Books·Fall Book Preview

32 works of fiction from around the world to watch for this fall

Here is the fiction from outside Canada we can't wait to read this fall.

Here is the fiction from outside Canada we can't wait to read this fall.

Inland by Téa Obreht

Inland is a novel by Téa Obreht. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Random House)

Inland takes place in 1893, as a drought chokes the lands of Arizona Territory. Nora is a strong-willed frontierswoman awaiting the return of her husband, who is out in search of water. Lurie is a former outlaw on a dangerous journey west. Their stories unfold alongside one another, until eventually colliding.

Téa Obreht is a writer based in New York. Her first book, The Tiger's Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction (now known as the Women's Prize for Fiction).

When you can read it: Aug. 13, 2019

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

The Dearly Beloved is a novel by Cara Wall. (Ken Hamm, Simon & Schuster Canada)

The Dearly Beloved tells the story of two clergymen and their wives over several decades. Charles intended to follow his father into academia, but joined the church after an inspiring lecture. He falls in love with Lily, a fiercely independent woman who doesn't believe in God. James grew up in a poor family in Chicago, resentful of his father's alcoholism and mother's anxiety. Nan, the dutiful daughter of a beloved Mississippi minister, changes his life. The lives of the two couples intersect in Greenwich Village in 1963, as Charles and James are chosen to shepherd the Third Presbyterian Church through dark times.

Cara Wall is a New York-based writer. The Dearly Beloved is her first novel.

When you can read it: Aug. 13, 2019

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a novel by Olga Tokarczuk. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Riverhead Books)

In Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the DeadJanina is a recluse in her small Polish village and is known to prefer the company of animals over humans. When a sudden string of murders rocks the community, Janina finds herself drawn to the investigation and becomes increasingly certain she knows the guilty party.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. 

Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for Flights, which was translated by Jennifer Croft.

When you can read it: Aug. 13, 2019

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

Tidelands is a novel by Philippa Gregory. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

Set on the marshy south coast of England in 1648, Tidelands tells the story of a woman named Alinor. While waiting for a ghost in a graveyard, Alinor encounters a wanted man named James and helps him navigate the treacherous tidelands. 

Philippa Gregory is a bestselling novelist of historical fiction, including the books The Other Boleyn Girl and The Last Tudor.

When you can read it: Aug. 20, 2019

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

Everything Inside is a short story collection by Edwidge Danticat. (Lynn Savarese, Knopf)

The eight stories in Edwidge Danticat's new collection explore the ways people build and sever connections. A man recalls the pivotal moments of his life as he falls to his death, two broken friends find love in an unexpected place, an infant's baptism forces three generations to face their differences, among other stories.

Danticat is an acclaimed Haitian American novelist. Her past novels include Breath, Eyes, Memory, Krik? Krak! and Claire of the Sea Light. She was awarded the Neustadt International Prize in 2018 for her body of work.

When you can read it: Aug. 27, 2019

Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Take It Back is a novel by Kia Abdullah. (HarperCollins Canada)

Take It Back tells the story of an explosive trial in Britain. Jodie, a 16-year-old girl with facial deformities, is accusing four teenage boys of a horrific crime. These four boys come from immigrant families and all have alibis. Zara Kaleel takes on Jodie's case, which quickly spirals into an ugly, public battle.

Kia Abdullah is a writer based in London. Her previous books include the novels Life, Love and Assimilation and Child's Play.

When you can read it: Aug. 27, 2019

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

Quichotte is a novel by Salman Rushdie. (Knopf Canada)

Quichotte is a television addict looking for romance. His obsessions manifest in an imaginary son named Sancho, with whom he embarks on a cross-country road trip to meet a celebrity he's fallen in love with. Quichotte's story is being told by a despondent spy novelist named Sam DuChamp, whose life becomes entwined with that of his protagonist. Quichotte is a modern-day take on Cervantes' classic Don Quixote.

Salman Rushdie is a Booker Prize-winning novelist, whose previous books include The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights and The Golden House

Quichotte is longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

When you can read it: Sept. 3, 2019

We, the Survivors by Tash Aw

We, the Survivors is a novel by Tash Aw. (Associated Press/Alastair Grant, Hamish Hamilton Canada)

In We, the SurvivorsAh Hock an uneducated man from Malaysia, is trying to make his fortune in a new country that falls short on its promises. Working a series of low paying jobs, Ah Hock ends up murdering a migrant worker from Bangladesh and serves time in prison for his crime. Years after his release, Ah Hock speaks to a local journalist about the murder and tries to understand how he became a killer.

Tash Aw is an award-winning writer, whose past books include the novels The Harmony Silk Factory, Map of the Invisible World and Five Star Billionaire.

When you can read it: Sept. 3, 2019

Fly Already by Etgar Keret

Fly Already is a short story collection by Etgar Keret. (Associated Press/Alik Keplicz, Riverhead Books)

Fly Already is a collection of comically surreal stories by Israeli screenwriter and graphic novelist Etgar Keret. Among the stories is a young boy describing the youth wars of the apocalypse, a guy trying to impress a girl with a joint and an unlikely couple connecting over a smoke at the beach.

Keret's previous books have been published in several languages. Some of his books published in English include How to Make a Good Script Great, The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God and The Seven Good Years.

When you can read it: Sept. 3, 2019

Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh

Gun Island is a novel by Amitav Ghosh. (Hamish Hamilton)

In Gun Island, a Brooklyn rare bookseller gets caught up in an ancient myth involving Manasa Devi, the goddess of snakes, while on a trip to the city of his birth, Kolkata. His encounter with a king cobra sets off a global chain of events that blurs the line between animal and human.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. His books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, The Glass Palace and The Calcutta Chromosome.

When you can read it: Sept. 10, 2019

The Institute by Stephen King

The Institute is a novel by Stephen King. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

The Institute is the latest from American horror master Stephen King. Over the span of two minutes, Luke Ellis's parents are murdered and he is taken to a place called The Institute. He wakes up in a room that looks exactly like his bedroom, except that it doesn't have a window. There are other kids at The Institute too, all of whom have shown supernatural abilities.

When you can read it: Sept. 10, 2019

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Red at the Bone is a novel by Jacqueline Woodson. (Riverhead Books)

Red at the Bone begins in 2001, as 16-year-old Melody appears for her coming of age ceremony in front of her loving family. The event brings forth painful and joyous memories from before Melody's birth, and how her unexpected arrival brought two families from different social classes together.

Jacqueline Woodson is an American fiction writer and poet whose acclaimed work includes Brown Girl Dreaming and Another Brooklyn.

When you can read it: Sept. 17, 2019

A Trick of Light by Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield

A Trick of Light is a novel by Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield. (Raincoast Books, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A Trick of Light takes place in a new superhero universe called Alliances. It follows two teenagers, one born with powers and another who develops abilities unexpectedly, who team up to change the world.

The novel will be Marvel legend Stan Lee's first for adults. Lee died on Nov. 12, 2018 at the age of 95.

A Trick of Light  is co-written by Kat Rosenfield, while the universe was co-created by Lee, Luke Lieberman and Ryan Silbert.

When you can read it: Sept. 17, 2019

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew is a novel by Alice Hoffman. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Heidi Ross)

In The World That We Knew, Hanni Kohn visits a famous rabbi, hoping he'll keep her 12-year-old daughter Lea safe from the Nazi regime. The rabbi's daughter Ettie devises a magical guardian, a golem named Ava, who protects Lea. The novel follows the lives of Ava, Lea and Ettie as they travel through Europe, fall in love and meet fellow escapees.

Alice Hoffman is a bestselling fantasy writer and has written over 30 novels. Her previous work includes the novels The Dovekeepers, Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

When you can read it: Sept. 24, 2019

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer is a novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (One World, Nina Subin)

Ta-Nehisi Coates' first novel tells the story of Hiram Walker, who is born into bondage in Virginia. His father is plantation owner Howell Walker and his mother is Rose, who has been sold away. Despite having a photographic memory, Hiram has no memories of his mother until he has a vision of her during a near-death experience. After almost drowning, Hiram resolves to escape from the Deep South and becomes involved with the Underground.

Coates won the National Book Award in 2015 for his nonfiction book Between the World and Me. He is a MacArthur fellow and writes Marvel's Black Panther and Captain America comics.

When you can read it: Sept. 24, 2019

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House is a novel by Ann Patchett. (HarperCollins, Heidi Ross)

Cyril Conroy began his real estate empire with a single lucky investment after the Second World War, effectively raising his family from poverty to wealth in a single blow. But another purchase, a lavish estate known as the Dutch House, will prove to be his family's downfall. The Dutch House is the story of his children, Danny and Maeve, who find themselves exiled from the family by their stepmother and thrust suddenly into poverty.

Ann Patchett has written seven previous novels, including Commonwealth and Bel Canto. The Nashville-based author's work has been published in over 30 languages.

When you can read it: Sept. 24, 2019

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

The Topeka School is a novel by Ben Lerner. (McClelland & Stewart)

In The Topeka SchoolAdam Gordon is an accomplished high school student from an accomplished family. While he's a popular and talented debater, his parents run a world renown psychiatry clinic and his mother is a famous feminist writer. When Adam befriends a loner named Darren Eberheart — without realizing he's one of his father's patients — it unleashes a devastating chain of events.

Ben Lerner is an American poet and novelist whose books include Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2019

Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

Frankissstein is a novel by Jeannette Winterson. (Knopf Canada)

In Jeanette Winterson's novel Frankissstein, it's 1816 and Mary Shelley dreams up a story where a doctor brings something to life. Just over two centuries later, a young doctor falls for a professor called Victor Stein, a leading voice on the AI debate in Britain. Meanwhile, a cryogenics lab in the U.S. is readying resurrection experiments and a recently divorced inventor named Ron Lord prepares to release a new set of sophisticated sex dolls.

Frankissstein is on the 2019 Booker Prize longlist. Winterson has been writing acclaimed fiction since her 1985 debut Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2019

Welcome to America by Linda Boström Knausgård

Welcome to America is a novel by Linda Boström Knausgård. (World Editions/PGC Books, Christina Ottoddon Oygarden)

In Welcome to AmericaEllen blames herself for her father's death and subsequently stops speaking. Her brother isolates himself in his room, while her mother, a successful actress, pretends everything is just fine.

Linda Boström Knausgård is a Swedish poet and radio documentary maker. Welcome to America is her second novel, following The Helios Disaster.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2019

Grand Union by Zadie Smith

Grand Union is a short story collection by Zadie Smith. (Hamish Hamilton Canada)

Zadie Smith's new collection of short stories features 10 new works, as well as previously published pieces. The stories include a mother looking back on her personal history of desire, a disgraced cop unable to pick up the pieces of his life and a teenager racing through virtual reality.

Smith is the British author of acclaimed books like White Teeth, Swing Time and On Beauty. Her work has won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

When you can read it: Oct. 8, 2019

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth

Jokha Alharthi's book Celestial Bodies won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. (Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Celestial Bodies is a coming-of-age story about the country Oman, told through the perspective of three sisters as they witness waves of great change. Mayya, the eldest, is married to a devoted man named Abdallah, to whom she feels little attachment. Asma dreams of a marriage much different from Mayya's, while Khawla refuses proposals and remains steadfastly in love with a man who has emigrated to Canada.

Celestial Bodies won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize and 2010 Best Omani Novel Award. Jokha Alharthi is the first female Omani writer to be published in English. She has also published two other novels, two short story collections and a children's book.

When you can read it: Oct. 8, 2019

The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

The Man Who Saw Everything is a novel by Deborah Levy. (Hamish Hamilton Canada, Sheila Burnett)

The Man Who Saw Everything is about a historian named Saul Adler. He has been invited to do research in Communist East Berlin, but only if he writes a favourable article about the German Democratic Republic. While waiting to take a photograph on Abbey Road — intended as a present for his translator's sister — Saul's life is changed when he's hit by a car.

Deborah Levy is a British playwright and novelist. 

The Man Who Saw Everything is on the 2019 Booker Prize longlist.

When you can read it: Oct. 8, 2019

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again is a novel by Elizabeth Strout. (Random House)

Olive, Again is a sequel to Elizabeth Strout's Pultizer Prize-winning novel-in-stories Olive Kitteridge. In 13 new stories, Olive describes life as a retired schoolteacher in a small town and remains oblivious to the challenges of those around her, including her adult son, husband and former student.

Strout's other books include My Name is Lucy Barton and Anything Is Possible.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2019

Girl by Edna O'Brien

Girl is a novel by Edna O'Brien. (Murdo MacLeod, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Irish novelist Edna O'Brien tells the story of a young woman in the countryside of northeast Nigeria who is abducted by Boko Haram. Maryam endures unimaginable horrors, before escaping through the harrowing wilderness and returning home to a hostile community.

O'Brien published her first novel, The Country Girls, in 1960. Her most recent books include The Little Red Chairs and The Light of Evening. She was awarded the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature in 2018.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2019

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré

Agent Running in the Field is a novel by John le Carré. (Viking Canada)

British spy novelist John le Carré sets his latest novel in contemporary times, following a 26-year-old man so desperate to avoid the political chaos around him that he finds himself on a much more dangerous path.

Le Carré is the pen name of David Cornwell, who worked as a spy for Britain's intelligence service during the Cold War. His most famous character is the spy George Smiley, who most recently appeared in the novel A Legacy of Spies.

When you can read it: Oct. 22, 2019

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

All This Could Be Yours is a novel by Jami Attenberg. (Raincoast Books, Zack Smith)

In All This Could Be YoursVictor, a distant father and power-hungry real estate developer, is dying. His daughter Alex is determined to get to know him, but her mother remains tight-lipped. Meanwhile, Alex's brother Gary is focused on his film career in Los Angeles and his wife Twyla is having a nervous breakdown. Even as Victor dies, his history of toxic behaviour causes his family to unravel around his deathbed.

Jami Attenberg is a bestselling novelist who lives in New Orleans. Her previous books include Saint Mazie, The Middlesteins and The Melting Season.

When you can read it: Oct. 22, 2019

Find Me by André Aciman

Find Me is a novel by André Aciman. (Chris Ferguson, Farrar, Straus and Giroux )

André Aciman returns to the characters of his beautiful novel Call Me by Your Name in Find Me. Elio has become a gifted pianist and moved to Paris, where he has an affair. Oliver, the graduate student Elio fell in love with as teenager, is a professor in the U.S. with a family, but is contemplating a return trip to Europe. Elio's father meets a beautiful woman on the train to Rome, and she changes his plans.

Aciman is a bestselling writer based in New York. His past books include Out of Egypt, Eight White Nights and Enigma Variations. The film adaptation of Call Me by Your Name won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for screenwriter James Ivory.

When you can read it: Oct. 29, 2019

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea is a novel by Erin Morgenstern. (Doubleday Canada, Allen Amato)

In The Starless Sea, graduate student Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a peculiar book in the stacks at his Vermont school. It contains stories of unrequited love, prisoners and — most mysteriously — a story from Zachary's childhood. As Zachary delves into the book's origins, he discovers an endangered otherworldly realm of lost cities and whispered stories.

Erin Morgenstern is a bestselling author from Massachusetts. The Starless Sea is her sophomore novel, following The Night Circus.

When you can read it: Nov. 5, 2019

Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

Dead Astronauts is a novel by Jeff VanderMeer. (McClelland & Stewart, Kyle Cassidy)

Jeff VanderMeer's new novel takes place in a nameless City controlled by a powerful corporation. A variety of otherworldly and human beings — a blue fox, a homeless woman and the demon who follows her, a giant fish with secrets and others — collide in a fight over the fate of the planet.

VanderMeer is an award-winning fantasy novelist. His most recent books include Borne, Acceptance, Annihilation and Authority.

When you can read it: Dec. 3, 2019

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is a novel by Tomi Adeyemi. (Raincoast Books)

Deemed "the next J.K. Rowling" by Entertainment Weekly, Tomi Adeyemi made a splash with her bestselling debut Children of Blood and BoneThe next book in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy, Children of Virtue and Vengeancereturns to the maji Zelie and princess Amari, who have brought magic back to their land. But the ritual also brought magic back to their enemies — the nobles — and the two struggle to unite the maji before civil war breaks out and threatens the very existence of maji. 

When you can read it: Dec. 3, 2019

Africville by Jeffrey Colvin

Africville is a novel by Jeffrey Colvin. (HarperCollins Canada, Song of Myself Photography)

Africville tells the story of three generations of a family as they drift away from their roots in Nova Scotia. Structured as a triptych, the book begins with Kath Ella during the Great Depression, who struggles to raise her family amid suspicious stares from white-skinned neighbours. Her son Omar grows up frustrated by the racial prejudices he faces, and ends up rebelling against his family. Kath Ella's grandson Warner then takes up the narrative from his father.

Jeffrey Colvin is a New York-based writer and critic. Africville is his first novel.

When you can read it: Dec. 10, 2019

The Wall by John Lanchester

The Wall is a novel by John Lanchester. (PGC, Faber & Faber)

Kavanagh is desperate for his shift patrolling the Wall to end — only 729 more nights —and get as far away from it as possible. As cold night after night passes without incident, Kavanagh wonders what it would be like if anyone actually did attack the Wall.

John Lanchester was born in Hamburg and lives in London. His previous book include Capital, Fragrant Harbour and Mr. Phillips.

The Wall is longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

When you can read it: Dec. 13, 2019