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    For the cold and short days ahead, check out these 24 hot new books published today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    November 14, 2023, 5:00am

    It’s the middle of November, which means that, for many of us, the days are a not-quite-enviable blend of colder and shorter (why we still use Daylight Savings Time is a mystery I’ll save for elsewhere). But never fear, there’s a bit of brightness ahead: a whole slew of exciting new books to light up your days. Below, you’ll find a new novel from Michael Cunningham, Alan Garner’s Booker-shortlisted novel, new biographies of Willa Cather and Einstein, an exploration of the much-discussed idea of the art monster in the context of feminist art, a cultural history of eyeliner, astonishing poetry collections, and much, much more. I hope you’ll find something below to curl up with somewhere warm and well-lit.


    Day - Cunningham, Michael

    Michael Cunningham, Day
    (Random House)

    “Along with George Eliot, Michael Cunningham belongs in that rare group of novelists who hold the world close, with apparently infinite respect, compassion, and tenderness, all while describing…its inhabitants unsparingly. Day is a portrait of the life of a family, preceding, during, and immediately after the pandemic, rendered in fragments, almost as if assembling forensic evidence, not of a crime but of quiet tragedies and quiet, heroic endurance. There’s deep recognition here, bordering on revelation.”
    –Tony Kushner

    The Book of Ayn - Freiman, Lexi

    Lexi Freiman, The Book of Ayn

    “I had the rare experience while reading The Book of Ayn of slowly realizing I had stumbled on something so good that it was changing my taste. So funny, so clever, so alive to the absurdity of contemporary life without reverting to the boring cynicism that would be so easy. I loved it.”
    –Megan Nolan

    Wrong Way - McNeil, Joanne

    Joanne McNeil, Wrong Way
    (MCD X FSG Originals)

    “A Ballardian tale of pristine corporate campuses and aspirational product marketing, Wrong Way reveals to us the very human cost of the AI future we’ve already been sold and makes us question how many lies and absurdities we’re willing to accept in order to try to feel like we belong here. Subtle and beautiful, Joanne McNeil’s masterful debut is a powerful example of what the contemporary novel can and should be in our endlessly perplexing times.”
    –Tim Maughan

    Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art - Elkin, Lauren

    Lauren Elkin, Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art

    “Elkin’s authority as a cultural critic springs from her signature style of curious questioning. Rather than imposing her conclusions on the reader, she juxtaposes ideas, images, language, in a vivid collage that invites us to look more deeply. Never linear—because life isn’t—but perpetually moving, in both senses of the word.”
    –Jeanette Winterson

    Chasing Bright Medusas: A Life of Willa Cather - Taylor, Benjamin

    Benjamin Taylor, Chasing Bright Medusas: A Life of Willa Cather

    “Taylor provides a remarkably revealing account of the life and creative output of Willa Cather…Taylor’s connection of Cather’s personal life and her literary inventions is consistently astute, and the exuberant force of her imagination emerges vividly…the author presents a rewarding and perceptive portrait, providing a valuable assessment of Cather’s intriguing character and the enduring importance of her oeuvre. Keen, insightful commentary on a literary master.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Death of a Jaybird: Essays on Mothers and Daughters and the Things They Leave Behind - Savage, Jodi M.

    Jodi M. Savage, The Death of a Jaybird: Essays on Mothers and Daughters and the Things They Leave Behind
    (Harper Perennial)

    “In this impassioned and unforgettable collection of essays, Jodi M. Savage explores the joy, beauty, and sadness that fill the lives of three generations of women, some who love too much, and others struggling to love and be loved….Savage’s essays are filled with the hard-earned wit and wisdom of a writer on a revelatory journey that makes us laugh out loud while also moving us to tears. You will read these essays again and again, just to remain a bit longer in Savage’s delightful and healing company.”
    –Edwidge Danticat

    Treacle Walker - Garner, Alan

    Alan Garner, Treacle Walker

    “Creative and highly enjoyable….Somehow breathlessly paced without feeling rushed, this excellent novella features the trademark accents and dialogue found in Garner’s tales throughout his career as well as wondrously evocative descriptions. This Italo Calvino-like feat of imagination is nourishing in the way all great stories are.”

    Happy - Baljeet Basra, Celina

    Celina Baljeet Basra, Happy
    (Astra House)

    “First-time novelist Basra delivers a damning indictment of capitalism, a system that swallows the global poor whole and spits out wasted humans. At the same time, Basra maintains a light touch; the novel wears its burdens with good humor.”

    About Ed - Gluck, Robert

    Robert Glück, About Ed

    “The masterly latest from Glück, whose novel Margery Kempe was reissued by NYRB Classics in 2020, examines sex, death, and literature through the story of his friend’s death from AIDS….Based on 20 years of notes…Glück’s novel is as philosophical and theory-leaning as one would expect…while…offering carnivalesque carnality, piercing humor, keen social observation, and a humane, earthy sensibility. This is a revelation.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Snakedoctor - Manning, Maurice

    Maurice Manning, Snakedoctor
    (Copper Canyon Press)

    “Manning is at his best in quiet moments of stunning lyricism….There is a deep reverence for the ancestral spirit of the land, as if Kentucky’s rich hills and flowing streams were a part of its residents’ DNA. Manning’s verse resonates with the plaintive loneliness of his rural landscapes and the divine presence that alleviates that loneliness, be it God, one’s forebears, or poetry.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Crystal Text - Coolidge, Clark

    Clark Coolidge, The Crystal Text
    (City Lights Books)

    The Crystal Text is at once a philosophical poem in the lineage of Lucretius and a word-jazz excursion in the spirit of Monk and Lacy. Here, the poet’s stylus becomes a drumstick that patterns a nonlinear logic of fleeting reflections, performing cymbal-clash as symbol-crash. The result is a unified field theory of music, thought, and poetry. The reissue of Coolidge’s long out-of-print masterpiece deserves a standing ovation.”
    –Andrew Joron

    Up Late: Poems - Laird, Nick

    Nick Laird, Up Late: Poems

    Up Late is an incredible book. It finds a music for our moment—its fragilities and terrors, it sets restlessness to a rhythm. It finds a new kind of irony, one that confronts our endless gallop into a mechanical, artificial, made-up idea of future, and asks instead why are we here in the first place, asks so without patronizing, almost without irony itself. There is an honesty in the tone of this book that stays in mind days after the last page is turned.”
    –Ilya Kaminsky

    Einstein in Time and Space: A Life in 99 Particles - Graydon, Samuel

    Samuel Graydon, Einstein in Time and Space: A Life in 99 Particles

    “Albert Einstein’s life was as multifaceted and challenging as the universe he described. The best way to appreciate it is to break the story down into small pieces, a job that Samuel Graydon has done brilliantly. This book provides us with a uniquely compelling look at the human side of one of the greatest thinkers of all time.”
    –Sean Carroll

    Eyeliner: A Cultural History - Hankir, Zahra

    Zahra Hankir, Eyeliner: A Cultural History
    (Penguin Books)

    “Fascinating . . . The book travels around the world and through time, documenting the use of eyeliner in religious settings, in social settings, cultural customs around it, and much more. [Hankir] blends memoir and anecdote with research and reportage, historical examination, and cultural/societal commentary to create an absorbing and engaging read.”
    Book Riot

    The Manuscripts Club: The People Behind a Thousand Years of Medieval Manuscripts - de Hamel, Christopher

    Christopher de Hamel, The Manuscripts Club: The People Behind a Thousand Years of Medieval Manuscripts
    (Penguin Press)

    “Continuously intriguing and surprisingly lively…lavishly illustrated and unfailingly engaging. It is a love letter to collectors across nearly 10 centuries, written by an expert, imbued with passion for his subject….Once readers look inside, they will be hooked. In every respect, this title is a winner.”
    Library Journal

    The New Naturals - Bump, Gabriel

    Gabriel Bump, The New Naturals

    The New Naturals is a tragicomedy for our times, exploring that age-old question of how to connect with our fellow human beings and build community, even as the world makes increasingly less sense. A tour-de-force, full of heart and asking the big questions about life and the mind.”
    –Kaitlyn Greenidge

    So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men - Keegan, Claire

    Claire Keegan, So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men
    (Grove Press)

    “A master class in precisely crafted short fiction….Keegan’s trenchantobservations explode like bombshells, bringing menace and retribution to tales of romancedelayed, denied, and even deadly.”

    Stockholm - Yedlin, Noa

    Noa Yedlin, Stockholm

    “A deviously clever black comedy … Yedlin puts her characters through the wringer with the nonstop confrontations, which are distressing to them and hilarious to the reader. At the same time, she uses the slapstick situation to ask probing questions about the nature of friendship and mortality. Readers will be amused by this literary variation on Weekend at Bernie’s.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Naked in the Rideshare: Stories of Gross Miscalculations - Shaw, Rebecca

    Rebecca Shaw, Ben Kronengold, Naked in the Rideshare: Stories of Gross Miscalculations
    (William Morrow)

    “Comedy gold. An entertainingly zany collection of sketches poking fun at the foibles of contemporary life at every age.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades - Renner, Rebecca

    Rebecca Renner, Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades
    (Flatiron Books)

    “An astounding story about an alligator-poaching operation in the Florida Everglades. [Renner] probes the nature of crime and human character, while also mining the far-reaching consequences of what it truly takes to survive—in the wild and in society…. Her propulsive narrative reads as suspensefully as a well-wrought mystery novel as she uncovers an exciting true story rife with shocking twists and turns that will educate, enlighten, and enthrall her audience.”
    Shelf Awareness

    The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are - Trotter, Tariq

    Tariq Trotter, The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are
    (One World)

    “One of hip-hop’s greatest MCs, unpacking his harrowing, remarkable journey in his own words, with enough insights for two lifetimes.”
    –Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Blood on Their Hands: Murder, Corruption, and the Fall of the Murdaugh Dynasty - Matney, Mandy

    Mandy Matney, Carolyn Murnick, Blood on Their Hands: Murder, Corruption, and the Fall of the Murdaugh Dynasty
    (William Morrow)

    “[Matney and Murnick] write with the unshowy momentum of the best investigative reporting. The result is both an engrossing true crime saga and a galvanizing ode to boots-on-the-ground journalism.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Other Minds and Other Stories - Sims, Bennett

    Bennett Sims, Other Minds and Other Stories
    (Two Dollar Stories)

    “[Bennett Sims] draws on academia, art, and technology for a superb collection about identity and memory….Throughout, Sims boldly plays with form, such as in ‘Introduction to the Reading of Hegel,’ which consists of one paragraph that extends for nearly 30 pages and chronicles an adjunct professor’s self-sabotage….Here and elsewhere, the prose is shot through with pitch-perfect observations and dark undercurrents….These brilliant stories are hard to shake.”
    Publishers Weekly

    American Precariat: Parables of Exclusion - Caligiuri, Zeke

    Zeke Caligiuri, American Precariat: Parables of Exclusion
    (Coffee House Press)

    “Here are some of our most vital storytellers, talking about justice, violence, home and punishment, their work chosen by writers who’ve learned the true cost of these values in their own lives. American Precariat is a thrilling new model for how to open up a space in which to talk about the America that actually is, not the one of dreams. I am in awe of what they have assembled. This heart-sickening and yet hopeful-making book should be required reading everywhere.”
    –John Freeman

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