A number of highly anticipated novels, short stories, and essay collections are slated to hit shelves during the month of September. Here’s a guide to 10 of the best.
Into the Sun
by Deni Ellis BéchardA stunning portrait of the expatriate community in Kabul, this intense novel is about the lives of seeming strangers involved in a car bombing. When a journalist begins looking into the lives of the passengers, it turns out they were actually secretly acquainted. And the driver of the car, who is missing, was one of their students.
We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation
by Jeff ChangWriter/journalist Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Who We Be) is back with powerful essays tackling the recent events in America, including Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, and #OscarsSoWhite, and discusses ideas on how the country can move forward toward racial justice and cultural equality.
The Revolutionaries Try Again
by Mauro Javier CardenasThree childhood friends — an expat, a bureaucrat, and a playwright — discuss the evils of dictatorship and their unease in their own lives amid political turmoil in Ecuador. This is a feat of high modernist literature that is sure to ring all the bells for Bolaño fans.
by Laia Jufresa, translated by Sophie Hughes In this beautiful novel, a precocious 12-year-old in Mexico City, hiding away from the painful death of her little sister, decides to start a garden in the courtyard of her apartment complex. Her work in turn brings her neighbors back to buried secrets and emotions of their own pasts.
by Alexandra KleemanKleeman’s novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, was one of the best books of 2015, and she once again proves she is a writer like no other with this dazzling collection of strange stories, focusing on the oddities and intimate inner lives of the characters as they navigate surprising and unusual situations.
by Affinity KonarThis is not for the faint of heart, but if you can deal with reading about humans at their cruelest (this goes for The Underground Railroad as well), you will find that this is one of the most divine, incredible novels of the year. Set amid the horrors of Mengele’s “human zoo” at Auschwitz, this story of identical twin sisters is a beautiful, inspiring work of literary magic.
Sleeping on Jupiter
by Anuradha RoyThree elderly women on a trip to the seaside town of Jarmuli encounter a young filmmaker. As they enjoy their holiday, they wonder about the young woman and her photographer companion, and their interest in the dark side of the beautiful town. A powerful novel of love, culture, and violence in contemporary India.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
by Margot Lee ShetterlyBefore you see the movie, read the book! It is an amazing story of the brilliant African American women enlisted to help NASA in a time when the country was working to keep them separate from their white counterparts, and how their contributions helped the United States achieve its space goals.
Children of the New World: Stories
by Alexander WeinsteinWeinstein wrote this marvelous collection of stories about living in a digital age after witnessing his students and their almost non-stop interactions with their phones and computers. It is like reading episodes of the wonderful Black Mirror show.
The Underground Railroad
by Colson WhiteheadYes, this is already out now, but it was originally scheduled to be released in September until Oprah scooped it for her book club. But it is THAT GOOD that it is worth mentioning anyway, because Whitehead’s fantastic story of an escaped slave and her journey north on the Underground Railroad (in this case, an actual train running under the country) is arguably the best book of the year.