From surreal and disquieting fiction to insightful and disarming essays, many of the books we’re most excited about in September are ones we’ve been waiting to see for a long time. Some are the first books by writers whose work we’ve enjoyed for a while; others collect short fiction from people whose longer-form work has already impressed us. Either way, there are a lot of captivating books due out this September; here are some of the books that have gotten our attention.
Letters From Dinosaurs, Leland Cheuk
(September 2, Thought Catalog Books)
We’re big admirers of Leland Cheuk’s fiction, which blends innovative forms with psychological acuity; we published one of his stories earlier this year, in fact. And you cn find that story, along with many others, in his new collection, the memorably-titled Letters From Dinosaurs.
The Story of a Brief Marriage, Anuk Arudpragasam
(September 6, Flatiron Books)
Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel has garnered advance praise from the likes of Garth Greenwell. It’s set against the backdrop of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and focuses on an unlikely marriage (hence the title) taking place even as chaos and violence loom in the background.
Stephen King’s The Body, Aaron Burch
(September 6, Ig Publishing)
Stephen King’s novella The Body is one that’s had a substantial influence on many a writer, both on its own and via its film adaptation, Stand By Me. (We looked into that earlier this week, in fact.) Here, Aaron Burch examines the book’s influence on his own life and work.
The Revolutionaries Try Again, Mauro Javier Cardenas
(September 6, Coffee House Press)
We’re always up for a good novel of intellectuals and politics; The Revolutionaries Try Again, about three friends during Ecuador’s period of economic austerity, seems to fit that bill to a T.
Calamities, Renee Gladman
(September 6, Wave Books)
Renee Gladman’s fiction defies easy categorization; her trio of novels set in the fictional state of Ravicka delve into both the dislocation of travel and headier metaphysical concerns. Here, Gladman turns her eye to the essay, focusing on questions of bodies and time.
Against Everything, Mark Greif
(September 6, Pantheon)
Mark Greif’s previous book, the sprawling intellectual history The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America 1933-1973, was a massively thought-provoking read; we talked with him about it last year. This year brings with it a collection of his shorter nonfiction, much of which first appeared in n+1.
IRL, Tommy Pico
(September 8, Birds LLC)
There are plenty of reasons to recommend IRL, the first full-length book of poetry from Tommy Pico. It’s deeply moving in places; it has the ability to leap between emotional intimacy and larger contexts; and it gives a fantastic sense of its author’s mind. But it’s also a thrilling read, propulsive and breathtaking and deft in its use of language. Pico’s second book, Nature Poem, is due out next year from Tin House. We can’t wait.
A Tree or a Person or a Wall, Matt Bell
(September 13, Soho Press)
We’ve enjoyed Matt Bell’s fiction for a long time, and it’s been a joy to see him release two novels as stylistically varied as Scrapper and In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods. For those who enjoy boldly stylish short fiction, this collection of his shorter work offers plenty of opportunities to be floored.
Everywhere I Look, Helen Garner
(September 13, Text Publishing)
Helen Garner’s acclaimed essay collection Everywhere I Look focuses on everything from aging and questions of family to the author’s experience watching the films of Russell Crowe. Already well-received on its release in Australia, this book is now making its way to the U.S., where readers here can experience it for ourselves.
Intimations, Alexandra Kleeman
(September 13, Harper)
Did you enjoy Alexandra Kleeman’s acclaimed, disquieting novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine? Would you, perhaps, like to explore the author’s work in the short story form? Well then: Intimations may well be the book you’ve been waiting for.
The Wonder, Emma Donoghue
(September 20, Little Brown and Company)
Emma Donoghue’s fiction takes the familiar and turns it on his head; here, the subject of her latest novel is the investigation of a potential miracle in a small village in Ireland, and the dynamic interactions between characters that results.
The Warren, Brian Evenson
(September 20, Tor.com)
Brian Evenson’s fiction often turns questions of identity and humanity into harrowing, frequently horrific works. In this new novella, he takes the reader into the life of a character making his way through a shattered landscape, attempting to understand just who and what he is.
The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride
(September 20, Hogarth)
Eimear McBride’s first novel, the justly celebrated A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, was one of the most searing works of fiction we’ve read in a long time. Her follow-up to it is the story of a relationship between a student and an actor in London.
Novi Sad, Jeff Jackson
(September 21, Kiddiepunk)
Jeff Jackson’s first novel, Mira Corpora, was an unsettling and haunting read, following its protagonist through a series of surreal landscapes as he searches for human connection and a kind of family. This new novella ups the surrealism even more, focusing on a group of people waiting for the world to end in a deserted hotel.
Harbors, Donald Quist
(September 22, Awst Press)
Earlier this year, we published an essay from Donald Quist; now, Quist’s debut essay collection is entering the world. His work is emotionally honest, often unpredictable, and deeply insightful, and we’re happy to see that more readers will be able to experience said writings for themselves.
Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: New York City’s Forgotten Waterfront, Elizabeth Albert, editor
(September 27, Damiani Editions)
We’re great admirers of the work done by the people at Underwater New York, and an abundance of writings can be found in this new book, along with historical texts and visually striking images of the coastlines of the city. In other words: a book that offers great prose along with impressive visuals.
Late Stories, Stephen Dixon
(September 27, Curbside Splendor)
Stephen Dixon’s unpredictable, often haunting fiction has given him no shortage of high-profile admirers. His latest book, Late Stories, is a collection of linked short stories that delve deeply into bleak emotional territory and explore the nature of grief.