I first published this post 8/24/12 at 7:59 p.m. and updated it last on 8/27/2012 at 4:07 p.m.
Press 53 has sent me a review copy of Roanoke writer Kurt Rheinheimer's new short story collection, Finding Grace ,which I'll be reviewing, as well as Gail Tsukiyama's new historical novel, A Hundred Flowers (St. Martin's), which I found in Virginia Tech's popular reading collection.
Today, I looking for other promising book publications and discovered that Dennis Lehane has turned publisher, having been offered his own book imprint from his publisher, Harper Collins. The first novel will be by The Cutting Season by Attica Locke. This follows her debut, Black Water Rising, which the Financial Times called "a seamless marriage of socical comment and slick crime action." Lehane is so enthusiastic about Locke's writing that he tells us,
I was first struck by Attica Locke's prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I'd probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine.And I'm enthused enough about Lehane to check out his judgement. (BTW, Lehane studied Creative Writing at Florida International University where my friend John Dufresne teaches. Happily John just won a 2012 Guggenheim fellowship). Harper Collins has promised me a review copy of The Cutting Season and and I'll be sharing my reactions as soon as I finish reading it. In the meantime, Virginia Tech thinks well enough of her to have included her first book in its humanities collection and Purdom Lindblad, the librarian for the collection offered to order The Cutting Season today. I've checked out Blackwater Rising and look forward to starting on it this weekend.
Lindblad also indicated she'd welcome other suggestions, so here goes. First, from BEA Buzz Books: Excerpts from over 30 Top Fall 2012 Titles by Publishers Lunch (downloadable gratis from Amazon for the free desktop Kindle reader) , there's Lehane's new novel, Live By Night. Two other works of fiction that caught my attention were Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her (stories featuring his recurrent character Yunior, coming out in September from Riverhead--a Penguin imprint) and Bill Roorback's novel, Life Among Giants, due out from Algonquin in November. Buzz books also mentioned a number of books beyond those excepted that I'm looking forward to reading soon:
- Zadie Smith: NW: A Novel (September 4, Penguin, excepted in The Guardian)
- Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue (September 11, Harper, excerpt)
- Salman Rushdie, Joseph Anton: A Memoir (September 18, Random House)
- Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood, A Novel (October, Little, Brown)
- Chinua Achebe, There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra (October, Penguin)
- Richard Russo, Elsewhere, A Memoir (October, Knopf)
- Ian McEwan, Sweet Tooth (November, Nan A. Talese of Knopf/Doubleday/Random House)
- Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King (this actually came out in June from McSweeney's)
- Toibin, Colm, New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families (essays from Scribner in June)
- Martin Amis, Lionel Asbo: State of England (August 21, Knopf)
- Seth Rosenfeld, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power (August 21, 2012, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Paul Auster, Winter Journal (August 21, Henry Holt)
- Louise Erdrich, The Roundhouse (October, Harper)
- Alice Munro, Dear Life: Stories (November, Knopf)
- David Foster Wallace, Both Flesh and Not: Essays (November, Little, Brown)
I haven't seen a review yet for Orhan Pamuk's Silent House (October, Knopf). It's the first English translation of his second novel. Amazon, I think, mistakenly, quotes Margaret Atwood as reviewing a previous edition for the New York Times. I sent a chat to Amazon questioning that and the individual answering promised to have it researched and get back with me.
Last, Lucy Wood is gaining acclaim across the pond for her first book of short stories., The Diving Belles (review) which came out in paperback from Mariner Books in August.
BTW, Tech's popular reading collection has some other recent books I'll be reading soon. I just checked out Mario Vargas Llosa's The Dream of the Celt. I've put Toni Morrison's new novel, Home
(Knopf 2012 ) on hold. And here are a couple of others I'm considering:
- John Irving, In One Person : A Novel (Simon and Schuster, 2012)
- Jonathan Franzen, Farther Away (essays, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)
- Rachel Maddow, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Crown, 2012) (about how the US has drifted into becoming a nation at peace with perpetual war)
- Nadine Gordimer, No Time Like the Present: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)
- Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, The Real Romney, (Harper, 2012)