faith, dominion, and human nature; Groff’s seemingly joyfully related, seamless period prose; and the time-collapsing sense of reading a text channeled directly from the mind of a long-ago-living, breathing woman facing extraordinary circumstances.”

    A House for Alice - Evans, Diana

    Diana Evans, A House for Alice

    “The shifting sands of relationships, time, and place frame a vibrant new novel from an award-winning British writer. Broad in range, vivid in detail, alight often with eloquent language, Evans’ fourth novel, set among a Black community in London, takes time to reveal itself. Sprawling but always engaging, the novel’s cast is filled with rounded individuals, their problems and options as Black, middle-class Londoners showcased at work and play and contemplation, with humor and empathy.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Sky Vault - Percy, Benjamin

    Benjamin Percy, The Sky Vault
    (William Morrow)

    “Percy offers intriguing theoretical physics, penetrating analysis of human greed, and deeply sympathetic characters. This standout combination of science and psychology is sure to wow SF fans.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World - Klein, Naomi

    Naomi Klein, Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World

    “It seems ever more possible that our society might collapse under the sheer weight of nonsense and performance and crazy misinformation that overwhelm our infoworld. With her trademark clarity and perception, and with chemo-level doses of wit and common sense, Naomi Klein goes further than anyone has so far in helping us understand that buzzing and confounding mess, and to see some ways out. If ever a book was necessary, it’s this one.”
    –Bill McKibben

    Sing a Black Girl's Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange - Shange, Ntozake

    Ntozake Shange, Imani Perry, Sing a Black Girl’s Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange
    (Legacy Lit)

    “With Sing A Black Girl’s Song, Imani Perry offers intimacy with Ntozake Shange as a peerless, prolific writer in process. Here is a brilliant multi-genre gathering…that maps…her quest for self-actualization as a Black woman in America participating in transnational Black liberation movements. Brimming with lyrical incandescence, sensuality and self-regard, Shange urges us to…[document] not only what is happening to us, but within us and through us individually and collectively.”
    –Erika Dickerson-Despenza

    Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close - Carlson, Hannah

    Hannah Carlson, Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close

    “Who knew the humble pocket could hold so much history? In this enthralling and always surprising account, Hannah Carlson turns the pocket inside out and out tumble pocket watches, coins, pistols, and a riveting centuries-long social and political history.”
    –Jill Lepore

    Rouge - Awad, Mona

    Mona Awad, Rouge
    (S&S/Marysue Rucci Books)

    “A] hypnotic tour de force….Awad approaches the increasingly well-trod ground of sinister wellness gurus with aplomb, creating an atmosphere of creeping discomfort and surreality right from the start. This is the stuff of fairy tales—red shoes, ballrooms, mirrors, and thorns but also sincerity, poignancy, and terror.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Daughter - Dey, Claudia

    Claudia Dey, Daughter

    “Controlled, lucid, and elegant. Daughter is also a formally inventive book—while still being deeply accessible—about how much we can know about others, and how well we can know ourselves. Claudia Dey describes feelings and struggles I haven’t encountered in other novels. I loved this beautiful book.”
    –Sheila Heti

    Cocktail - Alward, Lisa

    Lisa Alward, Cocktail

    “The stories in Lisa Alward’s Cocktail are small wonderments, marked by their intense focus on the telling interplay between wives and husbands, children and parents, and intimate strangers that recalls the early work of Alice Munro.”
    –Craig Davidson

    First Gen: A Memoir - Campoverdi, Alejandra

    Alejandra Campoverdi, First Gen: A Memoir
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    “Alejandra Campoverdi, with piercing insight and unflinching candor, has written a book for our times–capturing the American dream as experienced by immigrants and their children who are remaking America. Her story may be one-of-a-kind, but the lessons she learned and imparts are universal.”
    –Jose Antonio Vargas

    Omega Farm: A Memoir - McPhee, Martha

    Martha McPhee, Omega Farm: A Memoir

    “McPhee is a captivating writer, gracefully weaving together the disparate strands of familial reckoning, the eerie pandemic years, and her evolving understanding of forest ecology….A potent exploration of the complicated project of revisiting a childhood and maintaining a family legacy.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Normal Rules Don't Apply: Stories - Atkinson, Kate

    Kate Atkinson, Normal Rules Don’t Apply: Stories

    “This stunning collection from Atkinson (Shrines of Gaiety) is a master class in literary worldbuilding. These 11 interconnected stories happen in a world one step removed from this one, where human existence is regulated by the Void, a daily, five-minute apocalyptic event causing mass death. Here, characters proper to fairy tales, myths, and scripture rub shoulders with inhabitants of northern England in scenes from otherwise prosaic lives….[The] prose is…full of speculative glee, but tinged with poignancy.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City (Original) - Goodman, Elyssa Maxx

    Elyssa Maxx Goodman, Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City
    (Hanover Square Press)

    “Elyssa Goodman has achieved the near impossible; a history of drag that is as entertaining as it is comprehensive. From Eltinge to RuPaul, all of the great personalities with their triumphs and tragedies are woven into a vivid and vibrant tapestry of the city of New York.”
    –Charles Busch

    One Sunny Afternoon: A Memoir of Trauma and Healing - Knox, Rowan Jette

    Rowan Jette Knox, One Sunny Afternoon: A Memoir of Trauma and Healing

    “Trauma and shame and the PTSD that come with them require frank and often uncomfortable discussions in order to get to the germ of the issues and move on in a healthy manner. Amanda Jetté Knox has had more of her share of all of it, and her journey back to sound mind, body, and relationships is a combination of harrowing and rewarding, inspiring and cautionary, and her brutally honest self-awareness is alternately welcome and witty.”
    –David Pevsner

    Tarta Americana - Martinez, J. Michael

    J. Michael Martinez, Tarta Americana

    “J. Michael Martinez’s expanding oeuvre so often investigates and overturns the high and low mythologies of the intersection between Latinidad and U.S. imperialisms: in Tarta Americana, Martinez brings this analysis home and into the intimate space of fandom, queer desire and inscription….Martinez’s best work yet.”
    –Carmen Giménez

    Landscapes - Lai, Christine

    Christine Lai, Landscapes
    (Two Dollar Radio)

    “Plenty of books exist about what to do with the art of bad men, but changing the channel and walking on the other side of the street no longer cut it. Christine Lai’s debut novel, Landscapes, offers no illusions about or answers to this problem, but it is a fortifying read nonetheless. Instead of delivering a polemic, Landscapes probes the archive of feminist art for new answers, by blending diary entries, close-third-person narration, and criticism.”
    The Believer

    Peach Pit - Llewellyn, Molly

    Molly Llewellyn, Kristel Buckley, Peach Pit: Sixteen Stories of Unsavory Women
    (Dzanc Books)

    “A sixteen-story anthology highlights a diverse list of authors who let their protagonists embrace their unhinged natures. A smart-mouthed child locked inside a shed discovers a match and the intoxicating allure of fire….A disabled teenager takes the Devil, named Max, as her girlfriend through the summoning power of masturbation….A riveting collection in which downtrodden, vindictive, and occasionally just plain evil women choose violence at every turn.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America - Mahdavian, Navied

    Navied Mahdavian, This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America
    (Princeton Architectural Press)

    “This is a charming, hilarious, and at times frightening memoir about the years Navied and Emelie (and their dog, Stanley) Mahdavian spent building a home in remote Idaho after being pushed out of the San Francisco Bay area….This will appeal to readers of memoir, social commentary, and, in a minor spoiler, graphic medicine.”

    Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career - Coulter, Kristi

    Kristi Coulter, Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career

    “I couldn’t put Exit Interview down, even when my heart rate was so elevated that my fitness ring thought I was going for a ‘moderate walk.’ A brilliant portrait of stifled ambition that should be required reading for every underfunded woman at every organization that ‘values female employees’ and has exactly one woman in their C-suite.”
    –Nora McInerny

    Digging Stars - Tshuma, Novuyo Rosa

    Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Digging Stars

    “Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s virtuosic, word-drunk sentences cast bridges across the abysses of history and the gaps between the stars. In Digging Stars, she chronicles a family’s fractures and a young woman’s determination to conquer the terrors of both outer and inner space. This is a brave and moving book.”
    –Garth Greenwell

    Bardskull - Shaw, Martin

    Martin Shaw, Bardskull

    “It may be easier to say what Bardskull is not. It’s not a memoir. It’s not poetry. It’s not a compendium of myths and ancient wisdom. It is, rather, all of these things…loosely structured around an autofictional account of several journeys that oral storyteller Martin Shaw seems to have undertaken on Dartmoor….[Shaw has a] propulsive, self-willed rhythm, the incantatory style that you can well imagine Shaw having long since perfected under starlight and around smoky campfires.”
    The Guardian

    How I Won a Nobel Prize - Taranto, Julius

    Julius Taranto, How I Won a Nobel Prize
    (Little Brown)

    “An indisputably brilliant comic novel of ideas, a feat of deep research and Olympian satire worthy of Don DeLillo. Julius Taranto confidently grasps the third rail of cancel culture and ties it into a balloon animal, with great nerve and heart (to say nothing of phlegm, bile, and blood—in other words, humor). Reading this book is like doing a whippit that makes you smarter.”
    –Tony Tulathimutte

    Witch of Wild Things - Vasquez Gilliland, Raquel

    Raquel Vaszquez Gilliland, Witch of Wild Things

    Witch of Wild Things is a flawless gem. Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s prose is by turns seamless and striking; her storytelling is vulnerable and full of soul. As a Mexican-American, reading this novel felt like coming home—it was a song my heart never knew it needed to hear.”
    –Isabal Cañas

    That Time of Year - Ndiaye, Marie

    Marie NDiaye, That Time of Year (trans. Jordan Stump)
    (Two Lines Press)

    “What at first appears to be a Kafkaesque fable about insiders and outsiders quickly morphs into a metaphysical horror story about the bonds between the living and the dead….The novel shares some DNA with the Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream in its embrace of the fantastic and as a haunting reinvention of the literary horror story….it left me eager to read more.”
    Chicago Review of Books

    Radical: A Life of My Own - Guo, Xialou

    Xialou Guo, Radical: A Life of My Own
    (Grove Press)

    “A wild, passionate, gorgeous book, wandering the borders of language and desire; walking cities and remembering the ghosts of past landscapes. Xiaolu Guo’s books always open up new connections and curiosities for me. She is certainly among my favourite contemporary writers.”
    –Aysegül Savas

    The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts - Grush, Loren

    Loren Gush, The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts

    “Creates] an intimacy that makes [each astronaut] utterly memorable….Grush makes it thrillingly clear: These six women rose far above such misogyny, smashing our planet’s highest ceilings as they soared.”

    To Build a Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care - Harris, Christopher Paul

    Christopher Paul Harris, To Build a Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care
    (Princeton University Press)

    To Build a Black Future is a loving and principled exploration of Black living, Black thought, and Black struggle. Everyone from beginners and active students to longtime scholars of Black liberation will find valuable and timely lessons in this book. I look forward to grappling with Harris’s ideas alongside my students and comrades in years to come.”
    –Charlene A. Carruthers

    The Student: A Short History - Roth, Michael S.

    Michael S. Roth, The Student: A Short History
    (Yale University Press)

    “As author and Wesleyan President Michael Roth makes abundantly clear in this lyrical reflection, every great prof is a perpetual student and often the actual student is the best teacher. Whether discussing Confucius or W. E. B. Du Bois, Roth never loses sight of the ideals of growth, curiosity, attention—and even the power of passionate confusion—as the beating heart of learning. This is a welcome antidote to the hyperbolic critiques of youth in the mass media. ”
    –Cathy N. Davidson

  • 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.