A debut from Phil Harrison. THE FIRST DAY, opens in 2012 in Belfast. Samuel Orr, a family man, a pastor, meets Anna, a young Beckett scholar, and they embark on a passionate affair. Once the affair is revealed, the repercussions come quickly, with violent fallouts that everyone involved will spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from. The second half of the book, some thirty years later, takes up the story of the next generation in New York City. Lauren Wein at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be publishing THE FIRST DAY. (Harrison’s primary agent is Nicola Barr at Greene & Heaton in London.)
Johanna Stoberock has a new novel. PIGS is set on a Pacific island populated by a handful of people including four children who are enslaved by the adults and forced to feed the garbage that washes onto shore to a ferocious herd of pigs. The author has a strong voice with a unique, otherworldly story to tell. Kate Gale at Red Hen Press will be publishing PIGS.
Brandon del Pozo, Chief of Police in Burlington, VT and formerly a Senior Officer in the New York City Police Department, is writing NO ONE ELSE IS COMING to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book will be part memoir, part historical narrative of policing in New York City and, ultimately, a reflection on the art of being a cop.
Erin Saldin, the author of the dark and gripping THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN, has a new novel, THE FLATLINERS CLUB, about a group of high school friends, mostly seniors, in an awesomely beautiful resort town, where wealthy weekenders treat them like losers. Told in four alternating points of view over the course of one summer, the teenagers face a malicious drug addict, arrogant wealthy vacationers, arson, and falling in love for the first time. But, it’s the secrets that they keep from each other that test the limits of their friendship. Simon Pulse will be the publisher.
Author of OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION, Stephen McCauley‘s new novel, MY EX-LIFE, is about a formerly married couple who haven’t seen each other in decades—David, who has spent the last twenty years as a gay man who helps spoiled San Francisco teens get into colleges, and Julie, a now twice-divorced mom who has become a middle-aged pot-head and in order to get by has turned her falling-apart house into a B&B—and what happens when they find themselves living together again. Amy Einhorn at Flatiron Books will be publishing MY EX-LIFE.
In Gary Shteyngart’s novel, HOTEL SOLITAIRE, it is the Summer of Trump. Barry Cohen, fleeing his failing hedge fund (named This Side of Capital) and a marriage in tatters, journeys across America by Greyhound bus in search of a lost love. Back in New York, his brilliant and beautiful wife begins a complicated affair with her downstairs neighbor. A super smart, poignant exploration of marriage and family in a world where money = faith. The publisher will be Random House.
From Jess Row, the author of the provocative YOUR FACE IN MINE, comes WHITE FLIGHTS, a book of critical and autobiographical essays that together form a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture, from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. Graywolf Press is the publisher.
From Chanelle Benz, an O. Henry Prize winner, comes a debut novel titled THE GONE DEAD. A big, atmospheric novel, THE GONE DEAD is set in Southern Mississippi and centered on a woman who returns to the town she left at a young age to sort out the mysteries in her life and the mysteries of her long-estranged father’s death. Ecco/HarperCollins will be the publisher.
Kirstin Valdez Quade‘s untitled first novel is an expansion of her New Yorker story, “The Five Wounds.” It opens during Semana Santa (Passion Week) in a small town in northern New Mexico. Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Passion procession, and he is preparing for this role, which he believes will redeem him and transform his life, when his pregnant fourteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up on his doorstep. Written in alternating third-person points of view, it is a book about the limitations of faith, as the characters discover that their pasts can be a source of both destructive pain and also great sustenance, and that the binds of family are not a birthright but must be constantly made anew. The publisher will be W. W. Norton.
Jess Row‘s first novel, YOUR FACE IN MINE, was praised as “flat-out brilliant” by the Los Angeles Times. His next will be THE NEW EARTH, about a fractured Manhattan family of eccentrics, intellectuals and spiritual seekers who reunite for the wedding of their only living daughter, an immigration lawyer, to an undocumented immigrant from Chiapas. THE NEW EARTH captures the transformative journey of a broken family over a decade after the tragic death of a little girl. The publisher will be Ecco.
From Hugh Raffles (the author of INSECTOPEDIA) comes STILL LIFE, a book exploring the many lives of stone. It draws on fieldwork in places ranging from Scotland to China, Java to New Mexico, and Brazil to Morocco. Raffles examines powerful stones in Dante, Wagner, Michelangelo, and Ovid, on the Hajj, inside Buddhist temples, and at the Jewish cemetery in Berlin. He finds rocks that were once alive—were sea creatures and wood—and rocks that are somewhere in between. STILL LIFE examines stones that are both massive and distant and comprise the galaxies, planets, those that travel as continents and meteors, and those most intimate to us—the stone that forms in our bladder and kidneys and makes up our bones. Pantheon is the publisher.
JIMMY NEUROSIS is a coming-of-age memoir by James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. It charts the author’s drastic transformation from punk adolescent to celebrated culinary editor. He was born in Mountain View, California, dropped out of high school at 15 and plunged into the burgeoning punk rock/drugs/sex scenes of 1970’s San Francisco and New York. He later went to graduate school in film studies and made his way to a career in writing and magazines (among them, Vogue, LA Weekly, The Village Voice and Sassy, as well as Saveur, where he was editor-in-chief). It’s fascinating and extraordinarily moving to see how, after the dramatic destruction of these key years, Oseland discovers within himself the creative threads that ultimately lead him to renown in the magazine and food worlds. The publisher will be Ecco.
Aryn Kyle‘s second novel (following the breakout debut THE GOD OF ANIMALS), HINTERLAND is the story of a turbulent platonic friendship between a married father and the gifted, troubled, charismatic woman he’s known since college, and how her sudden death — one he feels he should have saved her from — changes the course of his life and that of his family. Aryn Kyle is the author of THE GOD OF ANIMALS, her bestselling and highly-acclaimed first novel, which was praised as “so strong, startling, and moving…it is impossible to forget” by The Boston Globe, and the story collection, BOYS AND GIRLS LIKE YOU AND ME. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages. The publisher will be Riverhead Books.