New Fiction Roundup – March 2019

March sees several new books by Seattle writers, the newest from a former Seattle Reads author, masterful debuts, and the latest from some blockbuster literary fiction authors.

3/5: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group, their mesmerizing lead singer, and the mystery behind their infamous breakup.

3/5: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi – In this dreamlike novel inspired by the centrality of gingerbread to fairy tales, an extraordinary recipe for gingerbread figures heavily in the lives of three generations of women in one family. A Peak Pick!

3/5: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See – Growing up on the Korean island of Jeju, Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends who join an all-female diving collective. But as the historical stresses of the 20th century build, their friendship is threatened by forces outside their control. A Peak Pick!

3/5: The River by Peter Heller – Two friends embark on a wilderness canoe trip, only to be tested by a forest fire and the potential disappearance of another traveler. A Peak Pick!

3/12: The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson – A fantastical journey set at the height of the Spanish Inquisition during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian Peninsula follows royal concubine Fatima and palace mapmaker Hassan as they go on the run. Seattle author. A Peak Pick!

3/12: Great American Desert by Terese Svoboda – This collection of short stories uses water – its use and abuses – and the consequences of the land’s mistreatment over time as jumping off points for stories set from prehistoric times to the future.

3/12: New Suns ed. by Nisi Shawl – This collection, edited by Seattle author Nisi Shawl, features speculative fiction by emerging and established writers of color.

3/19: Chaos Function by Jack Skillingstead – If technology enabled you to save the life of someone you love, would you do so even if it might doom millions? Seattle author.

3/19: Look How Happy I’m Making You by Polly Rosenwaike – A collection of short stories about women reckoning with motherhood in many different ways, including planned and unplanned pregnancies, infertility, and beyond.

3/19: Lot by Bryan Washington – In Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, resenting his older sister’s absence, and discovering he likes boys.

3/19: The Parade by Dave Eggers – Emerging from a decade a war, the government of an unnamed country commissions a road to connect the two halves of the state. Two foreign contractors are sent to finish the work, only to face the absurdity of their positions and the consequences of their presence.

3/26: Guestbook: Ghost Stories by Leanne Shapton – Encompassing traditional and experimental narratives alongside images and illustrations, Shapton tells a range of ghost stories.

3/26: Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander – The secular son in a family of Orthodox Brooklyn Jews refuses the responsibility of reciting the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, after his father’s death. Scandalizing his family, he instead hires a stranger online to say the prayer each day for eleven months in this irreverent novel of the tensions between tradition and modernity.

3/26: The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell – This family saga, told by a shifting chorus of voices, follows three generations of three families living on the banks of the Zambezi River, beginning in 1904 and ending in 2023, and covering everything from Zambia’s colonial and independence history to the AIDS epidemic.

3/26: The Other Americans by Laila Lalami – The suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant has repercussions that bring together a diverse cast of characters who are divided by race, religion, and class, and a town must face its hypocrisies. At the Central Library April 2 at 7pm. A Peak Pick!

3/26: Sing to It by Amy Hempel – 15 exquisitely honed short stories from a master.

3/26: White Elephant by Julie Langsdorf- In this suburban comedy, the owner of a gaudy new home cuts down a neighbor’s tree, entangling the entire neighborhood and enflaming tensions.

3/26: Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina – A sweeping novel set in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, as gangs of marauding soldiers terrorize and plunder the countryside, and Zuleikha is exiled to Siberia where she must make a new life for herself.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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