10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in May 2022

If you are wondering what to read next, we have 10 great ideas for you!

TRUST by Hernan Diaz
The Rasks are subjects of endless curiosity and speculation: Benjamin Rask is a Wall Street tycoon, his wife Helen Rask comes from money, and their fortune survives the Great Crash of 1929 intact. Their story unfolds in an inventive fashion in the second novel from Diaz following Pulitzer finalist In the Distance (2017). “Any brief summary of this ingenious new novel is bound to be unsatisfying… There’s a novel written about the couple, which is one part of “Trust”; subsequent sections of the book advance their story from other angles, each with the possibility to change everything you thought you knew.” (New York Times)

THE IMMORTAL KING RAO by Vauhini Vara
Tech billionaire King Rao changed the world with his inventions. Now the world ruled by a global techno-corporate entity, King Rao is dead, and his 17-year-old daughter Athena, a tech resistor and climate activist, is in jail for his murder. "Alternating between Rao’s childhood in a small Indian village, his early student days in the U.S., and the dystopian society in which Athena has to function, Vara’s original debut delivers challenging and weighty themes with a sure hand. " (Booklist)

VALLEYESQUE by Fernando A. Flores
A collection for readers who like unconventional and humorous stories by the author of the novel Tears of the Trufflepig (2019), recipient of a nomination for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. “Bizarre short stories from a Texan with a punk-rock heart... some of the best to come along in quite a while. This is an accomplished book from an author determined to keep literature weird. Tales from the Rio Grande Valley that are as beautiful as they are bizarre.” (Kirkus Reviews)

ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd
Fuyuko Irie is a freelance copy editor in her 30s living in Tokyo. She is repressed, friendless and lonely, and decides to improve her life. “The acclaimed author of Breasts and Eggs (2020) and Heaven (2021) surprises again in this thoughtful book about women, loneliness, and relationships… Kawakami writes with the tender and incisive sensibilities of a poet. She never prescribes the right way to live, but Fuyuko becomes a happier person because of her relationships with others. An unforgettable and masterful work.” (Kirkus Reviews)

EITHER/OR by Elif Batuman
Following a summer living with family in Turkey, Selin is in her second year at Harvard in this sequel to Pulitzer Prize finalist The Idiot. “Observant, defiant, and newly on antidepressants, Selin approaches the mystery of human relations with a beginner’s naivete and sharp intelligence… Batuman’s light touch and humor are brought to bear on serious questions, enabling the novel to move quickly between set pieces like an S&M-themed student party, poignant recollections of Selin’s parents’ divorce, and a harrowing travelogue as Selin begins a summer job in Turkey. As accomplished as The Idiot was, this improves upon it, and Batuman’s already sharp chops as a novelist come across as even more refined in these pages. Readers will be enraptured.” (Publishers Weekly)

YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY by Akwaeke Emezi
Following acclaimed novels Freshwater (2017) and The Death of Vivek Oji (2020), National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 author returns with a story full of love, grief and self-discovery. Emezi  Feyi Adekola is an artist who is ready for romance after losing her husband five years ago. “A refreshingly complex take on love stories in a tale filled with lingering, heartfelt sentences and passionate embraces... Emezi has created a dazzling celebration of the messiness of living and feeling with their signature gift for articulating characters' inner voices in raw and expressive detail. Couple that with a thrilling story of forbidden love, and Emezi has created a seductive and powerful novel that will make readers feel renewed.” (Booklist)

RAINBOW RAINBOW by Lydia Conklin
A promising story collection from the winner of a Stegner Fellowship in Fiction at Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes and numerous other honors. "Conklin delves into moments of decision, loss, and self-discovery among a set of queer characters in this superior debut collection... Conklin’s command of structure ensures that each story has a satisfying arc, but most impressive is the author’s precise and evocative prose... This talented writer is brimming with skills and heart." (Publishers Weekly)

BITTER ORANGE TREE by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth
Zuhour is a university student in England, far from her home in Oman. While she tries to forge a new life and new friendships, her yearning for home is compounded by grief over the death of the woman who raised her. "Man Booker International Prize winner Alharthi (Celestial Bodies) returns with a gorgeous and insightful story of longing...  This solidifies Alharthi’s well-earned literary reputation." (Publishers Weekly)

THE HACIENDA by Isabel Cañas
Beatriz was forced to flee when her father was murdered in the wake of Mexico’s War of Independence, so she is glad to accept the proposal of marriage from Don Rodolfo Solórzano, despite the mysteries surrounding the death of his first wife. But upon her arrival at his estate, her first impressions of unease quickly lead to outright terror and she seeks assistance from local priest Andrés. “With strong dual narration by Beatriz and Andrés, great pacing, well-placed flashbacks that effortlessly offer up the necessary details, and a strong, foreboding sense of place, this is a thought-provoking ghost story with monsters that are at once human, systemic, and supernatural. While the plot may seem to mirror Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, don't be mistaken—the ghost here is real, and the havoc it causes is nightmare-inducing.” (Library Journal)

EVERYTHING ABRIDGED by Dennard Dayle
A debut story collection masquerading as a reference book includes short definitions interspersed with longer stories, sometimes linked, sometimes speculative and often satirical, touching on race, law enforcement, consumerism, and other pressing issues of our times. Dayle’s work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Matchbook, the Hard Times, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. “Written as a dictionary, with hilarious and so-blunt-they're-sharp definitions of terms like ‘LimeWire,’ ‘mouse utopia,’ and ‘Perry, Tyler,’ Dayle's debut collection of stories is as likely to stun as it is to inform... incredibly entertaining and so damn illuminating.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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