Flavorpill’s Fall Book Preview By Category

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Labor Day may have marked the unofficial end of summer, but last week’s long weekend also marked the beginning of the publishing world’s fall book rush. With dozens of new titles hitting shelves in the months leading up to December’s holiday shopping spree, this is the season to celebrate books across all categories. Our highlights for fall’s upcoming releases are spread out across a variety of genres, assuring ample reading options for every literary preference.

SHORT STORIES

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris

David Sedaris turns his dry wit to the animal kingdom with a collection of tales that feature his characteristic brand of situational humor and observational absurdism. Species be damned.Release Date: September 28

Selected Stories by William Trevor

In his half-century-long writing career, William Trevor has amassed three Whitbread and four O. Henry Prize wins, along with five Booker nominations and numerous other accolades. This selection combines his best short stories into one perfectly edited volume.Release Date: November 4

Life Times: Stories, 1952-2007 by Nadine Gordimer

From epic stories such as “Something’s Out There” to later, more experimental works, Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer’s prolific career is beautifully condensed into this seminal collection of her best short fiction.Release Date: November 9

BUZZED NEW FICTION

To the End of the Land by David Grossman

Although Nicole Krauss’ effusive praise for David Grossman’s To the End of the Land may have overshadowed the book itself, the novel’s powerful lamentation of anticipation and loss deservedly demands attention.Release Date: September 21

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham

The topsy-turvy drama of New York’s art world sets the backdrop of this nuanced novel about roads not taken and the lingering, at times delusional desires that compel creativity.Release Date: September 28

Great House by Nicole Krauss

As with her previous novel The History of Love, Nicole Krauss’ Great House deftly weaves multiple character-driven stories (four to be exact, divided across eight chapters) through shared themes — and, in this case, a massive, migrating writing desk.Release Date: October 12

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

Taking a break from his usual post-modern playfulness, Paul Auster delivers an expansive narrative about Brooklyn squatters living out a less-than-romantic La Boheme-like existence in Sunset Park.Release Date: November 9

LIT-MEETS-GENRE FICTION

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas

A fitting tribute to both high-brow and low-brow artistry, Scarlett Thomas’s Our Tragic Universe is a thoughtful, incisive story about a genre fiction ghostwriter agonizing over her “real novel” and the disjointed world around her.Release Date: September 1

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

A time travel repairman accidentally kills his future self in this playfully mind-bending debut novel from National Book Foundation 5 Under 35–winner Charles Yu. The result is equal parts Italo Calvino and H.G. Wells.Release Date: September 7

Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez

Psychologically provocative, energetically gripping, and existentially haunting, Sigred Nunez’s Salvation City is a welcome contribution to the growing canon of literary apocalyptic fiction.Release Date: September 16

ONGOING SERIES AND STORIES

Nemesis by Philip Roth

The fourth in Philip Roth’s recent cycle of succinct, downtrodden novels — including Everyman, Indignation, and The HumblingNemesis chronicles the guilt-ridden spiraling of Bucky Cantor’s life in mid-century New Jersey.Release Date: October 5

X’ed Out by Charles Burns

The first chapter in what will surely unfold as an absorbing saga, Charles Burns’ X’ed Out blurs the boundaries between reality and delusion in a familiar world that nonetheless remains beyond full comprehension.Release Date: October 19

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

A sequel-like follow-up to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life follows the adventures of Luka (Haroun’s younger brother) as he tries to rescue his father with the help of an ill-meaning shade and a cast of fantastical creatures.Release Date: November 16

RETOLD CLASSICS

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert; translated: Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis’ new translation of Madame Bovary is an invigorating linguistic makeover of Flaubert’s salacious tribute to suburban ennui. Even Playboy honors Emma Bovary’s enduring sex appeal with an excerpt of the new book in its September issue.Release Date: September 23

by Boris Pasternak; translated: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) Award-winning husband-and-wife translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky — who have worked on everyone from Tolstoy to Dostoevsky — fulfill their greatest challenge yet with a new translation of Boris Pasternak’s classic story.Release Date: October 19

Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick

Cynthia Ozick retells Henry James’ masterful The Ambassadors from an inverted angle — same plot, reversed meaning — in her ambitious sixth novel, Foreign Bodies.Release Date: November 1

NOTEWORTHY NONFICTION

Half Empty by David Rakoff

GQ, New York Times Magazine, and This American Life writer David Raskoff offers a hilariously sardonic deconstruction of modern life in his essay collection Half Empty.Release Date: September 21

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

Though practically synonymous with the moon in its remoteness, Siberia is actually a far-flung world full of grim, but engrossing life. Ian Frazier’s expansive narrative explores the history and contemporary terrain of this distant landscape.Release Date: October 12

The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief by V.S. Naipaul

British-Trinidadian Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul explores belief throughout the African continent in his latest travelogue-cum-observational meditation on spirituality and magic.Release Date: October 19

OFFBEAT BIOGRAPHIES

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain

In honor of the centenary of Mark Twain’s death, this uncensored publication features the free-ranging, oft-unwieldy life story of one of America’s most iconic authors, as told in his own peripatetic words.Release Date: November 15

The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Gunter Grass

Adopting the perspectives of his eight children, German Nobel laureate Gunter Grass tells his life as a father through the partly fictionalized memories, grievances, and rivalries of his offspring.Release Date: November 10

My Prizes: An Accounting by Thomas Bernhard

The behind-the-scenes bustle surrounding literary prizes gets a fascinating probe in the seemingly farcical accounts of Austrian author Thomas Bernhard’s own prestigious accolades.Release Date: November 23

POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATIONS

The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramago

Certainly less incendiary than some of his other fiction, the late Portuguese novelist and Nobel Prize winner’s final book chronicles the trans-continental adventures of a pachyderm-turned-wedding gift in Reformation and civil war-torn 16th century Europe.Release Date: September 8

by Jim Carroll The final work of poet, musician, and cult New York artiste Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo is the haunting story of a celebrated artist who suffers an emotional breakdown as he searches for meaning in his own work and life.Release Date: November 4