Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/8/2018 (499 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As summer winds down publishing season picks up, with imprints jockeying for shelf and festival space for their authors in advance of the major literary hardware being handed out.
There’s no need to put your favourite beach books away just yet, but there’s a wide range of fall fiction coming down the pipelines by authors from around the corner, across the country and all over the globe that will challenge, inspire and move readers in the months to come. Here are a dozen books to watch for as the mercury slips lower...
Up From Freedom
By Wayne Grady
August 14 (Doubleday Canada)
The Kingston, Ont.-based Grady (Emancipation Day) returns with his second novel, which details the life of Moody, the son of a plantation owner who leaves, taking with him a pregnant slave. The two develop a close but complicated relationship over the years before the woman’s child flees, sending Moody scouring the country for him and bringing him face to face with the perils of a country on the brink of civil war.
By Miriam Toews
August 21 (Knopf Canada)
The much-anticipated novel by this former Winnipeg author (All My Puny Sorrows, A Complicated Kindness) takes place in a South American Mennonite colony over the course of two days. Based on a true story, the voices of eight women of all ages from the community — and the love, anger and anguish they experience — come through in Toews’ text as the women face an important choice that will decide their fate.
By Patrick deWitt
August 28 (House of Anansi)
With a film version of deWitt’s 2011 novel The Sisters Brothers set to be released in September, the West Coast author returns with a novel that follows a precocious trio — an older, formerly wealthy widow, her awkward adult son and their cat — from Manhattan to Paris. As a cast of locals descends upon the trio, all manner of hijinks ensue.
By David A. Robertson
September 1 (Portage and Main Press)
The prolific and critically acclaimed local author delivers the second book in the young-adult The Reckoner series, following up 2017’s much-lauded Strangers. His latest sees protagonist Cole Harper continuing to struggle to fit in at Wounded Sky First Nation after stopping a serial killer, while trying to crack many more secrets in the community — including those about his father’s death.
Something for Everyone: Stories
By Lisa Moore
September 4 (Astoria/House of Anansi)
Based in St, John’s N.L., Moore (Caught, Alligator) brings together 10 stories that span the globe with a diverse cross-section of voices, scenarios and perspectives. Among them is The Viper’s Revenge, a story based in Orlando, Fla. with connections to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, as well as The Fjord of Eternity, which sees a rock star disappear from an Arctic cruise ship under mysterious circumstances.
By Gary Shteyngart
September 4 (Random House)
The Russian-born, New York-based Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story, Little Failure) returns with his first novel in seven years, which follows a New York hedge fund manager who leaves the city (and his wife and young autistic son) on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler life and his first love from college.
Lethal White: A Cormoran Strike novel
By Robert Galbraith
September 18 (Little, Brown/Mulholland)
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is back under her adult crime-writing pen name for the fourth Cormoran Strike novel. The gritty detective — now featured in a TV show, C.B. Strike on HBO Canada — and life/sleuthing partner Robin Ellacott encounter a man who recalls a horrific crime he witnessed as a child, which leads the duo through London and to a country manor.
By Dionne Brand
September 18 (Knopf Canada)
The former poet laureate of Toronto, whose previous novels include In Another Place, Not Here and What We All Long For, sets her newest fiction around an unnamed, ungendered grad student’s work on a mammoth multidisciplinary thesis project. Three wildly different lovers representing the head, heart and spirit enter the student’s life in sequence, upending events and bringing all the narrator’s research into question.
By Tanya Tagaq
September 25 (Penguin Canada)
Much like her explosive throat singing and live performances, Tanya Tagaq’s debut fiction defies easy description. Part fiction and part memoir, Split Tooth is written in both prose and poetry, following a girl growing up in Nunavut in the 1970s who becomes pregnant, and must navigate the delicate and difficult interaction of human, natural and mythical elements in her life.
Children of the Bloodlands
By S.M. Beiko
September 25 (ECW Press)
Children of the Bloodlands is the second book in local author S.M. Beiko’s young-adult The Realms of Ancient fantasy series; the first book, Scion of the Fox, was met with widespread critical acclaim. In the follow-up, the five friends who successfully vanquished the evil Zabor have been separated, each facing their own otherworldly challenges in all corners of the globe.
By Haruki Murakami
October 9 (Doubleday Canada)
The beloved Japanese author (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84) is back with a novel that follows an unnamed portrait painter who becomes the caregiver to an aging artist and discovers the titular painting in the attic, which offers clues to his family’s involvement in a plot to kill a Nazi leader. He also becomes obsessed with a mysterious neighbour and his ill-fated love affair; then there’s the portal that opens to a world where the painting comes to life...
By Barbara Kingslover
October 16 (Harper)
Kingslover (Flight Behavior, The Poisonwood Bible) weaves together two stories of kindred spirits from different centuries with one New Jersey home in common: that of an unemployed middle-age writer and her dysfunctional family, and a 19th-century scientist scorned for espousing Darwin’s theories and grappling with his own domestic issues.
Literary editor, drinks writer
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.
Updated on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 6:02 PM CDT: Corrects name of protagonist in Monsters.