What does the month of August have in store for us? In terms of books, the answer is “a lot.” From new works by longtime favorites of ours to unpredictable experimental books to newly translated titles, August has a whole lot to offer. Here’s a look at some of the titles that have caught our attention for the month to come.
City Moon, David Ohle
(August 1, Stalking Horse Press)
David Ohle’s writings frequently veer into the surreal and the visceral–from his cult classic Motorman on through the decades. City Moon revisits writings he did in the 1970s for an underground newspaper, now transformed into a new configuration, and preserving Ohle’s unpredictable prose and dizzying imagery.
If They Come For Us, Fatimah Asghar
(August 7, One World)
In her debut collection, Fatimah Asghar covers topics ranging from the deeply personal to the geopolitical, creating a powerful continuum with which to explore their interconnectedness and their effect on the quotidian. Asghar’s work encompasses a host of artistic disciplines: she’s also the co-creator of the acclaimed web series Brown Girls.
The Reservoir Tapes, Jon McGregor
(August 7, Catapult)
Jon McGregor’s recent novel Reservoir 13 earned him praise from critics and writers on both sides of the Atlantic. His latest novel, The Reservoir Tapes, revisits that earlier novel’s setting, albeit with a decidedly different stylistic approach. Here, the residents of a town share their memories of a vanished girl, revealing her story as well as aspects of their own lives along the way.
The Third Hotel, Laura van den Berg
(August 7, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Laura van den Berg’s new novel, The Third Hotel, covers a thematically sprawling range of subjects, from zombie films to the secret flaws of a marriage to the process of grieving someone who may not be as dead as initially expected. The result is a haunting, ambiguous novel, cerebral and tactile in equal measure.
Feeld, Jos Charles
(August 14, Milkweed Editions)
For linguistic boldness and experimentation, it’s hard to go wrong with the poems found in Jos Charles’s collection Feeld. What emerges is a blend of seemingly archaic language used to explore the nature of gender in new and unpredictable ways–and an absolutely gripping reading experience.
Attention: Dispatches From a Land of Distraction, Joshua Cohen
(August 14, Random House)
While he’s best-known for his thematically bold, frequently stylized fiction, Joshua Cohen has quietly been building up an impressive array of nonfiction work over the years as well. (His article on post-Sandy Atlantic City is a longtime favorite.) Attention collects his nonfiction on a variety of topics, showcasing an entirely different aspect of Cohen’s work.
Pretty Things, Virginie Despentes; translated by Emma Ramadan
(August 14, Feminist Press)
In Virginie Despentes’s newly-translated Pretty Things, an plan undertaken by a pair of sisters abruptly turns tragic, then becomes even more complex. In telling this sinuous story, Despentes explores questions of identity, family, and societal expectations of gender.
Open Me, Lisa Locascio
(August 14, Grove Press)
The long-awaited debut novel from Lisa Locascio follows the story of a young woman embarking on a long-awaited trip that takes an unpredictable turn. Specifically, it finds the protagonist of this novel venturing to Copenhagen rather than her intended destination of Paris, and the life-changing experiences that await her there.
Severance, Ling Ma
(August 14, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Severance, Ling Ma’s debut novel, blends two distinct subgenres into a wholly original narrative. Specifically, it’s a stylized office novel in which the mundane routines of workplace life gradually give way to reveal something a lot bigger–and, dare we say, apocalyptic–going on.
Narrator, Bragi Ólafsson; translated by Lytton Smith
(August 14, Open Letter)
Fiction about obsession and surveillance frequently taps into some essential anxieties that arise in an increasingly-monitored society. Bragi Ólafsson’s newly-translated novel Narrator falls into that category, as its narrator follows a man around Reykjavik, musing on his own life and his frustrations as he goes.
Night Soil, Dale Peck
(August 14, Soho Press)
Night Soil, the latest novel from Dale Peck, covers an impressively vast thematic territory. There’s an exploration of the artist’s life, the effects of societal privilege across generations, and the way that familial secrets can destabilize lives in unexpected ways. The result is an absorbing, immersive work of fiction.
French Exit, Patrick deWitt
(August 28, Ecco)
Over the years, Patrick deWitt’s fiction has covered a wide range of settings and tones, from acid Westerns to bizarre folktales, finding new life in, and unexpected spins on, literary archetypes along the way. With French Exit, deWitt turns his eye on the upper-class comedy of manners, focusing on a mother and son who depart New York City for a better life across the ocean in Paris.
Between Eternities and Other Writings, Javier Mariás; translated by Margaret Jull Costa
(August 28, Vintage)
While he’s best-known for his fiction, Javier Mariás’s nonfiction is frequently gripping, immersive, and expansive–revealing a different side of his distinctive style and his areas of interest. This new collection brings together some of his writings on culture, history, and soccer, resulting in another bold addition to a notable bibliography.