This week’s lineup of new releases has a little something for the thrill seekers and the readers who are just looking to get into their feels a bit. There’s some established voices doing what they do best and some shining debut talent that’s sure to grip. Read about them more below!
The Dark Corners of the Night by Meg Gardiner
Don’t miss your chance to meet Meg Gardiner! She’ll be at BookPeople on Saturday, February 22nd at 5PM to discuss and sign her latest.
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
Brandon Taylor’s Real Life is already a bookseller favorite. Described as a “beautiful…story of everyday moments…that begs to be read out loud,” (Eugenia V.) packed with writing “you feel coursing through your body and mind,” (Raven R.) we’re thrilled to finally share this tender piece of fiction with you.
Real Life is novel of rare emotional power that excavates the social intricacies of a late-summer weekend—and a lifetime of buried pain. Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree, enforcing a wary distance even within his own circle of friends.
But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community.
Real Life is a gut punch of a novel, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and buried histories—and at what cost.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
Fans of Emma Cline’s The Girls and Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies have cause for celebration with the publication of Saint X. Alexis Schaitkin’s debut presents a deeply moving story that culminates in an emotionally powerful ending.
Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men—employees at the resort—are arrested.
But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.
Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth—not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.
Amnesty by Arivand Adiga
After being denied refugee status in Australia, Danny—formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam— hides in the shadows, working as a cleaner and living out of a grocery storeroom. For three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself and now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life.
But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: Come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported? Or say nothing, and let justice go undone?
Over the course of this day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities.
Propulsive, insightful, and full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, Amnesty is both a timeless moral struggle and a universal story with particular urgency for all of today’s readers.
The Lucky Star by William T. Vollman
After tackling the existential crisis that is climate change in his exhaustive two volume work, The Carbon Idealogies, William T. Vollman returns to fiction, following the destitute denizens of San Francisco. In this new novel, Vollmann tells the story of a woman with magical powers whom everyone loves, and who has to love them all back.
After being initiated into a coven of island witches, Neva begins to fulfill her fate in a Tenderloin dive bar. Her worshippers include Richard, the introverted, alcoholic, occasionally omniscient narrator; a profane, aggressive transgender sex worker named Shantelle; the brisk but motherly barmaid Francine; and the former Frank, who has renamed herself after her idol Judy Garland. When Judy starts to love Neva too much, Judy’s retired policeman boyfriend embarks on a mission of exposure and destruction.
Crafted out of language by turns spiritual and sexually graphic, The Lucky Star aches with compassion as it explores celebrity culture, gender identity, incest, Christian sacrifice and, most of all, the quotidian and sometimes faltering heroism of marginalized people who in the face of humiliation and outright violence seek to love in their own way, and stand up for who they are.
You can shop all of these new releases and more from BookPeople in-store and online now. And be sure to join us back here next week where we’ll have an all new lineup of the titles we’re most excited for!