Here is an eclectic selection of forthcoming literary novels, completely limited by my own tastes and knowledge, for which I am unapologetic. Most of these are coming out in the next month or two, so ice up your poor, blurry, tired eyes and get to work.
Other Colors: Essays and a Story by Orhan Pamuk
By story, I don’t think he means fiction – this is all non-fiction, continuing in the vein of many of the essays he’s published before in several collections. Since it’s his first publication after being named the Nobel Prize winner last year, it will probably get a good deal more recognition than his previous essays.
Caspian Rain by Gina Nahai
Another excellent book from the Iranian novelist – I am halfway through and will write a review when I’ve finished.
Zeroville by Steve Erickson
Erickson is uncategorizable, which is another way to say he writes insane novels, novels that makes you feel like you’re on drugs, novels that you couldn’t explain to someone except to say that you felt like X or Y. Nonlinear, surreal, fantastical – these words are football fields short of what he does on the page. I would tell you the “plot,” but usually with his novels it’s best not to know, just to experience.
Song for Night by Chris Abani
I’ve seen him play a saxophone. I’ve heard him read poetry. And I’ve read a mean streak of his prose, which is tough and imaginative. He seems to have a penchant for novellas, which I respect, because everyone probably tells him not to write them. Anyway, I foresee that this will be getting major props in reviews in a few weeks.
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute by Julio Cortazar
This man invents wicked ways of reading – aka “Hopscotch,” which surely could be counted as a South American classic. Autonauts is about a voyage on a French freeway in 1982, a kind of travelogue. Harper’s had an excerpt in last month’s magazine, a playful and funny bit that gets into philosophy quickly.
Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee
I wrote about it here.
Exit Ghost by Philip Roth
28th book (whew!) and the last in the Zuckerman series. Appears to involve incontinence and impotence. Knowing Roth, it will also involve lots of sex, and tons of frustration about not getting sex. Enjoy!