My New Year’s resolution is to pry myself away from current events and read more fiction. I’ve already made a start on all the great books coming out in 2018 by reading new novels by two of my favorite authors: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (April 3), which reminded me of beloved 1970s feminist novels like The Women’s Room and Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, and That Kind of Mother, another brilliant work of literary ventriloquism by Rumaan Alam (May 8), about a woman who finds herself raising her African-American nanny’s son alongside her own when the nanny dies.
I’m looking forward to Winter, Ali Smith’s second seasonal novel (Jan. 9); if you haven’t read it yet, pick up last year’s Autumn, about the friendship between a young girl and her elderly next-door neighbor who always asks her what she’s reading. I’m eager to figure out how the books are related, because it isn’t obvious.
Clarice Lispector’s second novel, The Chandelier (Feb. 20), is “perhaps her strangest and most difficult book,” according to translator Benjamin Moser. A challenge! Tayari Jones returns with An American Marriage (Feb. 6), her first novel since 2011’s acclaimed Silver Sparrow, while Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair (March 20) is also his first since 2011—we’ve all had plenty of time to anticipate those two books.
There are also some appealing first novels coming out: Halsey Street by Naima Coster (Jan. 1), Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Jan. 9), and Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Feb. 6), among others. The stories in All the Names They Used for God, Anjali Sachdeva’s debut (Feb. 20), are “so rich they read like dreams—or, more often, nightmares,” according to our review. And if you want the nightmare to end, pick up Amy Bloom’s White Houses, an enchanting novel about the romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok, narrated in what our review calls Hickok’s “tough, gossipy, and deeply humane” voice. Here’s wishing you a tough, gossipy, and deeply humane 2018. Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.