February 22, 2022

Releases I'm Ready For, Spring 2022

I'm looking forward to an exciting batch of novels coming out this spring! And I'm defining "spring" as the period between today and the end of June, because why not? Who knows how time even works anymore anyway?

WHEN I'M GONE, LOOK FOR ME IN THE EAST by Quan Barry (February 22): I loved the quirky WE RIDE UPON STICKS, the story of a girls' field hockey team that turns to dark magic to improve their game. I'm expecting something completely different, but as wonderfully idiosyncratic, from Barry's new novel, which follows twin brothers across Mongolia in search of a great lama's next reincarnation.

BOOTH by Karen Joy Fowler (March 8): I've enjoyed several of Fowler's varied books, and I'm excited that she's expanding on the subject of two short stories from the collection WHAT I DIDN'T SEE. The fascinating earlier stories and the new novel are historical fiction about the Booths, a family of famous actors in the mid 1800s, most notable today for producing the assassin John Wilkes Booth.

SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5): I just reread STATION ELEVEN, Mandel's excellent novel about an apocalyptic pandemic, after enjoying the recent TV adaptation. Her strange and compelling THE GLASS HOTEL was published right at the start of our real life pandemic. This new book involves the author of a bestselling novel about a pandemic, and maybe there's also a pandemic happening, and also she lives on the moon? Plus there are at least two other plotlines occurring centuries apart. It sounds completely wild, and I can't wait.

THE CANDY HOUSE by Jennifer Egan (April 5): When I read A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD ten years ago, it took me a little time and discussion to deepen my appreciation of the book and its tightly linked stories that may or may not count as a novel. But in the decade since then, I've found myself thinking back on many ideas and images from the story, so it certainly made an impact. I was intrigued to learn Egan would be revisiting the characters in a similarly structured book that may or may not count as a sequel.

WOMAN OF LIGHT by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (June 7): After I read the strong story collection SABRINA & CORINA, I was eager for the novel Fajardo-Anstine was working on. I'm delighted to see it's a multigenerational family saga with the requisite secrets, meaning it's in one of my favorite genres.

THE MEN by Sandra Newman (June 14): I was a fan of the time-bending THE HEAVENS as well as the post-apocalyptic THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR. The latter is set in a future when there are no longer adults, so it's interesting that THE MEN is about a world in which there are no longer men. It's a concept other writers have explored, but I'm sure Newman's take will be unique.

INVISIBLE THINGS by Mat Johnson (June 28): I've read two of Johnson's previous novels, and both were a lot of fun. In LOVING DAY, the adventures in family and education are grounded in Philadelphia. In PYM, characters take a wild journey to Antarctica and encounter strange creatures. This new novel send characters all the way to Jupiter, where there may be aliens, and there's sure to be some excellent satire.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ N. K. Jemisin shares her step-by-step process of revision, or Book Renovation: "During this process, the book will no longer be a readable draft. The insertions will create contradictions, the deletions may leave plot holes; anyone who tries to read it from start to finish will end up very confused. That's okay. These are gut-renovation-level changes, leaving the load-bearing walls in place while the other walls get moved and the old wiring gets replaced. It ain't supposed to be pretty."

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