The theme for this fall’s fiction is “big”: big authors, big books. With so many major writers publishing this season, we didn’t have room for them all in the Fall Preview; you’ll find reviews here of new novels by Umberto Eco, Jonathan Franzen, Mary Gaitskill, Oscar Hijuelos, David Mitchell, Orhan Pamuk, and Salman Rushdie (among others), but you should also be on the lookout for books by Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham, John Irving, Jane Smiley, and more. And some of our favorite fall books aren’t included in this issue because they appeared in our special BEA/ALA preview, including Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, and Grant Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire.
If you don’t like to read a series until it’s complete, you’re in luck this season: Italian author Elena Ferrante will publish the last volume in her Neapolitan series, The Story of the Lost Child. When you’re finished with Ferrante, you can pick up Ancillary Mercy, the conclusion of Ann Leckie’s multiaward-winning Imperial Radch trilogy, which our review says “deliberately and deliciously flouts classic space-opera tropes.”
Some books are big—physically—though their authors aren’t famous yet. City on Fire fits into that category (unless you mean famous among people in publishing), and so does Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void, which clocks in at 480 pages. But sometimes the most exciting thing is to discover a seemingly modest book by an author you’ve never heard of, such as Amy Witting, an Australian novelist who died in 2001 and whose wonderfully titled Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop will be published for the first time in the U.S. in October; our review calls it “a compassionate masterpiece.” Or The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, a “lively, loopy experimental novel.” It’s going to be a great season; happy reading.
Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.