Will fall be a season to celebrate?
In the book world, at least, the outlook looks good for new novels and beloved authors.
During the traumatic first fall of the pandemic, publishers delayed some titles even though 2020 produced surging sales. Many bookstores have been closed, but non-fiction about social justice and Donald Trump (it was a dramatic election year, after all) sold well.
The coming months appear to be returning to a more traditional fall book season, with novels by Pulitzer Prize winners, a mix of novice and veteran writers, and even a few more anticipated books on Trump. Bob Woodward, show us what you got.
Some authors address the world during the closure: Gary Shteyngart brings together eight people, where they isolate themselves in “Our Country Friends”. Louise Penny’s new novel, on sale August 24, anticipates life just after 40, when a speaker with ruthless suggestion upsets the sweet Three Pines.
But many books take readers to very different worlds: Anthony Doerr, who won the Pulitzer for his WWII book “All the Light We Cannot See,” returns to Constantinople in the 15th century onward to Idaho – then to a spaceship. Colson Whitehead directed “Harlem Shuffle” in the 1960s. And Amor Towles rolled on “The Lincoln Highway” in the 1950s.
An Arab-American woman works in a refugee camp in Rabih Alameddine’s “The Wrong End of the Telescope” and Margaret Verble’s “When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky” features a Cherokee horse diver in 1920s Nashville.
Jonathan Franzen begins the first book of a heavy trilogy in 1971 in Chicago (although he may have extracted memorabilia from Webster Groves’s First Congregational Church for details on a youth group).
Franzen’s novel is titled “Crossroads,” which could be an appropriate label for the country as it enters another school year and fall, trying to deal with the coronavirus.
Readers can decide to explore current events or escape to other lands. But whichever route they take, the possibilities are endless. Fall books look like something to celebrate.
Here are some 50 easy titles (and yes, there are more worth considering). The books are listed alphabetically by expected release date. Descriptions are filled in by editors, pre-publication reviewers and press services; release dates are subject to change.