10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2018

Any room on your holds list? Here are some of the most tempting novels and story collections coming out this November.

Evening in Paradise: More Stories
by Lucia Berlin
Berlin, a onetime Oakland & Berkeley resident who passed away in 2004, gained widespread and overdue acclaim with the posthumously published 2015 story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women. Known for tackling subjects of addiction and working class life with dark humor, Berlin has been compared to Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Raymond Carver and Denis Johnson. Evening in Paradise “features more seductive, sparkling autofiction with narrators whose names echo the author's in settings and situations that come from her roller-coaster biography…  No dead author is more alive on the page than Berlin: funny, dark, and so in love with the world.” (Kirkus Reviews) This collection is being released alongside an autobiographical work, Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photographs and Letters.

How Long ’til Black Future Month? 
by N. K. Jemisin
Author N. K. Jemisin is known for award winning speculative fiction novels that deal with themes of oppression and resistance. Her debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010), won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for just about every science fiction award out there. All three books in her Broken Earth series went on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel. If you’re thinking that you don’t usually read science fiction, her new collection of short stories may be your gateway book. “These stories span Jemisin's career; they demonstrate both the growth and active flourishing of one of speculative fiction's most thoughtful and exciting writers.” (Kirkus Reviews)

by Gina Apostol
Chiara is an American filmmaker who comes to the Philippines in the age of Duterte to make a movie about the Philippine-American War. When Chiara hires writer and translator Magsalin to be her guide, Magsalin takes Chiara’s script and writes her own version of the story. The award winning author of Gun Dealers' Daughter (2012), Apostol “fearlessly probes the long shadow of forgotten American imperialism in the Philippines… This is a complex and aptly vertiginous novel that deconstructs how humans tell stories and decide which versions of events are remembered; names repeat between scripts, and directors suddenly interrupt what feels like historical narration. Apostol’s layers of narrative, pop culture references, and blurring of history and fiction make for a profound and unforgettable journey.” (Publishers Weekly)

The Best Bad Things
by Katrina Carrasco
Alma Rosales is a 19th century detective, trained and fired by the Pinkerton Agency. She goes undercover assuming multiple identities (and genders) trying to track an opium thief while vying for the affections of her boss and sometime lover Delphine Beaumond, leader of a drug smuggling ring. “Carrasco succeeds in coupling a feminist historical that maintains period plausibility with an exploratory queer narrative…  Breath-catching pacing, tantalizingly rough-and-tumble characters who are somehow both distasteful and deeply relatable, palpable erotic energy, and powerful storytelling make this a standout.” (Publishers Weekly)

My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ayoola isn’t just a heartbreaker—she’s a sociopath who kills her boyfriends when she’s ready to move on. Her sister, Korede, is always there to (literally) clean up her messes. “From the hospital rooms and living spaces of Lagos, Nigeria, comes a dryly funny and wickedly crafty exercise in psychological suspense...  Even your most extravagant speculations about what's really going on with these wildly contrasting yet oddly simpatico siblings will be trumped in this skillful, sardonic debut.” (Kirkus)

All the Lives We Never Lived
by Anuradha Roy
In the era of India’s fight for independence from Britain and the unfolding of WWII, Gayatri Rozario longs for freedom and art, and ultimately flees her family and her small Indian town. Years later, her adult son Myshkin tries to comprehend her betrayal as he pieces her life together with the help of a new found cache of letters. “A lush and lyrical fusion of history and storytelling... This mesmerizing exploration of the darker consequences of freedom, love, and loyalty is an astonishing display of Roy’s literary prowess.” (Publishers Weekly) Roy's previous novel, Sleeping on Jupiter, was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. 

The Kinship of Secrets
by Eugenia Kim
In 1948, Najin and Calvin Cho decide to leave Korea in search of new opportunities in the United States. They can only bring one daughter, so they bring Miran, leaving younger Inja behind with family until they can bring her over. Only the Korean War breaks out, preventing them from reuniting their family, and forcing two sisters to grow up apart and in two very different worlds. Kim, the author of The Calligrapher's Daughter (2009), loosely based this novel on her own family’s story. “A timely and moving historical saga illuminating the repercussions experienced by families separated by war.” (Booklist)

The Lonesome Bodybuilder
by Yukiko Motoya, translated by Asa Yoneda
The Lonesome Bodybuilder is the English-language debut from Montoya, a playwright and novelist who has won some major fiction prizes in Japan. “An unusual but ingenious collection that blends dark humor and bemused first-person narrators suddenly confronted with unhappy relationships and startling realities... Funny without collapsing into wackiness, these eccentric, beguiling stories are reminiscent of Haruki Murakami and Kafka.” (Publishers Weekly)

The New Order: Stories
by Karen E. Bender
Bender follows her last book of stories, the National Book Award finalist Refund (2015), with a new collection that examines some of the mounting threats of our world including bigotry, violence and sexual harassment. “Closed spaces—elevators, offices, an airplane, classrooms—amplify the inner dramas of Bender’s watchful, anxious, feverishly expressive narrators… With literary virtuosity, psychological authenticity, and breath-catching insight, Bender dramatizes gripping personal dilemmas compounded by a new order of social tyranny.” (Booklist)

The Houseguest: And Other Stories
by Amparo Dávila
This debut English language release from Mexican author Dávila takes magical realism into dark, macabre territory. Publishers Weekly praises her “terrifying knack for letting horror seep into the commonplace and the domestic… Dávila’s stories plunge into the nature of fear, proving its force no matter if its origin is physical or psychological, real or imagined.”


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