Exploring the art of prose


New Books: July 2020


Welcome to the July 2020 edition of new fiction we can’t wait to read!


Aimee Bender, The Butterfly Lampshade

“By the end, the book reveals itself as a meditation on memory, identity, and the sometimes-uncanny relationship between living beings and the inanimate world. A novel with rewards for patient and sympathetic readers.” —Kirkus

From Doubleday | July 28


Chloe N. Clark, Collective Gravities: Stories

Chloe N. Clark writes people who are a little bit broken, a little bit different, a little bit apart, and who take flight, soar, discover, are magic and brave and intrepid and big. I loved these stories and I loved Clark’s deeply hopeful voice.” Amber Sparks

From Word West | July 7


Kelli Jo Ford, Crooked Hallelujah

“Kelli Jo Ford’s Crooked Hallelujah masterfully evokes loss and displacement, steeped in Native American culture, rife with compassion and deep understanding. Kelli Jo Ford is a powerful new Native American writer who writes beautifully with stunning prose! She is brilliant, and I can’t wait for people to read her amazing book.” —Brandon Hobson

From Grove | July 14


Leah Hampton, F*ckface and Other Stories

“In these stories Leah Hampton is merciful and merciless as life, as heartrending and as funny and as thought-provoking. This book is both up-to-the-minute and instantly classic, a clear-eyed view of America and Americans for the 21st century.” —Elizabeth McCracken

From Henry Holt and Co. | July 14


Stephen Graham Jones, The Only Good Indians

“How long must we pay for our mistakes, for our sins? Does a thoughtless act doom us for eternity? This is a novel of profound insight and horror, rich with humor and intelligence. The Only Good Indians is a triumph; somehow it’s a great story and also a meditation on stories. I’ve wondered who would write a worthy heir to Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Now I know the answer: Stephen Graham Jones.” —Victor LaValle

From Gallery / Saga Press | July 14


Catherine Lacey, Pew

“The mercurial and electric Catherine Lacey has now conjured up an of-the-moment fable of trauma and projection—one part Kaspar Hauser, one part James Purdy, and one part Rachel Cusk. The pages shimmer with implication.” —Jonathan Lethem

From Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 21


Yiyun Li, Must I Go

“Any new book by Yiyun Li is cause for celebration, but now more than ever do we need the clarity and humaneness of her vision. Must I Go takes us into her familiar and powerful emotional territory, brilliantly exploring how what we love, what we lose, and what we mourn make, unmake, and remake us into the human beings that we are.” Sigrid Nunez

From Random House | July 28


David James Poissant, Lake Life

“Masterfully crafted. . . Simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious, the novel’s brisk pace and perfectly executed moments make for a stunning, unforgettable story. . . Poissant’s compassion for his characters generates empathy for even their most disastrous actions. A totally engrossing story of the long shadows cast by troubled relationships and the glimmer of hope that dawns after painful confrontation.” —Booklist (starred review)

From Simon & Schuster | July 7


Lynn Steger Strong, Want

“Strong writes womanhood with brutal honesty; exhaustion, love, desire, anxiety, and the devastation of unfulfilled expectations permeate every page. . . . Strong’s writing consistently distills bitter truths in understated yet penetrating ways. A wise, unflinching, and compelling novel about womanhood.” Kirkus (starred review)

From Henry Holt and Co. | July 7


Lysley Tenorio, The Son of Good Fortune 

“In this perceptive and sensitive novel, Lysley Tenorio views the troubled American Dream through the eyes of Excel, an undocumented immigrant literally born in the air between the Philippines and the United States. The result, in The Son of Good Fortune, is a nuanced and subtle account of that most basic American dynamic, the melancholic and sometimes devastating fluctuation between promise and failure, happiness and its opposite.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen

From Ecco | July 7


Laura van den Berg, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears: Stories

“All 11 stories here are sharp as they are haunting; in this world—maybe like the real one—nothing is exactly what it seems. . . The stories here, vibrating with loss, but wickedly funny, are a distinctly van den Berg-ian hybrid, as biting as they are dreamy. Witty, painful, and thoroughly unsettling.” —Kirkus (starred review)

From Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 28


Karolina Waclawiak, Life Events

“Every page of this novel is a point of no return; once you’ve read Karolina Waclawiak’s Life Events, you will never see life, death, grief, and healing the same way. Waclawiak’s mesmerizing storytelling, both painfully funny and joyfully despairing, immediately grabs hold of you and takes you on a ride. And this highway has no exits.” —Saeed Jones

From Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 28


Diane Zinna, The All-Night Sun

“Inventive and luminous . . . ­­­­­Zinna’s intimate debut dazzles with original language, emotional sentience, and Swedish folklore as it plumbs the depths of grief, loss, and friendship . . . Zinna reaches an inspired emotional depth that, as the title signifies, never stops blazing.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From Random House | July 14