Readers are greedy: We want more, more, more from our favorite writers. If Louise Penny is a few months late with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, we get impatient. When we have to wait five or 10 years for a new book, it better be worth the wait—and it usually is. Shirley Hazzard, one of my favorite writers, took 10 years between the publication of her second novel, The Bay of Noon (1970), and her third, The Transit of Venus (1980), which I think is her masterpiece. Twenty-three years later she published The Great Fire (2003) and won the National Book Award for her trouble.

This month will see the publication of Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, March 28), her first novel since the bestselling Silver Star in 2013, and fans will be happy to dive into this tale of the Kincaids of Virginia, who are battling for control over the family business in the years following World War I. Our starred review says the Kincaids resemble the appealing/appalling Roys of Succession and calls the book “a rollicking soap opera.”       

It’s been 10 years since Eleanor Catton became the youngest winner of the Booker Prize for her first novel, The Luminaries, and her second, Birnam Wood (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, March 7), couldn’t be more different. The tale of an eco-activist group in New Zealand that finds itself mixed up with an American billionaire who wants to gain citizenship by funding them, the book is a “blistering look at the horrors of late capitalism [that] manages to also be a wildly fun read,” according to our starred review.

Mona Simpson fans have been waiting nine years for a new book, since Casebook came out in 2014. Her new novel, Commitment (Knopf, March 21), follows the three Aziz siblings from 1972 into the ’80s as they learn to fend for themselves when their mother is hospitalized for depression. “Simpson is an artist of the family saga,” says our starred review. She “beautifully explores the sacrifices that keep a family together even when it’s coming apart.”

White Cat, Black Dog (Random House, March 28) is Kelly Link’s first book of short stories since 2015, when she published the widely beloved Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble. These fairy tales are “formally original and emotionally rich,” according to our starred review, reworking familiar tropes and complicating their conclusions. “This is fiction that pulls you swiftly into its world and then holds you completely, lingering like an especially intense dream.”

Elizabeth McKenzie’s idiosyncratic novel The Portable Veblen was a hit in the Kirkus office in 2016. It featured a young woman who “forges an unusually strong bond with a squirrel,” as our review said. Seven years later, she’s returned with The Dog of the North (Penguin Press, March 14), a delightful picaresque featuring a young woman and a dog named Quixote, pronounced Kweecoats. “McKenzie has created a wonderful addition to the crew of damaged characters beloved by readers, so very endearing and real,” according to our starred review.

Victor Lavalle writes novels like no one else, and his readers have been waiting almost six years for a new one, since the great success of The Changeling in 2017. His new book, Lone Women (One World, March 28), sends a Black woman to 1915 Montana to figure out how her parents died. “Lavalle is prodigiously talented at playing with stylistic modes, and he deftly combines Western, suspense, supernatural, and horror,” according to our starred review. “Acrobatic storytelling, both out there and down-home.”

Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.