There’s a lot to look forward to this fall—at least in the world of books. To begin with: a new Elena Ferrante! The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, Sept. 1) introduces another teenage girl from Naples, but Giovanna lives in a more privileged neighborhood than Elena and Lila of the earlier series. Marilynne Robinson has a new novel, Jack (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 29), which returns to the world she created in Gilead. After her sensational debut, Homegoing, which followed a family for seven generations, Yaa Gyasi dives deep into the life of one woman in Transcendent Kingdom (Knopf, Sept. 1).
Two National Book Award winners return with their first novels since winning the prize: Sigrid Nunez with What Are You Going Through (Riverhead, Sept. 8) and Phil Klay with Missionaries (Penguin Press, Oct. 6). There’s a new Tana French, The Searcher (Viking, Oct. 6), which finds a retired Chicago cop moving to Ireland—and discovering, of course, that he hasn’t left crime-solving behind. Something strange is happening in Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind (Ecco, Oct. 6), and if you haven’t figured it out before you finish reading, you’ll get a second chance when it comes to Netflix as a movie starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.
The narrator of Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies (Little, Brown, Sept. 15) is a man named Ayad Akhtar who, like the author, is a playwright. Our review calls it “a profound and provocative inquiry into an artist’s complex American identity.” Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia (Graywolf, Sept. 8) tells the story of a young woman living in a refugee camp in Sudan.
Last year, Bryan Washington made a splash with his debut story collection, Lot, and he hasn’t made us wait long for his first novel, Memorial (Riverhead, Oct. 27), which our review calls “a subtle and moving exploration of love, family, race, and the long, frustrating search for home.” Susanna Clarke did make us wait for her second novel, Piranesi (Bloomsbury, Sept. 15)—it’s been 16 years since the phenomenal Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell—and our review says it’s “weird and haunting and excellent.”
After conquering the Young Adult shelves with his Eragon fantasy series, Christopher Paolini has turned to science fiction in his first novel for adults, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Tor, Sept. 15). V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Tor, Oct. 6) follows a woman through 300 years of living like a ghost, unremembered by anyone she meets, after making a deal with the devil. Jonathan Lethem’s The Arrest (Ecco, Nov. 10) is a post-apocalyptic road trip starring two former Hollywood writers.
There’s so much exciting fiction coming out this season that we couldn’t fit it all into this special section. Keep a lookout for two excellent books set in hospitals, which couldn’t be more timely. The protagonist of Emma Glass’ Rest and Be Thankful (Bloomsbury, Dec. 1) is a nurse in a London pediatric ward, as is Glass herself, while Ellen Cooney’s One Night Two Souls Went Walking (Coffee House, Nov. 10) follows a chaplain on her rounds during one long night. Don DeLillo has a short, vivid new novel, The Silence (Scribner, Oct. 20), about a couple who survive a plane’s crash landing. Bobbi Ann Mason’s Dear Ann (Harper, Sept. 8) is “a beautifully written homage to the 1960s by a mature writer at the top of her literary power,” according to our review. There are new books by Danielle Evans, Ken Follett, David Leavitt, Sue Miller, Nick Hornby, Jess Walter, and Nick, a prequel to The Great Gatsby by Michael Farris Smith. Happy reading!
Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.