Books·Spring Book Preview

20 works of fiction from around the world to check out in the first half of 2018

Lovers of fiction should keep their eyes peeled for these books in the coming months.

Some great books from international authors are coming your way in 2018. Check them out!

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

Leïla Slimani’s latest novel, The Perfect Nanny, won France’s top literary award, the Goncourt, and was the most read book in the country in 2016. The novel is now available in North America. (Getty Images/Penguin Random House)

What it's about:  Leïla Slimani's novel explores the darker sides of motherhood and domesticity. A hip, wealthy couple in Paris hire a seemingly perfect nanny named Louise to take care of their two children, but it is not long before tensions mount between the three adults, resulting in tragedy. 

When you can read it: Jan. 9, 2018

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Chloe Benjamin's latest novel, The Immortalists, is equal parts supernatural thriller and family drama. (Nathan Jandl)

What it's about: Four young siblings visit a fortune teller who informs them of the exact day, month and year each of them will die. Chloe Benjamin's novel is equal parts supernatural thriller and family drama.

When you can read it: Jan. 9, 2018

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

Christopher J. Yates is a British writer based in New York City. (Picador/Circe)

What it's about: Grist Mill Road is a tale told from various perspectives about a woman seeking revenge in 1980s New York.

When you can read it: Jan. 9, 2018

Mouths Don't Speak by Katia D. Ulysse

Katia D. Ulysse is a fiction writer, born in Haiti. (Katia D. Ulysse/Akashic Books)

What it's about: An American of Haitian descent is forced to do some soul searching in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. 

When you can read it: Jan. 12, 2018

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee is a short story writer and novelist. ( Viking/Mira T. Lee)

What it's about: Mira T. Lee makes her debut with this novel about the ties that bind between two sisters who need each other more than they care to admit. 

When you can read it: Jan. 16, 2018

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson was an American short story writer and novelist. (Cindy Johnson/Random House)

What it's about: The late literary master offers up this story collection that examines old age, mortality and the unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. 

When you can read it: Jan. 16, 2018

The Sky Is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

Chandler Klang Smith is a writer based in New York City. (Hogarth/

What it's about: Chandler Klang Smith delivers this debut novel that defies genre convention and features a dystopia populated by drugs, dragons and despots.

When you can read it: Jan. 23, 2018

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the author of An American Marriage. (Nina Subin, Thorndike Press)

What it's about: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy represent the American Dream of happiness and material success. Things, however, take a turn for the worse when Roy is arrested and Celestial turns to her husband's best friend for comfort. 

When you can read it: Feb. 6, 2018

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in New York City. (Grove Press/Elizabeth Wirija)

What it's about: The debut of Akwaeke Emezi is a story about young Nigerian woman named Ada who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." 

When you can read it: Feb. 13, 2018

A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey

Peter Carey is a two-time Booker Prize-winning author. (Random House Canada)

What it's about: The author's latest work is set in 1953 with arrival of the tiny, handsome Titch Bobs, his beautiful doll of a wife, Irene, and their two children in the small town of Bacchus Marsh. The Australian family enters a car race and find themselves lost in a remote part of the country. 

When you can read it: Feb. 27, 2018

The Neighbourhood by Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist and college professor. (Macmillan/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: This politically charged detective novel explores the underbelly of Peruvian society in the 1990s. Secrets, lies, passion and politics are all in play in the latest offering by Mario Vargas Llosa.

When you can read it: Feb. 27, 2018

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala is an American-based writer and physician. (HarperCollins/YouTube)

What it's about: The author of the acclaimed Beasts of No Nation returns with this follow up novel that explores two privileged teenagers who must deal with the fallout when one's sexuality is revealed to disapproving parents. 

When you can read it: Mar. 6, 2018

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer is a bestselling writer, known for The Wife, The Ten-Year Nap, The Uncoupling and The Interestings. (Wikimedia Commons/Riverhead)

What it's about: The author of The Interestings delivers this layered work that plays with themes of ambition, power, friendship and loyalty as characters seek to figure out the type of people they want to be. 

When you can read it: Apr. 3, 2018

The Only Story by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for novel The Sense of an Ending in 2011. (Penguin/Elle Warner)

What it's about: The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending crafts a love story between a young man on the cusp of adulthood and a woman whose life is gradually moving in the opposite direction.

When you can read it: Apr. 17, 2018

Mr. Flood's Last Resort by Jess Kidd

Jess Kidd is an award-winning short story writer and novelist. (Travis McBride/Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: Eccentric and secretive characters — including a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder — explore the true meaning of forgiveness in this novel by the award-winning author of Himself

When you can read it: May 1, 2018

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

U.S. National Book Award–nominated Rachel Kushner's last novel was Flamethrowers in 2013. (Lucy Raven/Scribner)

What it's about: This unsentimental take at life in a women's correctional facility is a tragic look at violence, hopelessness and survival. Rachel Kushner's previous book, Flamethrowers, was nominated for the U.S. National Book Award. 

When you can read it: May 1, 2018

There There by Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange is a writer based in California. (Random House)

What it's about: Tommy Orange's debut novel is an unflinching look at life on an Native American reservation. 

When you can read it: June 5, 2018

Florida by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is an American novelist and short story writer. (Riverhead/

What it's about: The bestselling author of Fates and Furies looks at the connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury, with a sense of urgency. 

When you can read it: June 5, 2018

Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar

Amitava Kumar is a professor and author of the novel Immigrant, Montana. (Penguin Canada/Twitter)

What it's about: This moving tale about a young new immigrant to the U.S. in search of love dissects the cultural misunderstandings that define modern-day society. 

When you can read it: July 31, 2018

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

R. O. Kwon is a writer and U.S. National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. (Facebook/Penguin Random House )

What it's about: A young Korean American woman at an elite American university finds herself tangled up in a cult and escalating acts of domestic terrorism. R.O. Kwon's novel is a look at love and loss in the face of fundamentalism. 

When you can read it: July 31, 2018