feb-2015-books

February’s on us now, and the notable books due out this month are a wide-ranging group. There’s surreal fiction, including the first new collection from Kelly Link in several years; memoirs by two key figures in New York City’s music scene; astute takes on politics and literature from a writer who’s called cities on three continents home; and much more.

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Get in Trouble, Kelly Link
(February 3, Random House)

Us saying anything short of how Kelly Link is probably the best and most unique short story writer in America would be wrong. The one author we can think of who hits that sweet spot directly between fantasy/horror and literary fiction continues her streak of great collections. -Jason Diamond

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Father Brother Keeper, Nathan Poole
(February 17, Sarabande Books)

As the title suggests, the stories in this collection from Nathan Poole often deal with families. Sometimes, that comes via generation-spanning legacies; in others, it emerges out of betrayals and acts of steady violence. It’s a memorable take, and one that revitalizes several familiar themes. -Tobias Carroll

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The Boatmaker, John Benditt
(February 10, Tin House)

John Benditt’s debut novel begins in the realm of the archetypal, gradually revealing more and more of its setting, and putting its dream-inspired protagonist on course to intercept with political intrigue and fanaticism. -Tobias Carroll

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My Documents, Alejandro Zambra
(February 10, McSweeneys)

Alejandro Zambra’s short novels have (rightly) earned him a great deal of praise. This, his first collection, finds him exploring shorter forms with a similar freedom and genre-defying aplomb. -Tobias Carroll

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After Birth, Elisa Albert
(February 17, Houghton Mifflin)

Elisa Albert’s novel, set roughly a year after its narrator has given birth to a son, is both a bleakly angry take on family life and an observant take on college-town intellectuals. But to call it a campus novel, or a novel of parenting, or a comedy of manners, would be to shortchange the way in which this novel is told, which is quietly revelatory and never less than compelling. -Tobias Carroll

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The Infernal, Mark Doten
(February 17, Graywolf)

When examining recent history, sometimes a shift into the surreal is necessary. Mark Doten’s novel about wars real and metaphoric in the century so far takes a swerve into the nightmarish. -Tobias Carroll

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Find Me, Laura van den Berg
(February 17, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Laura van den Berg, one of America’s premiere short story writers, gives us her debut novel. We guess you could call it a dystopian novel, but that’s really not the entire picture. It does feature something that looks like a plague, a sickness that the protagonist is immune to; but it’s so much more than that. -Jason Diamond

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Going Into the City, Robert Christgau
(February 24, Dey Street)

Though Robert Christgau may be best-known for redefining “succinct” in his Consumer Guide reviews, his longer work shouldn’t be overlooked–and this memoir looks deeply promising. -Tobias Carroll

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Girl In A Band, Kim Gordon
(February 24, Dey Street)

I’m not really sure this needs any more endorsement than the following four words: It’s Kim Gordon’s memoir. Are you excited? We’re excited. -Tobias Carroll

hamid-discontent

Discontent and its Civilizations, Mohsin Hamid
(February 24, Riverhead)

Whether writing about global politics or theories of narrative, Mohsin Hamid is that rare writer who’s comfortable in both worlds. This collection of over a decade’s worth of his nonfiction is essential, expansive reading. –Tobias Carroll

von_sconwerth-turnip

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
(February 24, Penguin Classics)

Some of today’s best contemporary writers have drawn inspiration from fairly tales, and for good reason: they can be surreal, compelling, and tap into something primal. This book collects stories gathered in Germany in the mid-19th century, and is only now being translated into English. Maybe you’ll find something here that resonates–or discover the inspiration for a story of your own. -Tobias Carroll

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