If you’ve had enough escapism in your reading this summer, early August will see the publication of three excellent—and entertaining—novels focusing on the foibles of overprivileged New Yorkers. Quotes are from our starred reviews.
The Locals by Jonathan Dee: Philip Hadi is a billionaire who moves full-time to his summer home in the Berkshires after Sept. 11, 2001, and proceeds to shake up the town—Howland, Massaschusetts—when he becomes First Selectman. “Hadi’s solution to Howland’s troubles begins with cutting government to the bare essentials; according to him, past tax increases were only necessary to feed the bureaucracy itself. If there’s a real need for something they can’t afford—why, he’ll just pay for it. What happens to the citizens of Howland after that plays both as political allegory and kaleidoscopic character study.”
Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives: “An up-and-coming young New York museum curator named Stella Krakus must solve the mystery of a co-worker’s disappearance, fend off her soon-to-be ex-husband, and retrieve her heart from an ill-conceived office dalliance.…Ives’ writing derives much of its humor from a combination of high and low—arch formulations and mini-disquisitions studded with cussing, sex, and jokes about Reddit.…A diversion and a pleasure, this novel leaves you feeling smarter and hipper than you were before.”
New People by Danzy Senna: “Khalil and Maria, biracial Stanford graduates whose Martha’s Vineyard wedding will be featured in the New York Times, hit a bump in the road when Maria develops a crush on another man….Senna’s fearless novel is equal parts beguiling and disturbing, and nowhere more so than in a hilarious, ultimately terrifying series of events that begins when a tired white lady mistakes Maria for her nanny, Consuela, and leaves her in charge of her infant. Senna combines the clued-in status details you’d find in a New York magazine article with the narrative invention of big-league fiction.” Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.