This month is marked by writers sending dispatches from the margins and the mainstream. Whether tracing characters in a futuristic dystopia or following them into the unexplored past, whether it’s a Mediterranean murder mystery or a frank look at today’s Ivy League graduates or low-wage workers, a slice of the breadth of our world can be found in these ten selections.
Endgame, Ahmet Altan
Thanks to his career as a newspaper columnist, Turkish author Ahmet Altan is currently imprisoned by the Erdoğan regime. But he wears a different, more entertaining hat as a novelist. “Readers looking for a contemplative, twisty thriller will find this one unique and satisfying,” writes Kirkus of Endgame.
The Revolution of the Moon, Andrea Camilleri
My family is obsessed with Camilleri’s detective novels. Here he resurrects a character from history: Donna Eleonora di Moura, the short-lived female viceroy of Sicily in the 17th century, “a woman whose courage and political vision is tested at every step by misogyny and reactionary conservatism.” Seems… relevant.
Exes, Max Winter
A debut “novel in fragments” that explores the complex nature of grief after a suicide. Ramona Ausobel’s blurb promises “a hot-heeled tango dance of desperation and humor, fight and grace.”
Too Much and Not in the Mood, Durga Chew-Bose
Chew-Bose is one of Tumblr’s favorite essayists; here, her thoughts are collected in an homage to such notable female essayists as Virginia Woolf, Maggie Nelson and Vivian Gornick. It arrives with a Lena Dunham endorsement, no less.
Marlena, Julie Buntin
Ever since Ferrante Fever hit these shores, books about female friendship are associated with that writer’s style. This one, however, is supposed to be really Ferrante-esque. A bookseller friend of mine who read an early copy raved about it on Facebook as “riveting” and “hypnotic” and since then it’s been high atop my must-read list.
Post Grad: Five Women and Their First Year Out of College, Caroline Kitchener
A look at one of the toughest years of an educationally advantaged woman’s existence: the first one out in the “real world.” This book, which traces five very different women after Princeton, has earned early praise from Melissa Harris-Perry, Jessica Valenti and Anne-Marie Slaughter.
Sympathy, Olivia Sudjic
This debut novel takes the internet and its discontents as its subject through the story of a virtual obsession turned IRL. “Sudjic’s story is disjointed, alluring, disorienting, and provoking, touching on many contemporary concerns arising from the pervasiveness of social media,” writes Publishers Weekly.
What it Means When a Man Falls From The Sky, Lesley Nneka Arimah
Lesley Nneka Arimah’s debut collection is another one that’s been passed around eagerly by my friends lucky enough to have received a galley. The title story, which looks at a futuristic world where mathematicians manage emotions, is chilling.
Body Horror: Essays on Misogyny, Capitalism, Fear and, Jokes, Anne Elizabeth Moore
Moore is a writer and artist who has inquired into everything from the disturbing origins of the clothes we wear to the food we eat; she casts the proverbial unflinching eye onto the way that our consumerist society intersects with gender and identity in this new volume.
At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces, Mary Collins and Donald Collins
A joint memoir from a trans son and mother, whose voices lovingly retrace their conflict around the former’s transition — and offer a “road map” that can help other families experiencing the same thing.