Here it is, the post most likely to be updated multiple times! The books I'm looking forward to in 2018 (with promises that I'm forgetting to tell you about books I've already RAVED about in previous posts). Going in date order to the best of my knowledge:
Her Adult Life (SSC) by Jenn Scott via Acre Books 1/9, a new venture from the fine folks behind the Cincinnati Review. From the Kirkus Review: "In this debut collection, Scott’s characters confront the violence and unpredictability cutting through the grind of small-town life...Beneath all of Scott’s strange and moving stories lie the promise or threat of violence and despair, which is, perhaps, the most real thing about them.
A promising collection that offers a necessary glimpse into lives often left unexamined."
An American Marriage (N) by Tayari Jones via Algonquin 2/6, a new novel from Jones who has penned a trio of very well received (including by this reader) novels prior to this. One blurb: "An American Marriage asks hard questions about injustice and betrayal, and answers them with a heartbreaking and genuinely suspenseful love story in which nobody's wrong and everybody's wounded. Tayari Jones has written a complex and important novel about people trapped in a tragic situation, struggling to reconcile their responsibilities and desires."
--Tom Perrotta, author of Mrs. Fletcher
Going For a Beer (SSC) by Robert Coover via Norton 2/6. Any new work from Coover is a reason to celebrate in the Wickett household. One of my favorite writers since reading his short story "The Babysitter" back in a class in late 1988. Had the pleasure of working on conversions of many of his earlier works to eBook form and being a part of obtaining the rights to and helping publish the massive sequel to his debut. Have most likely read all of these stories, or at least the vast majority of them, but to have between book covers? Fantastic.
Winter Kept Us Warm (N) by Anne Raeff via Counterpoint 2/13. I really enjoyed Raeff's short story collection and have had a chance to give this novel a small peek thanks to an early Advanced Reader Copy finding its way to my mailbox. I look forward to giving this one a full read very soon.
The Endless Summer (N) by Madame Nielson, translated by Gaye Kynoch via Open Letter Books 2/13. From their Danish Women Writers Series, Open Letter has this to say: A passionate love story about a Danish woman and a much younger Portuguese artist, The Endless Summer confronts ideas of time, sexuality, and tragedy in a style reminiscent of both Proust and Lars Von Trier.
Emotional and visceral, the novel drifts through time and space, relating the lives, loves, and disolutions of everyone who surrounds this unexpected
couple, including the woman’s former husband who holds the family at gunpoint, her daughter and her lovers, who include a boy who finds himself and his true sexual identity in America, and the young boy who “is perhaps a girl, but does not yet know it,” who narrates it all.
So Let Me Get This Straight (SSC) by Jesse Waters via Paycock Press 3/7. A collection of stories with some kind words from EWN favorite T.C. Boyle: "I’m pretty well blown away by these stories. The voices here are powerful--wickedly ironic and smart--and I love the way they aggregate, and then loop back upon themselves. This is the work of a sharply honed intelligence, madly passionate, bitterly ironic, utterly committed. The stories here are surprising and smart, original in a way that is never showy but rather organic and deeply felt. Truly great work!"
The Second of Sorrow (P) by Sean Thomas Dougherty via BOA Editions 4/10. I have to be honest in stating I'm not sure how many collections Dougherty has but I do know I loved his Broken Hallelujahs from BOA a few years ago or so. (Hmm, per their website, at least a couple more). Here's what they say about this forthcoming work: Sean Thomas Dougherty celebrates the struggles, the dignity, and the joys of working-class life in the Rust Belt. Finding delight in everyday moments—a night at a packed karaoke bar, a father and daughter planting a garden, a biography of LeBron James as a metaphor for Ohio—these poems take pride in the people who survive despite all odds, who keep going without any concern for glory, fighting with wit and grace for justice, for joy, every god damned day.
Oceanic (P) by Aimee Nezhukumatathil via Copper Canyon Press 4/10. Her fourth collection, and I know I read the first (Miracle Fruit) and third (Lucky Fish) for absolute sure and really enjoyed them. Having Nezhukumatathil find a home with a press like Copper Canyon is exciting news and should be providing a collection I can't wait to get my hands on.
The Road South (NF) by BJ Hollars via the University of Alabama Press 5/1. Hollars has become my favorite non-fiction writer the past four or five years and this will be his third non-fiction work via UA Press that deals with race and mainly, the sixties. He's previously written about the last official lynching in America with the fantastic, yet horrifying Thirteen Loops, and about the desegregation of the University of Alabama with Opening the Doors. This is a book about the Freedom Riders and it should be on your shelves with the other two for sure.
Florida (SSC) by Lauren Groff via Riverhead 6/5. Generally, I've found that if the fine folks at Hobart publish somebody, I'm probably either already a fan, or I'm going to become a fan. I don't remember which story of Groff's I read first, the Hobart or the Atlantic Monthly, but between the two I was hooked and have done my best to pick up journals with her stories in them. That said, I know I've missed out on at least a few and have been glad to see this title every time I add to the SSC 2018 database.
The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg via FSG 8/7. There are authors you are a fan of very early on, and then there are authors you are a fan of very early on that you get to publish, and Laura van den Berg was an early Dzanc author that fit that bill. We had been asking to see a manuscript for a while before she and her agent were ready to send them out and it was one of those that took a really short time before we made an offer on it. I believe I have seen a small piece of this forthcoming novel in a cool letter press thing I picked up earlier this year or late in 2016. Can't wait to read the surrounding words.
Two more that have no covers yet, one of which I am not 100% sure of the title even:
Scribe (N) by Alyson Hagy via Graywolf Press in October, and something that will include Scrooge in the title (NF) by Colin Fleming toward the end of the year. Both are writers whose work I do my absolute best to avoid missing.
I also have to mention, as I've said before that ANY looking forward to 2018 books list is incomplete without it, The Lost Country (N) by William Gay via Dzanc Books 7/10. I've had the pleasure of reading this a couple of times now and for those that have been waiting for close to a decade or maybe more, it's worth it. It's a great novel to follow up the incredible works that Gay had published in the past. In these lists I try not to include Dzanc Books titles because OBVIOUSLY I would list each and every one, but this one slides in because of circumstances.
And if there's wishful thinking looking forward to--it's for hearing about a two-book deal for Colin Fleming for his SSC, Cheer Pack, and his novel, Musings with Franklin, and for finding out that there will soon be a poetry chapbook by Christina Kallery coming to the reading world. All three of these should be books asap.
The Affliction (SSC) by C. Dale Young via Four Way Books 3/1. Described as a novel-in-stories by the award-winning poet C. Dale Young, whose poetry collections I've enjoyed greatly. Have watched quietly from the sidelines while this book was put together from an early foray into fiction from his poetry to continued news of successes. Definitely a title I've been looking forward to--it was the first 2018 announced title for which I requested an Advanced Reading Copy.
And no matter what authors, what types of books (N, SSC, NF, P), so long as it's Danielle Dutton in charge of Dorothy Publishing, I'll be pre-ordering whatever books they publish in 2018 (and beyond).