Christodora, Tim Murphy (Grove, Aug)
An Indie Next pick, an Amazon best book of August, 17,500-copy first printing
Set in the Christodora, an iconic building in Manhattan’s East Village, this novel moves from the Tompkins Square Riots and the attempts by activists to galvanize a response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s to a future New York City of the 2020s, where subzero winters no longer exist.
Umami, Laia Jufresa, trans. from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (One World / PGW, Sept)
Winner of an English PEN award, 7,500-copy first printing
This novel, which was listed as an International Hot Property by PW last year and was named one of the most anticipated books of 2016 by the Millions, takes place in Mexico City. Ana, a precocious 12-year-old who reads Agatha Christie to forget the mysterious death of her little sister, decides to plant a milpa, a crop-growing system common in the Yucatan, in her backyard. As she digs, her neighbors delve into their own past. The ripple effects of grief, childlessness, illness, and displacement saturate their stories, secrets seep out, and questions emerge.
Agnes, Peter Stamm, trans. from the German by Michael Hofmann (Other Press / PRH, Oct)
25,000-copy first printing
Stamm’s international bestselling debut novel, a psychological romance first published in Germany in 1998, is being published in the U.S. for the first time. In it, an unnamed writer pursues a love affair with a Ph.D. candidate after meeting her at the Chicago Public Library. “‘Write a story about me,’ she said, ‘so I know what you think of me.’” While he crafts the story of their love, their relationship is often dictated by the story itself, as he imagines what might be rather than what is.
Welcome to the Universe, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss, and J. Richard Gott (Princeton University / Perseus Academic, Oct)
25,000-copy first printing
This heavily illustrated book by three leading astrophysicists covers topics including why Pluto lost its planetary status, whether our universe is part of an infinite cosmos, and the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Author tour, 35,000-copy first printing
Ndibe’s memoir takes its name from the advice his uncle gave him when he left Nigeria to edit African Commentary magazine—advice that caused some problems when he was mistaken for a bank robber 10 days after he arrived in the U.S. Ndibe examines his development as a novelist, as well as the differences between Nigerian and American etiquette and politics. His novel Foreign Gods, Inc. was starred in PW and was an NPR Great Read of 2014.
The Gloaming, Melanie Finn (Two Dollar Radio, Sept) — trade paper
5,000-copy first printing
In her second novel after Away from You, Finn, a finalist for the Orange Prize, has created a literary thriller about a young woman whose husband has left her. After a tragic accident in the Swiss countryside, the woman flees to Tanzania, where she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Published in the U.K. last year (under the title Shame), the novel was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize.
Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, Edited by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro (University of California / Perseus Academic, Oct)
Author tour; first printing: 55,000-copies paper, 5,000-copies hardcover
This beautifully designed and illustrated volume from journalist Solnit and Jelly-Schapiro, author of Island People (Knopf, Nov.), conveys the experience of being in New York City through 26 maps and essays by experts including linguists and ethnographers. The book, which completes a trilogy of atlases, celebrates New York City’s unique vitality, while critiquing its racial and economic inequality.
This is the third in the series. The first two, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas were released in 2010 & 2013.