From Julia Fox’s long-awaited masterpiece Down The Drain, to Naomi Klein’s scarily timely Doppelganger: A Trip Into The Mirror World
The Fraud by Zadie Smith (Penguin)
Zadie Smith is back with her first major novel since 2016. The Fraud is the acclaimed author and essayist’s first attempt at historical fiction, set across several decades in Victorian London. The story is partly based on the real life Tichborne Trials, a controversial case about imposters, hypocrisy and self-deception, set against the backdrop of imperialist Britain.
Open Up by Thomas Morris (Faber)
Thomas Morris’s new collection of short stories, Open Up, comes with gushing praise from Sally Rooney and a Best Young Novelist tag from Granta. Once you read them, you understand why: each one manages to hold profound emotional depth, whether the story is told from the perspective of an awkward teenage boy or a sad little seahorse.
Narcissus in Bloom by Matt Colquhoun (Repeater)
Narcissism seems to be the defining condition of the 21st century, with the word being bandied around and thrown at everyone – whether that’s presidents, toxic ex-partners, or everyday social media users. Matt Colquhoun’s Narcissus in Bloom offers an alternative reading of the word, told through a short history of the self-portrait, from the renaissance to the present day.
Nadezhda in the Dark by Yelena Moskovich (Footnote)
Marketed as a “queer anthem for doomed youth”, Yelena Moskovich’s new novel Nadezhda in the Dark might just be one of the best fiction releases of 2023. Set in Berlin, it follows the story of two women – young and in love – who both fled the Soviet Union as children. The book charts their personal history and the baggage they carry between them – from the good (DIY queer parties, collective resistance, pop songs with hidden messages) to the bad (nightclub raids, grief, loss).
Motion Sickness by Lynne Tillman (Peninsula)
Originally published in 1991, Motion Sickness is the latest Lynne Tillman novel to be rescued from semi-obscurity by Peninsula Press. In this would-be-lost classic, the ‘godmother of sad girl literature’ invites readers on a surreal yet hilarious journey across Europe in which our picaresque narrator experiences a series of odd yet transformative encounters. In typical Lynne Tillman style, Motion Sickness is dreamy, witty, melancholy, and clever. (ED)
Doppelganger by Naomi Klein (Penguin)
It is your duty as a human being, living in this moment on this earth, to read every book Naomi Klein releases. Her latest, Doppelganger, is very different to her previous work – much more personal, and broader in scope – but still offers the same piercing clarity she has become known for. (Read our interview with her about the book here)
A Green Equinox by Elizabeth Mavor (Virago)
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1973, Elizabeth Mavor’s A Green Equinox is being re-released this month by Virago. It’s a strange, unsettling story about female sexuality, following a bookseller living in a quaint English town, and her unfolding relationships with three different people.
Sofia Coppola Archive (MACK)
Sofia Coppola Archive (published by Mack) is a totally enthralling, delicious photo book chronicling the beloved filmmaker’s expansive career. From The Virgin Suicides in 1991 through to this year’s anticipated Priscilla, this beautifully designed tome is a total treasure trove of relics and precious ephemera, including photographs from Copolla’s personal collection, references collages, correspondence, and never before seen behind the scenes shots. Every page is irresistible. (ED)
Shooting Star: The Definitive Story of Elliott Smith
In this new biography by music journalist Paul Rees, the life of 90s anti-singer songwriter is revisited with fresh eyes, arriving two years after his tragic death. With contributions from some of the late artist’s closest friends, Shooting Star offers a definitive account of one of contemporary music’s most tragic and cherished figures. (GY)
Isdal by Susannah Dickey (Picador)
Isdal is the first poetry collection from acclaimed Irish novelist Susannah Dickey. The book is a three-part study of our cultural obsession with the true crime genre, and the ethical ambiguities that surround it.
This Must Be The Place by Shain Shapiro (Repeater)
How can music change the way we live in, and experience, our cities? This Must Be The Place by Shain Shapiro attempts to answer this question, examining the powerful impact music can have on the way cities are developed, built and governed – and how it can change our local communities.
Love and Money, Sex and Death by McKenzie Wark (Verso)
Legendary scholar McKenzie Wark – author of A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory – shares her fascinating memoir, Love and Money, Sex and Death. Based on her experience transitioning in later life, the book is an attempt to make fresh sense of her past, consisting of letters she has written to her former self, family, past lovers, and “trans sisters lost and found”.
Stay True by Hua Hsu (Picador)
The New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu releases his first memoir, a touching treatise on friendship, grief and coming-of-age as a quasi-American (stacked with tonnes of 90s cultural references, too).
Rouge by Mona Awad (Scribner)
Bunny author Mona Awad returns this month with Rouge, a creepy gothic fairytale that follows a young woman trying to deal with the unexpected death of her mother. Billed as Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut, the novel sees her slowly become immersed in the dark side of beauty, envy and grief – exploring the complicated love between mothers and daughters in the process.
Shame by Annie Ernaux (Fitzcarraldo)
A woman who needs no introduction, queen Ernaux is back this month with Shame. The novel, published as usual on Fitzcarraldo Editions, follows the story of a 12-year-old girl as she deals with a violent, traumatic memory that determines the course of her life.
Disobedient Bodies by Emma Dabiri (Wellcome Collection)
In her latest book, Disobedient Bodies, the author of Don’t Touch My Hair and What White People Can Do Next unpacks age-old notions of beauty and reveals how the expectations and demands around it are completely contradictory. Read Adele Walton’s interview with Emma Dabiri here.
Down The Drain by Julia Fox (4th Estate)
The long-awaited masterpiece is finally here, and it’s everything Fox fans hoped for. The actor and artist has squeezed a lot in over the last three decades – drug addiction, abuse, stints at a psychiatric hospital, sex work, fairytale romances and soul-shattering grief – and she writes about them with humour, warmth and candour. And yes, she wrote it herself.
Family Meal by Bryan Washington (Atlantic)
After his boyfriend dies, Cam moves back to his hometown in Houston, confronted by his former best friend TJ. Time and distance has changed their relationship, and both struggle with how to navigate this new-old connection. Like his previous books Memorial and Lot, Washington renders queer life with a brutal and beautiful honesty.
Julia by Sandra Newman (Granta)
Billed as a “bold feminist retelling” of George Orwell’s 1984, Sandra Newman’s new novel, Julia, explores what life in Big Brother’s dystopic Oceania was like for women.
Out October 19
Every Man For Himself and God Against All by Werner Herzog
Another memoir, this time from legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog. Every Man For Himself And God Against All tells the story of his life and career, as well as his philosophies and artistic influences, all in his inimitable voice.
Out October 19
Death Valley by Melissa Broder (Bloomsbury)
Melissa Broder, author of the much-loved The Pisces and Milk Fed, is back with her third novel later this month. Death Valley is a hilarious, mystical desert survival story, but it’s also a profound meditation on grief.
Out October 24
The Dimensions of a Cave by Greg Jackson (Granta)
If you’re looking for loads of plot to keep you occupied on those chilly autumn nights, then this one’s for you. Greg Jackson’s debut novel follows reporter Quentin Jones, and is full of journalistic corruption, chilling conspiracies and shady government dealings. Billed as a “contemporary retelling of Heart of Darkness”, Jackson’s mesmerising thriller expertly confronts the perils of a tech-controlled future.
Out October 26
Blackouts by Justin Torres (Granta)
Set in the Palace, a loosely-described ‘institution’ in the desert, Justin Torres’ second novel grapples with queer histories at the threat of erasure. A young, unnamed man tends to Juan, a dying resident of the Palace, and they exchange stories of their past lives, from the young man’s traumatic childhood to Juan’s memory of the queer anthropologist Jan Gay. Beautiful and moving, Torres’ dreamlike prose will have you curled up in a ball for the entire weekend.
Out November 2