Book Buzz: Fall Reads

Today is the continuation of my Book Buzz series where I am talking about the new and upcoming books that have caught my interest.

Catch my previous Book Buzz features:

  • Highly Anticipated
  • Debut Authors
  • Summer Reads
  • Today I want to talk about some books slated for publication in the Fall.

    The Kite Runner Graphic Novel by Khaled Housseini (ISBN 9781594485473) is being released in September 2011 through Riverhead/Penguin. I read this book back in 2008 (read my review) and found it to be a laudable first novel. I think it would be an incredible graphic novel. If you have not read The Kite Runner, it is a story about two Afghani boys – one who grows up in wealth, the other a servant boy. The book explores themes of family loyalty, the rigidity of religious division, the cruel effects of war, and the power of love and redemption. It is a moving and powerful novel.

    Khaled Housseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. He is the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Housseini is a graduate from the University of California-San Diego’s School of Medicine, where he earned a Medical Degree in 1993. He completed his residency Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004. He was named a U.S. goodwill envoy to the United National Refugee Agency. Read more about Housseini and his work by visiting the author’s website.

    Due for release in September 2011 through Knopf, Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (ISBN 9780307594099) is already being talked about as a stunning novel. I read Adiga’s Booker winning first novel, The White Tiger (read my review) and found it to be compelling and blackly humorous despite its scathing commentary on the divide between the poor and the rich, the benevolent and the corrupt. Last Man in Tower is a story of greed and murder in contemporary Mumbai. It focuses on one man who cannot be bought in the teeming city where everything and everyone is for sale. The publisher writes: “An electrifying, suspense-filled story of money and power, luxury and deprivation, peopled by brilliantly drawn, unforgettable characters, Last Man in Tower exposes the hearts and minds of the everymen and women of a great, booming city-ordinary people pushed to their limits in a place that knows none.

    Aravind Adiga is the author of the Man Booker Prize-winning best seller The White Tiger and a collection of stories, Between the Assassinations. He was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. A former correspondent for Time magazine, he has also been published in the Financial Times and The Times (London). He lives in India. Read more about Adiga and his work by visiting the author’s website.

    Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber (ISBN 9780393064612) is also being released in September 2011 through W. W. Norton & Company. The novel is described as “a multilayered, beautifully textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.” In Abu-Jaber’s latest book, she explores a family which has come apart when the thirteen year old daughter runs away. The publisher writes that Birds of Paradise is the story of “a family that comes apart at the seams-and finds its way together again-is totally involving and deeply satisfying, a glorious feast of a book.

    Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of Origin, Crescent, Arabian Jazz, The Language of Baklava, and now Birds of Paradise. She has won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award, and other prizes. Her writing appears in Good Housekeeping, Ms., Salon, Vogue, Gourmet, The New York Times, The Nation, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She is frequently featured on National Public Radio. She divides her time between Coral Gables, Florida, and Portland, Oregon. Read more about Abu-Jaber and her work by visiting the author’s website.

    Due for release in October 2011 through Egmont, is the highly anticipated new book by Beth Kephart. You Are My Only (ISBN 9781606842720) is the story of “A missing child. A devastated young mom. Two girls—one traumatic event.” This young adult novel is about Emmy and Sophie, a young mother and a reclusive teen, and is told through “alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained.” Those who are familiar with Kephart’s previous work are anxiously anticipating this latest effort.

    Beth Kephart is the award winning author of numerous novels. Her short works and essays have appeared in anthologies such as New York Times Writers on Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and No Such Thing as the Real World, HarperTeen, among others. Her freelance work has appeared in many well known publications including the New York Times,
    Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, Parenting, Real Simple, and Good Housekeeping, among others. Kephart teaches Advance Nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania, and at selected writing workshops. She is also a strategic writing partner in the award-winning marketing communications firm, Fusion. Read more about Kephart and her work, on her wonderful website and blog.

    The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (ISBN 9780393072556) is slated for release October 2011 through W. W. Norton & Company. I am familiar with Enright’s writing through her novel The Gathering (read my review) where I was stunned by the searing choice of words and phrasing; the graphic descriptions; and Enright’s ability to take the reader to an uncomfortable place to drive home her point. In The Forgotten Waltz, Enright takes her readers once again to Dublin where “the volatile connections between people; the wry, accurate take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age” are brought to life. The publisher writes: “With The Forgotten Waltz Enright turns her attention to love, following another unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart.

    Anne Enright is an Irish novelist whose most recent novel (The Gathering) won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. She has published essays, short stories, a non-fiction book and four novels. Enright lives in Dublin, Ireland.

    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (ISBN 9780374203054) is due for release in October 2011 through Farrar, Straus and Giroux. For fans of Middlesex (read my review) this is good news indeed. Eugenides latest novel revolves around Madeleine Hanna, a girl who dressed a little too nicely for the taste of her more Bohemian friends, the perfect girlfriend whose college love life, despite her good looks, hadn’t lived up to expectations. But now she is in her senior year of college, and a triangle develops between Madeleine and two men. The publisher writes:  “[…] The triangle in this amazing and delicious novel about a generation beginning to grow up is age-old, and completely fresh and surprising.

    Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux to great acclaim in 1993, and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex (FSG, 2002), which was also a finalist for the National Book Criticis Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and France’s Prix Medicis, and has sold more than 3 million copies.

    Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin (ISBN 9780307379764) is due for release in October 2011 through Pantheon.

    At the heart of this novel of the brutal invasion and occupation of Nanjing by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1937 stands a most unlikely figure: an American missionary named Minnie Vautrin, who had first come to China in the 1920s to teach at Jinling Girls College in Nanjing. Now dean of the college, on the eve of the Japanese invasion, Minnie, along with a small group of foreigners, has decided to remain behind—convinced that her status as an American citizen will help her safeguard the interests of the school as well as the welfare of the loyal Chinese who have dedicated their lives to the school. With the onset of the invasion Minnie oversees the use of the school as a refugee camp and will provide shelter, food, medical attention, and a home to 10,000 woman and children who have no means of support.

    Ha Jin is one of those writers who I have not read yet…and this looks like a novel that I should read.

    Ha Jin left his native China in 1985 to attend Brandeis University. He is the author of the internationally bestselling novel Waiting, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award; and War Trash, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. He wrote the story collections A Good Fall; The Bridegroom, which won the Asian American Literary Award; Under the Red Flag, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and Ocean of Words, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. His other works include the novels A Free Life, The Crazed, and In the Pond; and three books of poetry.

    What books are YOU anticipating for Fall release?

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      • Kathleen on May 28, 2011 at 12:46

      I want to read them all! I am especially excited about The Kite Runner graphic novel. I agree with you that it will make a great one.

    1. I didn’t realize Ha Jin has a new book coming out. I loved A Free Life and will have to look for Nanjing Requiem.

    2. I am feeling more than a little blessed (and in hugely huge great company). Thank you, Wendy.

    3. I am happy to see that Aravind Adiga has another book out – I really enjoyed White Tiger. I saw Anne Enright at BEA and was fortunate enough to get an ARC of The Forgotten Waltz.

      • Wendy on May 30, 2011 at 15:27

      Kathleen: I so agree – I don’t read a lot of graphic novels – but I think I’ll have to get a copy of that one.

      Kathy: I need to read a book by Ha Jin – glad to know you are a fan of his writing

      Beth: You are very welcome!!!

      Colleen: I really appreciate BOTH those writers – glad you do as well…and I am so jealous that you not only got a copy of Enright’s newest novel, you also got to see her!!

      • Aths on May 31, 2011 at 11:50

      Wow! Those are some fabulous titles. I can safely say that I’m excited about most of them, esp Adiga’s and Ha Jin’s newest.

      • Wendy on June 6, 2011 at 10:03

      Aths: I agree – so many great books in our future 🙂

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