Tuesday July 6th, 2010

Fall Preview: Supplement

The Millions does us all a favor by rounding up some of the most anticipated books scheduled for late summer and fall. As always, the season is crowded with big names: Franzen, Roth, Ozick, Cunningham, Krauss, Rushdie. Heck, Mark Twain has a new book coming out. The Millions covers all of these and more. And yet there’s always room for more in the fall — so here are 13 additional novels that I’m keeping an eye on in the coming months. (Release dates are the most recently posted on Amazon.) A nonfiction preview of the fall may follow at some point in the near future.

mengestuHow to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu (October 14)

Mengestu’s first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, was one of the best debuts of recent years. This sophomore effort concerns Ethiopian immigrants to the U.S. and their son, who recreates a road trip his parents took before he was born.

To the End of the Land by David Grossman (September 21)

Grossman’s highly anticipated novel is based, in part, on his own experience of losing a 20-year-old son to battle in Lebanon. In the novel, an Israeli mother wanders away from home with a former lover in order to avoid hearing news of her soldier son’s fate.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (September 7)

The theme of parents and children continues. Sarah Weinman has already raved about Yu’s first novel, saying: “Yu’s literary pyrotechnics come in a marvelously entertaining and accessible package, featuring a reluctant, time machine-operating hero on a continual quest to discover what really happened to his missing father, a mysterious book possibly answering all, and a computer with the most idiosyncratic personality since HAL or Deep Thought.”

The Art of Losing by Rebecca Connell (September 28)

In Connell’s debut, part thriller and part romance, a 23-year-old woman secretly involves herself in the life of a man she holds responsible for her mother’s death.

The Wrong Blood by Manuel de Lope (September 28)

De Lope is the author of more than a dozen books, and this is the first translated to English. Moving back and forth through time, it tells the story of two women whose lives are upended by the Spanish Civil War.

The Instructions by Adam Levin (November 1)

Levin’s debut novel runs to more than 900 pages, and chronicles four days in the life of Gurion Maccabee, a 10-year-old with a messiah complex. The publisher (McSweeney’s) says the novel combines “the crackling voice of Philip Roth with the encyclopedic mind of David Foster Wallace.” So, no pressure or anything.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (August 31)

Published as a box set of three books in the UK, Murray’s latest comes to the U.S. as one big volume (nearly 700 pages). Speaking of high expectations, the promotional copy compares the fictional boarding school at the center of this adolescent murder mystery to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School and Enfield Tennis Academy in Infinite Jest.

You Were Wrong by Matthew Sharpe (August 31)

Sharpe’s last novel was the underrated satirical joyride Jamestown. This new, slender novel is about Karl Floor, a friendless man who is drawn into the mysterious social world of a woman he finds robbing his house.

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas (September 1)

In Thomas’ second novel, Meg Carpenter, broke and nearing the end of her rope, agrees to review a pseudo-scientific book that sends her reeling into the world of the supernatural.

The World as I Found It by Bruce Duffy (September 21)

The New York Review of Books reissues Duffy’s debut novel from 1987, a sprawling fictionalized account of the life of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In 1997, A. O. Scott called the book “one of the more astonishing literary debuts in recent memory.”

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane (August 31)

Kane’s first novel (after a collection of short stories) focuses on a night in 1943 when 173 Londoners died on the steps of a train station, attempting to seek shelter during an air raid. Laurence Dunne is the magistrate charged with investigating the incident and writing a report about it, and the novel chronicles his experience then and several decades later.

Exley by Brock Clarke (October 5)

Clarke’s follow-up to the hit An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England stars Miller, a nine-year-old boy who wants to find his father, who has disappeared. He plans to enlist his father’s favorite author in the effort, which is complicated by the fact that the author — Frederick Exley — is dead.

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan (December 6)

O’Hagan’s latest is what the title promises, which might seem like an impossibly precious gimmick. But reviews from the UK, where the book was published earlier this year, were generally positive, praising the book as an inventive look at Monroe and her era.