22 new books to watch this week. ‹ Literary Center


April 19, 2022, 4:55 a.m.

Some people live for the weekend; others live for Tuesday, when the shelves are flooded with glorious new books.


Janelle Monae_The Librarian of Memory

Janelle Monae, The Librarian of Memory
(Harper Voyager)

“In five satisfying short stories, singer Monáe and her five collaborators paint a picture of a technocapitalist dystopia ruled by an organization that monitors the memories of its people… searing, hopeful, and richly written.”
-List of books

Tajja Isen, Some of my best friends

Tajja Isen, Some of my best friends

“…this book shows an invigorating willingness to tackle sensitive issues that others often sweep under the rug… Fresh, intelligent critiques of popular North American ideas about race and gender.”
List of books

Tove Ditlevsen, tr.  Michael Favala Goldman, The Problem of Happiness: and Other Stories

Tove Ditlevsen, tr. Michael Favala Goldman, The problem of happiness

“Silent and devastating. . . The stories are simple; ordinary and immensely human characters. Their motivations are mysterious and subtle, and Ditlevsen is extremely sensitive to how normal life can wear on their hearts.
–Publisher Weekly

Louisa Lim_Indelible City

Louise Lim, indelible city

“Lim’s unique story about Hong Kong is an unmissable epic…From page one, the importance of language and the voices of Hong Kongers are central themes.”
-List of books

Kris Manjapra_Dark Ghosts of the Empire

Kris Manjapra, Dark Ghosts of the Empire

“A contribution worthy of the controversial discussions on how to compensate for past and present crimes.”

Happy for you

Claire Stanford, Happy for you

“If you enjoyed Fake accounts by Lauren Oyler, read Happy for you by Claire Stanford… [A] eye-catching addition to the office novel canon.
–The Washington Post

Adrienne Celt, House at the end of the world

Adrienne Celtic, House at the end of the world
(Simon & Schuster)

“Exhilarating… This book about love, friendship and the cruel nature of time is catnip for fans of Groundhog Day and Rumaan Alam leave the world behind.”
–The Millions

dana levin_now do you know where you are

Dana Levin, Do you know now where you are
(Copper Canyon Press)

“…seems to me like a message from an old friend who emerged giddy from a punitive fit of writer’s block…Levin freely shares the doubts, false starts, and dead ends of his return to poetry in this unsupervised literary experiment.”
–The New York Times book review

lawrence jackson_shelter

Lawrence Jackson, Shelter: A Black Tale of Homeland, Baltimore
(Graywolf Press)

“Writing about bus drivers, the author presents the brilliant embodiment of geography that will bring this book to life for non-Baltimoreans…countless passages of sparkling prose.”

Red Street_Shuang Xuetao

Shuang Xuetao, tr. Jeremy Tiang, Red Street
(Metropolitan Books)

“Shuang makes his English language debut with three beautifully spared novels exploring present-day northeast China and the footprints of the past.”
–Publisher Weekly

Nell McShane Wulfhart, The Great Hostess Rebellion
(double day)

“…offers insightful profiles of two women who successfully waged these campaigns against seemingly impossible odds…It’s a telling chapter in the history of feminism and women’s rights.”
-List of books

The story of a sister, Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Donatella Di Pietrantonio, tr. Anne Goldstein, A sister’s story

“A lyrical and compelling exploration of the bond between sisters forms the basis of this translated novel, A sister’s storyby Donatella Di Pietrantonio.

Ben Shattuck, Six walks: in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau
(Tin House)

“If you’ve ever been intimidated by hiking memoirs — those that feature semi-rugged, bushy-bearded men equally adept at scaling waterfalls and starting a fire with barely a match in sight — then six walks, by turns gently self-ironic and coyly lyrical, is the book for you.
-The Wall Street Journal

David de Jong, Nazi billionaires

“Much of this has been covered by the German press but is not well known to international audiences. De Jong is thorough in his tracing of professional and personal relationships and sensitive to the complexities of opportunism and collaboration.
-List of books

j time zone

Julie Doucet, J time zone
(printed and quarterly)

“…another intense, electrifying, diary-inspired autobiographical title…his work is unpredictable – it’s rare for comics to be viewed in such an unconventional way.”
–Ray awareness

the red zone

Chloe Caldwell, The red zone: a love story
(Soft skull)

“[Caldwell] cleverly blends the personal and the cultural to confront the ways in which women’s suffering has been rejected throughout history… The result gives a vibrant voice to a struggle that many have learned to quietly shoulder on their own. It’s a bold tribute to women around the world.
–Publisher Weekly

the man who invented cinema_fischer

Paul Fisher, The man who invented cinema
(Simon & Schuster)

“Although Fischer’s ultimate conclusion about the circumstances of Le Prince’s death remains speculative, he offers and defends a plausible version of events that convincingly relies on existing historical evidence. A compelling, informative, and skillfully articulated account of one of cinematic history’s forgotten figures.

the age of the strongman

Gideon Rachman, The age of the strong man
(Other Press)

“Rachman’s book was completed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine; but his analysis is so powerful that it almost predicts Putin’s next move, made inevitable by his own retro-imperialist rhetoric.
-The Scotsman

D.Nurkse, A land of strangers

“What a joy to have this insight into the wonderful poems of D. Nurkse – he is a master of the lyrical mode.”
–Ilya Kaminski

Gary Indiana, Fire Season: Selected Essays, 1984-2021

Gary Indiana, fire season
(Seven stories)

“Few writers are as sensitive to absurdity or write with such a sharp pen as Gary Indiana, whose new collection of essays, fire seasonspans nearly forty years of stellar reviews.

mischievous women

Joan DeJean, Mutinous women
(Basic books)

“By discovering these poor women of the colonial past, Mutinous women conveys a fascinating story and serves as a reminder that all kinds of people helped build what has become the United States.
-The Wall Street Journal

the lonely stories

Natalie Eve Garrett The lonely stories

“[A] a richly diverse set of writers remember the impact of times of loneliness on their lives… A captivating, moving and cathartic collection.

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