Publishers relish their summer P slowdown. One can't be expected to promote a literary blockbuster when the Hamptons are calling. So while the upcoming fall boasts new works by Michael Ondaatje, Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami, Ha Jin, David Guterson, and more, we're in genre territory during July and August. We managed to include the Tom Perrotta novel below, even though it's basically a fall book to be released on August 30. August is still August in our book!
The Leftovers | TOM PERROTTA: So this is different. We think of Perrotta as light and witty (Election , The Wishbones ), or dark, dark (Little Children ). But in retrospect, The Abstinence Teacher (*** Jan/Feb 2007) touched on religious themes as well. In his latest novel, the citizens of Mapleton lose more than 100 people in the Sudden Departure. Is it the Rapture? Or something else? And if it is the Rapture and you were left behind--what does that mean? AUG
We Others New and Selected Stories | STEVEN MILLHAUSER: Pulitzer Prize--winner Steven Millhauser (Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer ) has focused his attention in recent years on the novella and short fiction. His recent Dangerous Laughter was a strong collection of stories (**** May/June 2008). This new book features an unpublished novella and several stories from the pages of the New Yorker, Harper's, and other venues. AUG
Then Came You | JENNIFER WEINER: Weiner's sixth novel, Best Friends Forever (**** Nov/Dec 2009), stood out among her chick lit pack of books. In her latest, "four women bound by obligation and opportunity struggle to become a family." JUL
Burnt Mountain | ANNE RIVERS SIDDONS: In her Southern melodramas, women find themselves. And they usually do so near an ocean (Outer Banks , Low Country , Up Island ). But here we're in the North Carolina mountains and in Atlanta, where the wife of an Irish professor must deal with dark secrets from the past. JUL
Iron House | JOHN HART: Steeped in the history and culture of his home state, North Carolina, Hart's highly acclaimed page-turners (including his recent The Last Child **** Sept/Oct 2009) pay tribute to the Southern novel. He's the winner of back-to-back Edgar awards. Iron House would complete the trifecta, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here, two brothers fight to survive in a North...