Although the word “spring” brings to mind an awakening, “fall” seems a beginning too, a portent of what’s to come. Here in México, it’s the end of the hurricane season and a time of preparation for winter tourists, Day of the Dead, Christmas, New Years, and Three Kings’ Day. It’s also the season when the best books of the year are published. Coming soon are new selections by many of the most widely read and respected authors of our time. Here’s a sneak preview:
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
Always there is great anticipation and expectation preceding the publication of Wolfe’s novels, non-fiction, and essays. He’s written some of the most successful and insightful literature of th the 20 century, and he never holds back. Wolfe tells it as he sees it and writes eloquently about modern society, from 1960s hippies in Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test to racial anxiety in Bonfire of the Vanities and Atlanta’s high society in Man in Full. In Back to Blood, Wolfe trains his sharp eye on the immigration issue in the melting pot of Miami, with characters ranging from Cuban immigrants, a famous French émigré sex doctor, the Russian mob, and a woman of Haitian decent who passes for Anglo. Wolfe is famous for his reporting writing style and the amount of research he does for each of his titles. Due in bookstores October 23.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
On the wings of victory after her best-selling Harry Potter series, Rowling has written her first adult novel (though many adults read Harry Potter). Publisher Little Brown describes the book as “blackly comic, thought provoking and constantly surprising.” September 27 publication date.
NW by Zadie Smith
Twelve years ago a young Zadie Smith took the publishing industry by storm with her novel White Teeth. Time Magazine called it one of the top 100 English-language novels written from 1923 to 2005. Since then she’s written two other novels, winning the Orange Prize for Fiction for On Beauty. NW is a tragic-comic novel that follows the lives of four Londoners in their complicated, brutal, beautiful city. September publication.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Her background in biology and roots in Appalachia set the stage for this latest novel about the effects of global warming. Well known for the poignant The Poisonwood Bible (about a family’s move to Africa with an abusive father), Kingsolver won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 with her novel about México, La Lacuna, which offers a glimpse into the lives of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Leon Trotsky, among others. Publication date: November 6
San Miguel by T.C. Boyle T.C.
Boyle’s 13 novels encompass such subjects as the women in Frank Lloyd Wright’s life (The Women), Mexican illegals in Los Angeles (The Tortilla Curtain), identity theft (Talk Talk), the story of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey (The Inner Circle), 300 years of history in upstate New York (World’s End), and hippies’ adventures from California to Alaska (Drop City).
His newest book is the story of two families in two different times (the 1880s and the Depression) on a tiny, windswept island off the coast of Southern California. The extensive cast of characters typical of Boyle’s novels doesn’t disappoint: Native Americans, Irish immigrants, Chinese fisherman, and Spanish and Italian migrant workers all make appearances. Regardless his subject, Boyle entertains with a writing style that mesmerizes and exhaustive research that amazes. I’ve read all his books, and he ranks among my favorite writers. If you haven’t read him, I urge you to do so and can almost guarantee you won’t be able to put down his books. As soon as you finish you’ll be reaching for another. Boyle has also published nine volumes of short stories. Publication date: September 18
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Praise-drenched previews for McEwan’s latest describe it as “a subtle and subversive novel that is a masterful manipulation between fiction and truth…as drily funny as it is thoughtful” (starred review from Kirkus Reviews). Within these pages you’ll find his first female protagonist since his famed novel Atonement. “Sweet Tooth” is the code name of an espionage assignment in 1972 given to avid reader Serena, who infiltrates a writer’s circle for England’s intelligence agency. It certainly sounds intriguing. Available November 13.