Hello November, and hello to these 24 new books out today.

4 weeks ago 29

Gabrielle Bellot

November 7, 2023, 5:00am

November has finally arrived, and, although the weather for many of us has cooled a bit, the pace of new books for you to check out hasn’t cooled at all. Below, you’ll find a delightful array of books by writers new and famed to curl up with on these chillier days. There are new editions of Dylan Thomas’ collected stories, Anthony Hecht’s poems, and Ray Bradbury’s letters; and, for special fans of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Hecht, there’s also a new biography below! You’ll also find exciting, thought-provoking nonfiction by Casey Plett, Tracy K. Smith, and many others, as well as a myriad of fantastic new novels and poetry collections. And, for music lovers, you’ll also be pleased to find new books by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and John Densmore of The Doors. Enjoy the crisp air and riotous hues of the leaves—before they vanish—with one, or many, of the new offerings below.


Collected Stories - Thomas, Dylan

Dylan Thomas, Collected Stories
(New Directions Publishing)

“His prose, his images, his stories all pulsate with life, with a beat and a variety that captivate, invigorate, and clarify.”
The Los Angeles Times

The Happy Couple - Dolan, Naoise

Naoise Dolan, The Happy Couple
(Ecco Press)

“A sophisticated character study of a young couple coming to terms with their relationship, in this biting, whip-smart look at modern love and the tangled messes we leave behind us. I am fully in awe of Dolan’s talent.”
–Douglas Stuart

A Nearby Country Called Love - Abdoh, Salar

Salar Abdoh, A Nearby Country Called Love

“Once I glanced at this book I couldn’t stop reading, staying up late to gallop through this harrowing, beautiful, surprising novel in one evening. It is an evocation of characters I came to care about, a portrait of everyday life in contemporary Iran, and a profound depiction of gender roles as prisons, and of who escapes these prisons at what cost.”
–Rebecca Solnit

 A Plea for the American Soul - Smith, Tracy K.

Tracy K. Smith, To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul

“A unique intelligence guides the hand of Tracy K. Smith through the archives. It is an intelligence that is both fierce and composed; both compassionate and unflinching. And if intelligence is a kind of light, this light is the kind that allows alchemy. Under its radiance, the violence of the archive becomes one of the most powerful meditations on history, time, and the thread of ancestry that I have read.”
–Valeria Luiselli

On Community - Plett, Casey

Casey Plett, On Community

“Plett’s On Community is an essay. A tightly woven, academic and literary brain dump of concepts and notions, posits and prompts, with a flight of challenging questions. It is not a light read, but a thorough examination of a highly complex subject….This rich, concise book is an invaluable reminder to think, empathize, analyze, and always to question before casting labels. Even those we believe are inclusive.”
The Miramichi Reader

 A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education - Land, Stephanie

Stephanie Land, Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education
(Atria/One Signal Publishers)

“Captivating….Eye-opening and heartrending, [Class] will provide succor for readers who’ve faced similar hardships and essential education for anyone who hasn’t. It’s another stirring personal history from one of the foremost chroniclers of twenty-first-century economic anxiety.”
Publishers Weekly

The Future - Alderman, Naomi

Naomi Alderman, The Future
(Simon & Schuster)

“Playful, incisive, horribly relevant and surprisingly hopeful, The Future is a thrill ride that’s also a powerful manifesto hurtling towards a world where everything might turn out to be okay. A little Atwood, a little Gibson, all Alderman, it’s brilliant and I loved it.”
–Lauren Beukes

Above the Salt - Vaz, Katherine

Katherine Vaz, Above the Salt
(Flatiron Books)

Above the Salt is a lyrically haunting historical tale of what lovers overcome to manifest their destinies and find their best selves. Set against a backdrop of horticulture, migration, religion, and renewal, Katherine Vaz’s novel sweeps us across decades and seas–from a tiny Portuguese island off the coast of Africa to the sprawling American Midwest—to expertly weave faith, hope, betrayal, and resilience into a story of enduring love.”
–Amina Gautier

 Selected Correspondence of Ray Bradbury - Bradbury, Ray

Ray Bradbury, Jonathan R. Eller, Remembrance: Selected Correspondence of Ray Bradbury
(Simon & Schuster)

“[A] panoramic portrait of Bradbury that’s as forthright as it is revealing. Bradbury’s fans will want to check this out.”
Publishers Weekly

 Including Late and Uncollected Work - Hecht, Anthony

Anthony Hecht, Collected Poems of Anthony Hecht: Including Late and Uncollected Work

“Thanks to the editorial thoroughness and wisdom of Philip Hoy, we find that many of the unknown poems collected here for the first time do more than meet the high standard of Hecht’s most celebrated ones. They confirm that this essential poet, always notable for his grave historical sense, his satiric wit, and his technical ingenuity, could also call upon a light touch–a simplicity that can convey acceptance and even joy.”
–Mary Jo Salter

 Poems - Flynn, Nick

Nick Flynn, Low

“This collection is a search for hope during a lifetime of longing. Flynn’s realities take the mundane and turn everyday objects into tokens of unexpected relief; ‘this is what we deal with—this is what could make me happy.'”
–Garrett Ashley

Paper Banners - Miller, Jane

Jane Miller, Paper Banners
(Copper Canyon Press)

“Jane Miller is by far one of our best poets writing today….Miller is like the NASA space station of poetry: out of this world, yet of it, and still looking down. From her peculiar and important vantage she blows us kisses in the form of images that hit their mark.”
Lambda Book Report

Again and Again - Evison, Jonathan

Jonathan Evinson, Again and Again

“Evison’s dazzling new novel does what the best literature does, pulls us out of our lives and plunges us into another—in this case many others—and it does it in a way that is truly, mindbendingly, genius. A stunning Scherazade-told tale about the only subject that matters—love—Again and Again is about the stories we tell ourselves to create ourselves, the stories we believe, and the way a human heart can shatter and still find a kind of wholeness. To say I loved this book is an understatement.”
–Caroline Leavitt

How to Build a Boat - Feeney, Elaine

Elaine Feeney, How to Build a Boat

“The interweaving stories of Jamie, a teenage boy trying to make sense of the world, and Tess, a teacher at his school, make up this humorous and insightful novel about family and the need for connection. Feeney has written an absorbing coming-of-age story which also explores the restrictions of class and education in a small community. A complex and genuinely moving novel.”
–The Booker Prize 2023 Judges

The Vulnerables - Nunez, Sigrid

Sigrid Nunez, The Vulnerables

“Nunez’s subject is the core business of being alive: the tenuous beauty of human connection, the nature of memory, the purpose of writing, the passage of time…the result is almost arrestingly straightforward. Spare and understated and often quite funny, the experience is less like reading fiction than like eavesdropping on someone else’s brain….[The Vulnerables] itself is strangely, sweetly hopeful….Sharp—and surprisingly tender.”
Kirkus Reviews

 Anthony Hecht--A Poet's Life - Yezzi, David

David Yezzi, Late Romance: Anthony Hecht—A Poet’s Life
(St. Martin’s Press)

“David Yezzi’s biography of Anthony Hecht charts the complex life and haunted imagination of a brilliant poet. Yezzi’s account of Hecht’s experiences as a soldier in World War Two is especially moving and greatly deepens our understanding of Hecht’s work. Late Romance is a book about a life dedicated to art, but it is also an essential exploration of the wider world of American poetry in the second half of the twentieth century, with superb portraits of figures such as Auden and Wilbur and Sexton.”
–Colm Tóibín

Touching the Art - Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Touching the Art
(Soft Skull)

“Unapologetic and reflective, Sycamore’s memoir invokes the very nature of art and the mindset of the artist, noting, ‘When you allow your work to express what you see, sometimes your work expresses more than you know.’ Queer artists will find much to ponder in this outspoken, deeply felt examination of creativity, family, betrayal, and independent expression.”
–Jim Piechota

 How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture - Thorsson, Courtney

Courtney Thorsson, The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture
(Columbia University Press)

“Starting with a photograph, Courtney Thorsson brings her all to this luminous work about The Sisterhood, a group of Black women writers who met informally in the 1970s. Together they transformed American literature and helped to shape generations of writers, visual artists, filmmakers, and scholars. This is a profoundly important story, and it has found an astute and sensitive author in Thorsson.”
–Farah Jasmine Griffin

Hot Springs Drive - Hunter, Lindsay

Lindsay Hunter, Hot Spring Drive
(Roxane Gay Books)

“Hunter has always written with a sort of ruthless courage that takes us to the bitter edge. And she’s done it again….[Hot Springs Drive is] a devastating portrait of two damaged families and one monstrous woman you won’t soon forget….Hunter keeps readers guessing in a book that’s both thriller-taut and an immersive study of human behavior.”
Library Journal

A Grandmother Begins the Story - Porter, Michelle

Michelle Porter, A Grandmother Begins the Story

“Many points of view come together in this haunting, gorgeous tale that traces the roots of an indigenous Canadian family through several generations….Porter has published memoir and poetry, and she plays with the beauty of language and the rhythm of music [in this novel]. The pulsing heart of the Métis people underlies every short section, creating a patchwork of beads not unlike those the women make.”

 Music That Changed My Life and Life That Changed My Music - Tweedy, Jeff

Jeff Tweedy, World Within a Song: Music That Changed My Life and Life That Changed My Music

“In the same way that Jeff Tweedy is just miraculously there in every line he sings, he’s here in these pages: disarmingly frank, relentlessly exploratory; funny, earnest, wide-open, and brilliant. Like his songs, this book felt like a gesture of warm reassurance, an inspiring reminder of the role art can play in keeping a person alert to life and moving forward. Tweedy is a generous, insanely gifted national treasure.”
–George Saunders

 Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes on Trial - Densmore, John

John Densmore, The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial
(Akashic Books)

“The Doors drummer Densmore rockets through his tumultuous six-year lawsuit against former bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger in this no-holds-barred account….Throughout, the author’s initial question—at what point does money cheapen art’s original message?—remains salient, even if he hammers it home a bit repetitively. Devoted fans will be eager to get their hands on this deep dive.”
Publishers Weekly

Same Bed Different Dreams - Park, Ed

Ed Park, Same Bed Different Dreams
(Random House)

“Genius….Same Bed Different Dreams is an extraordinary—and hilarious—genre-busting nesting doll of comedy, science fiction, and thriller and, at its core, an epic compendium of Korean history that’s also the dark history of American foreign entanglements. It’s like no other novel I’ve read before—a cabinet of wonders that demands to be read and reread.”
–Cathy Park Hong

Baumgartner - Auster, Paul

Paul Auster, Baumgartner
(Grove Press)

“Auster’s Baumgartner is a worthy addition to the body of fiction that treats the subject. It’s a well-drawn portrait of a man wrestling with grief, and a sensitive character study that displays many of the qualities for which Auster’s been lauded in a long literary career….Baumgartner’s story is revealed in episodic fashion and with precise, observant, and sometimes touching detail….Poignant.”
Shelf Awareness

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