A list of recommended fictions and nonfictions
Cherry by Nico Walker
Army veteran turned bank robber turned bestselling novelist, Nico Walker knows how to grab attention like no other. Cherry, his debut attempt at fiction, which he wrote on a typewriter in jail, is a lacerating account of addiction; so addicting that it feels like the literary equivalent of a pistol shot.
The Friendly Ones by Philip Hensher
Hensher brings out his best in this new novel of families and neighbors. A multigenerational saga that is both intimate and epic, The Friendly Ones pursues what it means to belong in places seemingly alien. Hensher’s prose is dazzling, beautiful, and, as always, stupendous.
Welcome to Lagos by Chibundo Onuzo
An army deserter, a naïve militant, a rebellious private, a runaway middle-class wife—they all come together on their way to Lagos in Chibundo Onuzo’s new novel Welcome to Lagos. Onuzo’s spectacular chronicle of her extraordinary city is breathless. It is an intense story of bravery and survival.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers returns to nonfiction in The Monk of Mokha, the true account of a Yemeni-American who dreams of resurrecting the lost traditions of Yemeni coffee, only to be stuck in the Civil War.
Eggers’s rags to riches story of coffee and compassion is as compelling and exhilarating as it can get.
Things to Leave Behind by Namita Gokhale
Gokhale’s elegantly wrought novel, centered around India’s first war of Independence is an intricate rendition of the complexities of the British Raj’s rule. The romanticism and the cracks that lay underneath such cushioning is portrayed with the charm and style only Gokhale is capable of.
Disconnect: Collected Short Fiction
Dhaka’s youth have never sounded more assured. Free from any influences of our literary “elders,” Disconnect circuits memoir, science fiction, mystery, and realism in a patch so original and thrilling it has already established itself as essential reading of Dhaka lore.
Motherhood by Sheila Heti
Heti’s nonfiction fetish shows up in all forms of her works. In her latest, it takes the appearance of her struggles with the decision to have children. Her solution, as trademark of Heti’s sensibilities, is to use coin tosses as a literary devise to mull over the question in stark and deeply personal prose.
Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy
A scientist with a missing son, brothers named after the Mahabharata, off and on adventures, stories of exiles, home, war, and dinner parties—they all color Kumarasamy’s debut collection of linked stories with strokes both concentrated and overflowing. Her prose, stunning and compassionate, stays with the reader long after finishing.