• Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024

    230 Books We’re Looking Forward to Reading This Year

    AND BEYOND

    Joy Williams, Concerning the Future of Souls

    Joy Williams, Concerning the Future of Souls
    Tin House, July 2

    Joy Williams has been ringing the bell of concern over our fate as humans for a while now: she is worried, and this is putting it mildly, about our neutrality over the planet, with how fully we have released responsibility for our actions to our world, to each other. This is clear in each of her published works these days, and I’m sure we will witness this fear and sadness in stories such as these, that concern Azrael, the transporter of souls, as he must go about his job and face Death itself. Hard and harrowing, beautiful and devastating, Joy Williams is always toeing these lines as she too confronts the hard job she has: giving cries of warning, looking Death in the face. She’s the story writer of our time, choosing to shine light on the wreckage and the difficult choices that lay ahead: all we have to do is listen. –JH

    Lauren Aliza Green, The World After Alice

    Lauren Aliza Green, The World After Alice
    Viking, July 2

    Lauren Green is a poet and a debut author (of Forbes 30 Under 30 fame) with a much-heralded title coming this July. The World After Alice is about the death of a girl named Alice and a wedding that takes place twelve years later. Alice’s brother, Benji, is marrying her best friend, Morgan, and the families must come together and confront their rocky and devastating past while attempting to celebrate and seek joy in the union. With betrayals and grief and secrets all threatening to interrupt the wedding weekend, The World After Alice is a juicy and emotional read that surprises as much as it entertains. –JH

    Fernanda Trias, trans. Heather Cleary, Pink Slime

    Fernanda Trias, trans. Heather Cleary, Pink Slime
    Scribner, July 2

    Mentioned in last summer’s New York Times piece on the new wave of Latin American science-fiction, the US debut of this celebrated Uruguayan writer (Charco Press brought The Rooftop out in the UK in 2021) is sure to delight genre readers looking for the far edges of the form. Full of melancholy and anger, it follows one woman’s attempts to survive an increasingly poisonous modern world full of plagues, algae, and corporate food-paste. –DB

    Mateo Askaripour, This Great Hemisphere

    Mateo Askaripour, This Great Hemisphere
    Dutton, July 9

    Askaripour’s speculative epic about a young woman trying to find her brother across an entire hemisphere sounds like something from a 21st Century Jules Verne: Dominant Populations and second-class ‘invisibles’, ambitious politicians, eccentric inventors, palace intrigue, and obvious real-world parallels. If Askaripour’s debut (Black Buck) is any indication, it’s probably got a healthy dose of skewering humor to it, too. –DB

    Yasmin Zaher, The Coin

    Yasmin Zaher, The Coin
    Catapult, July 9

    Basically I was all-in on this one from the moment I heard that a major plot point sees the protagonist, a chic, well-heeled Palestinian woman, drawn into a fake Birkin bag scheme with a homeless swindler in New York. This is a very stylish novel that manages to broach class and statelessness with tact and humor, while also touching on beauty, sex, love and the nature of civilization itself, all from a Palestinian debut novelist. –SR

    Kevin Barry, The Heart in Winter

    Kevin Barry, The Heart in Winter
    Doubleday, July 9

    As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on this site before, I am a proud Kevin Barry completist. Always wild and lyrical, poignant and profane, Barry—who has been racking up awards and apostles at a steady clip these past fifteen years—has written three novels and three short story collections, and there genuinely isn’t a dud in the bunch. His latest, and first set in the New World, is a western (!) about a pair of young lovers—a degenerate Irish poet and the new bride of an extremely devout mine captain—in flight from a posse of “deranged Cornish gunmen” in 1890s Montana and Idaho. Just hook it to my veins. –DS

    Laura Van Den Berg, State of Paradise
    FSG, July 9

    How Laura Van Den Berg has managed to write so many superb, eerie, thought-provoking works of literary fiction before the age of 40 I will never know (her haunted, Havana-set meditation on sorrow and longing, The Third Hotel, is a particular favorite of mine). Her sixth book, billed as a “fun house of uncanniness hidden in Florida’s underbelly,” is the story of a ghostwriter for a famous thriller author who returns to the South Florida town of her childhood, where she must reckon with her mother’s burgeoning cult, her mercurial sister’s growing obsession with a virtual reality device, a spate of missing persons, and the buried memories of her own troubled youth. –DS

    Emily Van Duyne, Loving Sylvia Plath

    Emily Van Duyne, Loving Sylvia Plath: A Reclamation
    W.W. Norton, July 9

    A “radical” new reading of Plath’s life and legacy from Plath scholar, superfan, and Literary Hub contributor Emily Van Duyne, which examines the many myths surrounding the poet before taking them apart, wiping off the grime, and reconstructing a new vision of Plath for the future. –ET

    Paolo Bacigalupi, Navola

    Paolo Bacigalupi, Navola
    Knopf, July 9

    Paolo came up in YA and is set to release a wide-ranging fantasy about the families living in Navola, a city-state with a mysterious history. It’s a coming-of-age for Davico di Regulai who “will be expected to take the reins of power from his father and demonstrate his mastery of the games of Navolese diplomacy: knowing who to trust and who to doubt, and how to read what lies hidden behind a smile.” –JM

    Sarah Gerard, Carrie Carolyn Coco
    Zando, July 9

    Femicide is explored in a deeply personal manner by Sarah Gerard, whose friend Carolyn Bush was stabbed to death by her New York City roommate in 2016. Bush was a poet, and her roommate Render was an art handler, and Gerard sets out to understand how it came to murder, looking beyond her friend’s ecosystem to the wider systems at work. –JM

    Aysegul Savas, The Anthropologists

    Ayşegül Savas, The Anthropologists
    Bloomsbury, July 9

    Asya, named for the continent, is a documentarian who likes to spend time watching people in her local park, and is discussing a move with her partner Manu to a foreign city. They are already third-culture kids, and their families back home are aging; the are making a world even as the one of their childhoods disappears. Aysegül Savas previously published the well-received White on White. –JM

    Jesse Katz, The Rent Collectors

    Jesse Katz, The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder, and Redemption in Immigrant LA
    Astra House, July 16

    Teenaged wannabe gangster Giovanni botches a hit, instead killing a newborn child in Los Angeles, and is in turn dragged over the Mexican border to be killed. Only that goes wrong too, and Giovanni sets off to bring the gang to justice. This true story looks at what a death is worth and how a crime can be forgiven. –JM

    Halle Butler, Banal Nightmare

    Halle Butler, Banal Nightmare
    Random House, July 16

    I think we all know something about banal nightmares by now. But Butler’s book, in which a millennial New Yorker winds up back in her Midwestern hometown after a breakup, is unlikely to be banal, though it may be nightmarish—after all, Butler is low-key the voice of a (tired, furious, disappointed, disoriented) generation. I’ll have to read it at arm’s length lest it cut too close to the bone. –ET

    Lev Grossman, The Bright Sword

    Lev Grossman, The Bright Sword
    Viking, July 16

    Lev Grossman has been talking about Arthurian legend since before he finished The Magicians trilogy—and now he’s made good on his obsession, with a story about a knight who arrives at the Round Table to find that the heroes of Camelot have all left or died, so he and the leftovers set out to try and rebuild Camelot in an increasingly unsettled Britain. –DB

    Eugene Lim, Fog & Car
    Coffee House Press, July 16

    Eugene Lim’s debut comes back into print, thanks to the fine folks at Coffee House Press! Fans of Dear Cyborgs and Search History will be delighted to see the genesis of Lim’s searching and curious style, in a novel that follows a couple after their separation who can’t help continue to haunt each other’s lives through strange and surreal occurrences, rendered in strange and surreal prose. –DB 

    Shalom Auslander, Feh
    Riverhead, July 23

    Yiddish for “Yuck,” Feh tells the story of Auslander’s upbringing in Monsey, New York by a dysfunctional Orthodox Jewish family, and recounts “his attempt to exorcize the story he was raised with—before he inflicts it onto his children and/or possibly poisons the relationship of the one woman who loves him.” Featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a Pulitzer-winning poet, Job, Author Schopenhauer, Wolf Blitzer, and the pastor of a now-defunct church in LA, the memoir promises to be as funny and heartfelt as his other books. –EF

    Sarah Manguso, Liars

    Sarah Manguso, Liars
    Random House, July 23

    From the author of Very Cold People and 300 Arguments comes a new novel about making art and also being married and also having children that is being pitched as Days of Abandonment meets Dept of Speculation. Which is a very good pitch. Sign me up, please. –ET

    Dinaw Mengestu, Someone Like Us

    Dinaw Mengestu, Someone Like Us
    Knopf, July 30

    Home from Paris, Mamush visits his Ethiopian family in Washington D.C. the same day his father is found dead in his garage, with few explanations. Mamush’s marriage is fraying and the urge to understand or solve his father’s death and own repressed memories by crossing the country has a bigger meaning. –JM

    Danzy Senna, Colored Television

    Danzy Senna, Colored Television
    Riverhead, July 30

    It’s been an interesting couple of years for the racial-identity-industrial complex, and Danzy Senna’s new novel takes an interesting tack. Abandoning a “mulatto War and Peace” to hustle in Hollywood, meeting a producer who starts her on the “Jackie Robinson of biracial comedies” (these log lines …). Dark humor is promised. –JM

    Helen Phillips, Hum

    Helen Phillips, Hum
    S&S/Marysue Rucci Books, August 6 

    There’s a lot going on in this novel, but trust Helen Phillips to navigate it effortlessly. May and her husband are raising their kids in a near-future city transformed by climate change (imagine your child has never seen a strawberry) and technology (imagine your laptop becoming a person-sized womb). After earning a big payday for undergoing a procedure that makes her face unreadable to surveillance, she splurges on a weekend trip to the Botanical Garden (think Disney World, but with nature), where things take a bad turn. It’s Anxiety Central, but in a good way. –ES

    Sam Sax, Yr Dead
    McSweeney’s, August 6

    Bildungsroman, anyone? Bildungsroman? This lyrical novel in fragments tells the story of a life from the vantage point of the narrator’s final moments. Ezra is a queer, Jewish person carrying out their last act of protest. While they experience their last moments, they also experience their entire life as their memories spill out before them. From diaspora and desire to history and generational trauma, Yr Dead earnestly explores the things that make us human and alive while the story rushes headlong into death. –MC 

    Siân Hughes, Pearl

    Siân Hughes, Pearl
    Knopf, August 6

    Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize but only now being published in the U.S.,  Hughes’s novel is a refraction of the 14th-century poem of the same name, written by the same unknown author as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, who has become known as “the Pearl poet.” All of that grief, loss, love, family, is here transmuted into the story of an English childhood. –ET

    Jo Hamya, The Hypocrite

    Jo Hamya, The Hypocrite
    Pantheon, August 13

    From the author of Three Rooms, a novel set during one staging of a play—which the playwright has written about her novelist father’s fall from grace. Natasha Brown calls it “a story of misunderstanding and failed connection, told with a dreamy, Sofia Coppola-esque quality,” and Chris Power described it as “an acid chamber piece that skewers the father, mother and daughter at its heart without denying them their messy, affecting humanity.” Sounds perfect. –ET

    Fiona McFarlane, Highway Thirteen
    FSG, August 13

    No one in Australia imade it out of the 1990s without being transfixed by the grisly murder of backpackers looking to hitch a ride. McFarlane pegs her short story collection to a moment in 1998 when a man is arrested for serial murders, but complicates matters by writing stories back into the past and into the future to look at how communities make sense of murder, how personal histories are rewritten, and how grisly stories such as these are spread. Always happy to see an Aussie in the mix! McFarlane has been shortlisted for the Stella Prize and won the Dylan Thomas Prize. –JM

    Arianna Rebolini, Better
    Harper, August 13

    The latest book from novelist and essayist Arianna Rebolini (formerly the Books Editor at BuzzFeed News) is a memoir about suicide—the lure of it, despite everything good in her life, and the way that lure snakes through families, especially hers, as well as through our culture. The publisher describes it as “a harrowing intellectual and emotional odyssey marked by remarkable clarity and compassion . . . a tour through the seductive darkness of death and a life-affirming memoir.” Rebolini is a great writer and editor; I’ve no doubt this will be a moving and important book. –ET

    Gayl Jones, The Unicorn Woman

    Gayl Jones, The Unicorn Woman
    Beacon Press, August 20

    After fighting in World War II for the United States and its allies, army veteran Buddy Ray Guy returns to the Southern U.S., where Jim Crow marks him as less-than. His narration takes the reader out of Memphis and Lexington and back to France, where he recalls love affairs, circus barkers, topiary trimmers, and the titular Unicorn Woman. He’s a dreamer, a spiritualist, and has possibly dreamt a way out of his lot. –JM

    Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Survival is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde
    FSG, August 20

    In addition to being one of our great living poets, Gumbs is perhaps our most knowledgeable expert on Audre Lorde’s life and work. This brilliant new biography of Lorde should help provide a deeper understanding of Lorde’s writing and life for those who’ve only encountered the most superficial of her quotes and ideas—particularly around Lorde’s incredible ecological activism and her powerful, driving sense that humanity and the Earth are inextricably entwined. –DB

    Lana Harper, Rise and Divine

    Lana Harper, Rise and Divine
    Berkley, August 20

    I started reading romance in 2023 and Harper’s Witches of Thistle Grove books are simply perfect: one part Hocus Pocus, one part Gilmore Girls, with just enough steaminess to make your pulse pick up. This one looks like a “third-time’s-a-charm” will-they-won’t-they and I’m sure it will be exactly the late-summer escape-read we’ll all need by then. May there be a thousand of these delightful, joy-filled books to come. –DB

    Elif Shafak, There Are Rivers in the Sky
    Knopf, August

    Shafak’s latest is a sweeping, historical novel about three characters whose lives are entwined by the epic of Gilgamesh. Moving from the 19th century to the present, from the River Thames to the River Tigris, this novel is both expansive and tender. Exploring love, memory, healing, and change, There Are Rivers in the Sky is an enthralling novel by the internationally bestselling Elif Shafak. –MC

    Binnie Kirshenbaum, Counting Backwards
    Soho Press, September 3

    Binnie Kirshenbaum novels are sharp, harrowing, and disarmingly funny at the rawest of moments. In her new novel from Soho Press, a woman must reckon with her husband’s dementia and terminal diagnosis of Lewy body dementia. It promises to be a devastating and beautiful read. –EF

    Ali Smith, Gliff
    Pantheon, September 3

    After wrapping up her Seasonal Quartet in typically playful fashion with a fifth book (Companion piece), Smith embarks on yet another boundary-pushing literary excursion—and all we know about this one is that it’s got a companion novel in 2025 called Glyph, and that “gliff” is a Scottish word for a shock or fright. It’s sure to be strange and wondrous. –DB

    Emily C. Hughes, Horror for Weenies: Everything You Need to Know About the Films You’re Too Scared to Watch
    Quirk Books, September 3

    Emily Hughes is the discerning horror reader’s go-to source for the next best scare—her newsletter and monthly new-horror round-ups are truly a gift—and I’m thrilled that her first book is going to be a guide to all of the horror films that I’d rather read a Wikipedia entry for than watch and get nightmares from. Plus I bet it’s going to be funny as hell, too. –DB

    Jamie Quatro, Two-Step Devil
    Grove, September 10

    The first book my now-husband gave me as a gift was Jamie Quatro’s I Want to Show You More. It worked out for him, and for me—I have been a fan of her sexy, indelible prose ever since (read Fire Sermon, if you haven’t) and can’t wait to read more. –ET

    Mariana Enriquez, trans. Megan McDowell, A Sunny Place for Shady People
    Hogarth, September 17

    At this point, Mariana Enriquez needs no introduction (nor does her translator, Megan McDowell) with her ghoulish stories popping up in all the best magazines and her 2021 collection The Dangers of Smoking in Bed a finalist for the International Booker Prize. In the first of two forthcoming books in English, A Sunny Place for Shady People promises more trademark Enriquez stories combining the macabre with explorations of womanhood, parenthood and the lasting legacy of Argentina’s military dictatorships. The second book, Somebody is Walking On Your Grave, sounds like it could be a lot of fun: Enriquez visits cemeteries all over the world and reviews them, in her kooky gothic style. –SR

    Chelsea Bieker, Madwoman
    Little, Brown, September

    Chelsea Bieker is back with another novel about mothers and daughters. This one—which Kimberley King Parson calls a “propulsive, unsparing take on generational violence,” centers on Clove, who has gone to great lengths to make her life—and herself—perfect, in order to erase her terrifying, violent childhood. But when that childhood comes back, in the form of a letter from a California women’s prison, she must finally figure out how to face it. I’m always here for Bieker’s vibrant, darkly funny, and devastating prose, so I’m looking forward to more of it. –ET

    adam haslett
    Adam Haslett, Mothers and Sons
    Little, Brown, Fall

    Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone (shortlisted for a National Book Award in 2017) is one of my favorite novels of the last decade, so I am very excited about Mothers and Sons. Unsurprisingly, the crux of the novel is the estrangement of a gay immigration lawyer from his mother, a relationship that gets thrown into even starker relief by a difficult asylum case. –JD

    sarah moss
    Sarah Moss, My Good Bright Wolf
    FSG, Fall

    In another exciting instance of a novelist publishing their first work of nonfiction (see Lydia Millet’s We Loved It All), Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall and The Fell, is giving us a memoir this fall. Details are still mum, but The Bookseller reports that My Good Bright Wolf is “a memoir about thinking and reading, eating and not eating, about privilege and scarcity, about the relationships that form us and the long tentacles of childhood.” That’s enough for me! –ES  

    Daniel Saldaña París, trans. Christina MacSweeney & Philip K. Zimmerman, Planes Flying Over a Monster
    Catapult, 2024

    A collection of ten essays from one of Mexico’s most talented young writers, each one delving into how the city where he lived at the time affected his life: there are the student years in Madrid, party years in Mexico City, recovery in Montréal and the story of how he grew up in a cult—not a sex cult—near Cuernavaca, each of them shot through with humor and forming a kind of Künstlerroman in their totality. –SR

    Sara Gran, Little Mysteries
    Dreamland Books, 2024

    Sara Gran is one of those writers I’m always turning people onto, and her next book should be a thrill for long-time fans and new arrivals alike: her first short story collection, with eight stories (and a novella!) featuring characters from the Claire DeWitt books as well as what publicity copy promises to be “a new fictional universe.” What that means in Sara Gran’s hands is anybody’s guess—but I bet it won’t be anything like we expect. –DB

    Carol Rifka Brunt, Mary Ann
    Dial, 2024

    Fans of Carol Rifka Brunt’s 2012 debut novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home (a large and vocal group that includes yours truly), will be delighted to learn that Brunt’s second novel will finally hit bookshelves in 2024. The Publishers Marketplace announcement calls it a historical novel “inspired by the life of Mary Ann Bevan, known for many years as ‘the ugliest woman in the world.’” Good things come to those who wait! –ES

    Emily Witt, Health & Safety
    Pantheon, 2024

    New Yorker staff writer Witt’s follow up to Future Sex follows Witt from 2016 (read: Donald Trump’s election) to 2020 (read: George Floyd’s murder), during which time the planet continued to crumble and also she fell in love, finding herself “pining for the same monogamous normy life she once questioned.” As someone who was also in New York, in love, and feeling uncontrollable rage about the end of the world-slash-society during this time, I suspect it will be a bracing read. –ET

    Mark Haber, Lesser Ruins
    Coffee House Press, 2024

    I don’t know much about Haber’s third novel, except for its brief Publishers Marketplace description, which calls it a “frenetic meditation on love, grief, academia, Judaism, and coffee,” but as Lit Hub’s resident Haber stan, we all know that whatever it is, I am anticipating it with (very intellectual, I assure you) glee. –ET






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