Books·Fall Book Preview

15 of the most buzz-worthy nonfiction books from around the world coming soon

15 of the most buzz-worthy nonfiction books coming in fall 2017.

Memoirs that blend the personal with the political, histories that highlight forgotten figures, nonfiction about the worries of our time: here are 15 books from around the world that we're excited to read this fall.

You can see the entire fall preview here. Want a PDF of the entire preview? Find that here.

The Art of Death by Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat, a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, reflects on the death of her mother in The Art of Death. (Lynn Savarese/Graywolf Press)

What it's about: Confronted with her mother's devastating diagnosis, Edwidge Danticat turns to writing and literature to make sense of death. 

Why we chose it: This book promises to be both an intimate memoir of a daughter's grief and an exploration into the literature of death — including works like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Toni Morrison's Sula and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Danticat's previous books include the National Book Award-winning Brother, I'm Dying and Claire of the Sea Light.

When you can read it: July 11, 2017

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in 2015. (Axel Schmidt/Getty Images)

What it's about: This collection of stories from Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to the experience of women across Europe and Russia during the Second World War.

Why we chose it: The Unwomanly Face of Waroriginally published in 1985 in Russian and is only now available in English, was Alexievich's first book and trains her incisive eye on history's forgotten figures.

When you can read it: July 25, 2017

We Are All Shipwrecks by Kelly Grey Carlisle

Kelly Grey Carlisle's memoir We Are All Shipwrecks describes how her dysfunctional childhood shaped who she is today. (Sourcebooks)

What it's about: Kelly Grey Carlisle was raised on a boat by her grandparents, who owned a porn shop and whose neighbours were drug addicts. As an adult, Grey Carlisle looks back on the dysfunction she grew from, the mother she never knew and a 30 year-old cold case. 

Why we chose it: The bits and pieces we know about Grey Carlisle's memoir sound remarkable. Grey Carlisle is also a beautiful essayist, appearing three times in Best American Essays.

When you can read it: Sept. 5, 2017

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton describes the 2016 U.S. presidential election from her perspective in What Happened. (Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press)

What it's about: Hillary Clinton's defeat in the 2016 U.S. presidential election left many, especially pollsters, in utter shock. In What Happened, the Democratic presidential nominee opens up about her thoughts and feelings during the unpredictable campaign.

Why we chose it: Nearly a year after the election, people are still speculating how Clinton lost against the divisive politics of Donald Trump. Clinton has promised unprecedented candour in telling her side of the story. 

When you can read it: Sept. 12, 2017

An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn

Among the students in Daniel Mendelsohn's class on Homer's Odyssey, was his father, 81-year-old mathematician Jay Mendelsohn. ( Press)

What it's about: Jay Mendelsohn, a mathematician, enrolls in the college English class on Homer's Odyssey taught by his son, the author Daniel Mendelsohn. As father and son, scientist and English professor, study the ancient text together, they grow in their understanding together.

Why we chose it:An Odyssey sounds to be a journey that is epic in its emotional and literary scope — and the New Yorker article based on the book is phenomenal. Mendelsohn's previous books include the international bestseller The Lost and the memoir Elusive Embrace.

When you can read it: Sept. 12, 2017

Afterglow (a dog memoir) by Eileen Myles

In Afterglow, Eileen Myles recounts her close relationship to Rosie, her pet pitbull. (Libby Lewis/Grove Press)

What it's about: This is a book about a writer and her dog. When Eileen Myles picked up a pit bull named Rosie in 1990, their bond was instant. In Afterglow, Myles describes the pivotal events of her life through the lens of her relationship with Rosie.

Why we chose it: Eileen Myles is a writer's writer, with over 20 books of poetry, fiction and criticism to her name. Afterglow promises to be emotional, compelling and — at the very least — interesting.

When you can read it: Sept. 12, 2017

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison

In The Origin of Others, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison takes a look at what inspires fear of the Other and its impact on world politics. (Alfred A. Knopf/Harvard University Press)

What it's about: Nobel laureate Toni Morrison reflects on the fears and anxieties that drive world politics today, most notably a fear of the Other and of opening up borders.

Why we chose it: Morrison's literature exploring racism and classicism has made her one of the world's foremost literary voices. Some of her previous books include Beloved, Paradise and A Mercy. Oprah loves her, and who is going to question Oprah?

When you can read it: Sept. 29, 2017

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning author and national correspondent at The Atlantic. (Anna Webber/Getty Images/Random House)

What it's about: Ta-Nehisi Coates reflects on the election that led to the U.S.'s first black president, and on the campaign of his successor, who he describes as America's "first white president."

Why we chose it: As a bestselling author and national correspondent at the Atlantic, Coates is well-known for his poignant meditations on racism and politics. His book Between the World and Me won the National Book Award.

When you can read it: Oct. 3, 2017

Ali by Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig is the author behind Ali, a biography of boxer Muhammad Ali who died in 2016. ( Mifflin Harcourt)

What it's about: Ali is an in-depth, unauthorized biography of Muhammad Ali, the groundbreaking athlete who was unafraid of calling out America's problem with racism.

Why we chose it: Ali, who died in 2016, was a polarizing and inspiring figure to generations of people around the world. His wit and personality were as well-known as his strength in the ring.

When you can read it: Oct. 3, 2017

Waiting for the Punch by Marc Maron

WTF podcaster Marc Maron compiles stories from his interviews with rockstars, politicians and comedians in Waiting for the Punch. ( Books)

What it's about: Marc Maron has interviewed comedians, rockstars and a U.S. president on his podcast WTF, which reaches over a million listeners every week. Each chapter in his book has a different theme, from parenting and childhood to success and failure, and contains anecdotes from his interviews with people like Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen and Amy Schumer.   

Why we chose it: Maron is an engaging and funny interviewer, with a knack for getting people to open up about their most vulnerable or joyous moments.

When you can read it: Oct. 10, 2017

The Secret Life by Andrew O'Hagan

Andrew O'Hagan delves into the identities of three internet provocateurs in The Secret Life. (Faber & Faber)

What it's about: Andrew O'Hagan takes readers on a tour of the darkest parts of the internet in three stories about identity, including one about Wikileaks' controversial founder Julian Assange.

Why we chose it: As ubiquitous as the internet is, there are many aspects of it shrouded in secrecy. O'Hagan investigates these spaces, all the while exploring the line between our real and virtual identities.

When you can read it: Oct. 10, 2017

Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan

Where the Past Begins is a memoir by celebrated American novelist Amy Tan. (Steven Barclay Agency/HarperCollins)

What it's about: In this memoir, celebrated novellist Amy Tan gives readers a glimpse into her childhood in Oakland to her beginnings and later success as a writer.

Why we chose it: Tan, the author of classics like The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazements, is a master storyteller, and Where the Past Begins is looking like it will be her most intimate and eye-opening writing yet.

When you can read it: Oct. 17, 2017

An American Family by Khizr Khan

At the 2016 Democratic Convention, Khizr Khan gave a speech about the loss of his son, Muslim American Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq. (Alex Brandon/The Canadian Press)

What it's about: Khizr Khan was thrust into the spotlight at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, at which he gave a speech about the loss of his son, Muslim American Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq at the age of 27. The elder Khan is originally from Pakistan, the oldest of 10 children and son to farmers, but later moved to the U.S. and attended Harvard Law School.

Why we chose it: Khan's speech captivated hundreds of thousands of people in 2016. No doubt many are interested in hearing more about Khan's journey.

When you can read it: Oct. 24, 2017

A World Without Whom by Emmy J. Favilla

Emmy Jo Favilla's book A World Without Whom is a guide to language on the internet. (Taylor Miller)

What it's about: BuzzFeed's global copy chief Emmy J. Favilla provides a guide to language and grammar in the digital age.

Why we chose it: This witty manual reflects on the limitless possibilities of language on the internet. Plus, it will offer an inside look into Buzzfeed, one of the most powerful media companies on the planet, and how they have influenced language and culture online.

When you can read it: Nov. 14, 2017

Mean by Myriam Gurba

Myriam Gurba is a spoken word performer and artist. (Coffee House Press)

What it's about: Spoken-word artist Myriam Gurba uses comedy to take down homophobia, racism and sexual violence in this book about her own coming-of-age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. 

Why we chose it: Mean is described as "true crime, memoir, and ghost story." Gurba's previous books include Dahlia Season, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Wish You Were Me and Painting Their Portraits in Winter.

When you can read it: Nov. 24, 2017