Exploring the art of prose


New Books: April 2020


Here are the books we are most looking forward to reading this month!


Julia Alvarez, Afterlife

“Alvarez’s prose is magnetic as she delves into the intricacies of sisterhood, immigration, and grief, once again proving her mastery as a storyteller. This stirring novel reminds readers that actions (big and small) have a lasting impact—so they should always act with love.” —Library Journal, starred review

From Algonquin | April 7

Chelsea Bieker, Godshot

“Bieker has written a debut that joins Emma Cline’s The Girls and R.O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries in exploring the uneasy intersection of repressive religious belief and burgeoning sexuality, but Bieker’s exploration of the way that poverty and environmental ravishment also add to the subjugation of the female body adds more rich layers to this narrative…. A dark, deft first novel about the trauma and resilience of both people and the land they inhabit.” Kirkus, starred review

From Catapult | March 31

Joanna Hershon, St. Ivo

“In clear, compassionate prose, Hershon conjures characters readers may initially assume they know and then gently and gradually subverts those assumptions, revealing the emotions and difficulties with which these nuanced characters are grappling… This graceful story offers insights into family, friendship, and finding a way to move on after a loss.” Kirkus, starred review

From Farrar, Straus and Giroux | April 14

Paulette Jiles, Simon the Fiddler

“Imbued with the dust, grit, and grime of Galveston at the close of the Civil War, Simon the Fiddler immerses readers in the challenges of Reconstruction. Jiles brings her singular voice to the young couple’s travails, her written word as lyrical and musical as Simon’s bow raking over his strings. Loyal Jiles readers and fans of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge will adore the author’s latest masterpiece.” Booklist, starred review

From William Morrow | April 14

Kate Milliken, Kept Animals

“With precise and sensuous prose, so gorgeous it’s gasp-inducing, Kept Animals tells an epic story of loss, identity, and that which binds—and unravels—a community. Milliken’s unforgettable characters face dangers of all kinds, be it familial, romantic, or of the natural world. To experience, as a reader, this mysterious, mesmerizing, and menacing pocket of Southern California is a true pleasure and thrill. Kate Milliken has talent to burn. I love this novel.” —Edan Lepucki

From Scribner | April 21

Kathryn Scanlan, The Dominant Animal: Stories

“Scanlan craftily makes the stuff of everyday life seem strange and rare in this collection… Scanlan has a knack for subtly bending the ordinary into the uncanny… Reading Scanlan is akin to looking at two “spot the difference” images, but not knowing what, exactly, is off. This is a delightful, mischievous, and mysterious collection that’s perfect for fans of Lydia Davis and Mary Ruefle.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

From MCD x FSG | April 7

Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife: Stories

“These stories have a quiet brilliance in their raw portrayal of the struggle to find meaning in difficult times and to belong in a foreign place. Thammavongsa writes with an elegance that is both brutal and tender, giving her stories and their characters a powerful voice.” —Booklist, starred review

From Little Brown & Co. | April 21

C Pam Zhang, How Much of These Hills Is Gold

“The journey of these two children—and the backstories of their parents—force us to confront just how white the history we’ve been taught is…Zhang asks readers to acknowledge a legacy we have been taught to ignore by creating a new and spellbinding mythology of her own. Aesthetically arresting and a vital contribution to America’s conversation about itself.” Kirkus, starred review

From Riverhead | April 7